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#25 of 60 national parks in United States of America

Best trails in Big Bend National Park

5,147 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Big Bend National Park, Texas? AllTrails has 72 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 30 easy trails in Big Bend National Park ranging from 0.7 to 66.4 miles and from 1,833 to 5,790 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Named for the Bend of the Rio Grande along the USA Mexico, this park has part of the Chihuahuan Desert, ancient fossils, and cultural artifacts of Native Americans. The park encompasses canyons, rivers, desert, and forest. Entrance Passes All federal lands passes are issued and accepted at Big Bend National Park. Passes are non-transferable. Vehicle: $30 Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less); valid for 7 days. Motorcycle: $25 Admits one non-commercial motorcycle; valid for 7 days. Individuals: $15 Admits one individual. Typically used for bicyclists and pedestrians; valid for 7 days. Big Bend Annual Pass: $55 (good for one year from purchase date) Covers entrance fees to Big Bend National Park. Pass is available at Big Bend National Park entrance stations or any Visitor Center. Pass is non-transferable. Non-commercial groups: Organized groups such as Scouts, youth groups, churches, reunions, clubs, etc. that do not qualify for an academic fee waiver are charged as follows: $30 per non-commercial vehicle with a capacity of 15 or less. $15 per person traveling in a non-commercial vehicle with a capacity of 16 or more. Fees will not exceed the commercial rate for the same sized vehicle. Youth 15 and younger are free. Individuals or families with a valid annual or lifetime pass may use their pass for themselves and up to 3 others. Commercial Groups: Companies conducting business in the park are required to obtain a commercial use authorization. The only exception is companies travelling in a 26 person capacity or greater vehicle; such vehicles are charged a flat fee of $200 (commercial use authorization not required). Educational Groups: Groups entering the park for education purposed are encouraged to check the academic fee waiver for application and qualification information. CAMPING FEES Developed Campgrounds The National Park Service operates three developed frontcountry campgrounds; Rio Grande Village Campground, Chisos Basin Campground, and Cottonwood Campground. The cost is $16 per night per site ($8 per night with Senior or Access pass). Campground Reservations Approximately 2/3 of the campsites at Rio Grande Village and Chisos Basin campgrounds are reservable up to 6 months in advance. Reservations may be made at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Big Bend National Park cannot make reservations. More information about reserving campsites. Backcountry Campsites Backcountry campsites require a $10 per night backcountry use permit ($5 with a Senior or Access pass), which must be acquired in person at either the Panther Junction or Chisos Basin visitor centers during normal business hours. Learn more about Backcountry Camping. Park Entrances Park entrances are open 24 hours daily, all year. Entrance fee stations have variable seasons and hours. Arriving After Hours Park entrances are always open and you can arrive at any hour, but entrance fee stations and visitor centers may be closed after normal business hours. The three main park campgrounds are always open (pending site availability); self register at the campground entrance. Lodge guests should contact the lodge if arriving after business hours. Visitor Centers: Panther Junction Open daily, 8:30 am–5:00 pm. Reduced hours on Christmas day. (open 8:30 am - 1:00 pm) Chisos Basin Open daily, 8:30 am–4:00 pm. Closed for lunch. Reduced hours on Christmas day. (open 8:30 am - 1:00 pm) Persimmon Gap Open seasonally, November 1 - April 30, 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Closed for lunch. Castolon Open seasonally, November 1 - April 30, 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Closed for lunch. Rio Grande Village Open seasonally, November 1 - April 30, 9:00 am–4:30 pm. Closed for lunch. Accessibility: For accessible trails and facilities information for those with disabilities or using equipment such as strollers, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

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Map of trails in Big Bend National Park
Park information
Acreage:
801,163 acres
Contact
432-477-2251
Top trails (72)
#1 - Lost Mine Trail
Big Bend National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(782)
Length: 4.2 mi • Est. 2 h 26 m
The Lost Mine trail serves as an outstanding introduction the flora and fauna of the Chisos Mountains, only 1 mile into the hike their is a saddle offering stunning views of Casa Grande and Juniper Canyon. The remainder of the trail climbs steeply in and out of juniper, oak, and pine forest. The trail abruptly levels out at the ridge with superb views of Pine Canyon and the Sierra del Carmen in Mexico.Show more
#2 - The Window Trail
Big Bend National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(665)
Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 2 h 44 m
The Window Trail begins near the Chisos Basin lodge, descending 800 feet over about two miles through rolling hills and vertical rock walls to a narrow pouroff, which overlooks the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. The trail is usually dry, but the pouroff area is very dangerous during flash-floods.Show more
#3 - Emory Peak via South Rim Trail and Boot Springs Trail
Big Bend National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(432)
Length: 14.9 mi • Est. 8 h 8 m
This route goes counter-clockwise and hikers have reported that the access, if you decide to go clockwise is actually closed off. Show more
#4 - Emory Peak Trail
Big Bend National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(400)
Length: 10 mi • Est. 5 h
This is a roundtrip hike to the highest point in Big Bend National Park (7,832'). The last 25 feet require a scramble up a sheer rock wall, but your reward is the ultimate panoramic view! From the Basin Trailhead take the Pinnacles trail for 3.5 miles. At this point, the one mile trail to the summit cuts off and heads upward. For fantastic views and solitude, this trail is hard to beat! Most hikers require approximately 5-6 hours for the roundtrip journey.Show more
#5 - Santa Elena Canyon Trail
Big Bend National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(457)
Length: 1.5 mi • Est. 1 h 1 m
This trail begins at the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. Although a short trail, it is one of the grandest spectacles in the park. After crossing Terlingua Creek, the trail climbs several short switchbacks and then gradually descends along the banks of the Rio Grande. Hikers are surrounded by lush riparian vegetation and 1,500-foot towering vertical cliffs of solid limestone. The trail ends where canyon walls meet the river. Take a lunch and enjoy the scene. Note: Following rains, flash floods, or periods of high water, Terlingua creek can be impassable, effectively closing the trail.Show more
#6 - Balanced Rock Trail
Big Bend National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(308)
Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 55 m
This scenic trail covers 2.2 miles round trip and ends at a spectacular balanced rock formation. Grapevine Hills Trail is an easy hike up a sandy wash surrounded by massive boulders. After 1 mile the trail ascends to a low saddle at the end of the drainage. Follow the signs to locate the giant "window" of boulders. This is one of the most picturesque spots in all of Big Bend NP. Kids love this trail! The trailhead is located 7 miles down the Grapevine Hills Primitive Road. Ask a ranger about current road conditions.Show more
#7 - Boquillas Canyon Trail
Big Bend National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(197)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 38 m
A beautiful canyon on the Rio Grande The trail starts in a parking area at the end of the Boquillas Canyon spur road, and climbs over a low hill and drops down to the river.Show more
#8 - Big Bend Hot Springs Trail
Big Bend National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(96)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 40 m
A short trail to a mineral hot spring.Show more
#9 - Cattail Falls
Big Bend National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(72)
Length: 5.7 mi • Est. 2 h 45 m
Note: Users have reported that there is a gate at the trailhead that is sometimes closed. The waterfall payoff makes the long hike down gated road through desert worth every step. Be sure to scramble up the rocks to face of waterfall.Show more
#10 - Laguna Meadow Trail
Big Bend National Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(85)
Length: 7.8 mi • Est. 4 h 20 m
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