Explore the most popular Running trails in Big Bend National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Just down to the river and back

hiking
3 days ago

An amazing trail! If you're scared of heights the scramble at the top can be uncomfortable but it's 100% worth it! Prepare with lots of water, pack lightly, and give yourself plenty of time to complete it.

muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

The trail itself is beautiful and definitely worth the troubles to get to the trailhead. the views from up top are gorgeous and walking through the reeds of the Rio Grande is surreal after being surrounded by desert moments before. Like many others have said, if it has rained recently the entrance is either flooded or knee-deep muddy. Some people choose to traverse the mud, and I even saw one girl doing the hike barefoot with muddy feet since the hike after that point is truly that easy. There is a non-muddy option that requires a lot of climbing up and down very vertical slopes with unsteady shale as the only thing to grab onto. My buddy and I decided to do this option both up and back, but there were some scary moments where we could have easily fallen all the way down to the creek below. The amount of time you save trekking the mud is actually wasted on washing your feet after. Keep that in mind. With that said it was worth it and I'd do that climb again to hike the trail.

hiking
7 days ago

We stopped here after a morning hike. Didn’t do the whole trail, just walked to the river. So pretty!

hiking
8 days ago

Super steep climb up to saddle. Views at the top were awesome. Took the trail all the way to the end of pinnacle. A couple great picture sites on other side of saddle looking into the valley outside of the basin.

hiking
scramble
11 days ago

Yes the last 25 ft is a scramble and a bit intense— not great if you’re afraid of heights. It’s definitely doable, just go slow. There are two peaks, the summit is the right side one.

hiking
scramble
15 days ago

we went over Thanksgiving just updating this now. such a great hike!

hiking
no shade
rocky
16 days ago

Four of us decided to make this our first hike of the week in Big Bend. Coming from the New England area and hiking weekly in the White Mountains, the trail was very smooth in comparison. Hiking down first and then back up was a little different, but enjoyable all the same. The waterfall at Cattail Falls has minimal flow, as it hasn't rained a drop in weeks. However, there was still a trickle and lots of birds flying around by the falls. Our group decided to climb another rock feature we saw, that we dubbed "The Playground." An easy scramble to the top, but be careful if you do this - the drops are steep and far, with no marked trail. All in all, a great hike!

hiking
17 days ago

So beautiful! Pretty easy to find. The road seems to end on a hill but if you look to the left you can drive down and you’ll see the entrance, or park at the top of hill and walk over it. The trail is easy to follow at first but then the ravine comes and it gets a little hairy. I made it and then kept going until the trail seems to end. Then I turned around and followed the foot prints in another direction that seemed to follow the loop but then that got scary and I carved my own path back to the trail. The petroglyphs are cool but I didn’t see as many as I expected, still enjoyed it though!

Such a fun hidden gem!! Lots of wildlife, and the “climb” gets you to the top of a lookout where you can see the entire campground, Mexico, and Boquillas canyon. Fun to do at sunset or sunrise!

hiking
icy
rocky
scramble
17 days ago

One of the best trails I’ve ever done. Round trip it was closer to 12 miles, and where the trail splits off from Pinncales onto the actual Emory Peak trail is definitely the hardest part. The rocky scramble at the end is SO much fun, and even though it seems a little scary I never felt like I was in danger. Did this trail two days ago and there were a few patches of ice along the trail, but nothing that impeded our hike! Bring plenty of water and a good meal to have when you’re at the top, because coming back down is rough on the leg muscles.

hiking
rocky
scramble
18 days ago

Awesome hike! It took my son and I 2.51 hrs 5.1 miles one way. We walked normal and made frequent stops for pictures. It is hard but not impossible; take your time and enjoy the views and peace of the journey up. Start early so you won't feel hurried. The beginning of the trail is behind the store next to the information building. The weather was excellent, 54/50 and sunny; it was windy up in the summit. However, if you bring a light jacket or windbreaker, you should be fine. We consumed 80 oz of water together, but if you do this on a hotter day you might need more. If you are scared of heights, the summit might give you a little scared as you are climbing on rocks to the top and the wind might give you an unbalanced feeling of dropping. Very doable; there were all levels of physical capabilities and ages, so, just take your time and enjoy it.

hiking
scramble
21 days ago

Epic hike! I would think a morning hike would be even better for pix. Stay away from Old Maverick Road (unless you can off-road)

hiking
flooded
off trail
scramble
22 days ago

It rained the day before, so we had to go around the creek and up a pretty difficult scramble, which made the whole trail a lot longer, but it was still really cool!

hiking
flooded
off trail
rocky
scramble
22 days ago

Did this as a recovery walk after Marufo Vega. Pretty easy with a few short areas of incline. Nice views, but absolutely packed with people. Not a relaxing quiet hike - if you do this hike, expect tons of people that aren’t very keen on hiker etiquette.

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