Mule Ears - Smoky Creek Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews
#29 of 68 trails in

Mule Ears - Smoky Creek Trail is a 7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Terlingua, Texas that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
951 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Mule ears hike leads through the foothills of the Chisos Mountains, skirts Trap Mountain, and crosses several arroyos. Near the spring is an old rock corral. The spring itself is overgrown with shrubs, but ferns and cattails also grow there.

hiking
6 months ago

Even in the winter, it can be hot. We started out and the temperature was right around 45 degrees, but the time we connected with Smoky Creek Trail on the back side of Mule Ears, it was pushing 80+ degrees. The view of Mule Ears from where the trail drops down to meet Smoky Creek trail is well worth the hike.

hiking
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lots of desert.

hiking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Awesome looking terrain, very mars like due to the volcanics. Start early as it gets hot! Encountered a lot of flys in the spring

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Lots of down and up crossing washes. Typical desert flora. Nothing too interesting, besides the mule ears.

hiking
Wednesday, July 06, 2016

(We only did the four-mile round trip to Mule Ears Spring and back.)

If you've ever driven through the desert without taking the time to actually get out and walk the desert floor, then try this one. It was wide open with almost zero shade. You must bring plenty of water and you MUST take hats and sunblock! I enjoyed being out on this hike only because there were no other people on it. They probably knew better, or someone told them at least, to avoid this one on a hot morning.

The spring at the turnaround point is pretty cool, though tiny. We sat on a rock in the midst of reeds and cattails and had dragonflies zooming around us constantly, while a frog sat in the middle of the spring below us waiting for prey to present itself.

I don't recommend this hike for people inclined to complain about the heat.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

We hiked this to try to get closer to the Mule Ears but it does not get much closer than the viewing spot by car. Desert hike with not a lot of variation in scenery.

hiking
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Moderate hike across the desert floor, but ends at a tiny, beautiful oasis. Very cool hike.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Enjoyable hike, to see the ears up close. Like just about every hike in Big Bend, great views and great desert energy.

hiking
Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mule Ears Spring is right at 2 miles down the trail. Beyond this, the trail leads to some scenic camping spots and eventually connects with the Smoky Creek trail. This is listed as a moderate hike, but it does not contain any technical climbs. A must do for first time Big Benders!

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6 months ago

6 months ago

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7 months ago

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9 months ago

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11 months ago

Saturday, March 25, 2017

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

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Monday, December 14, 2015

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Monday, March 23, 2015

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

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Sunday, November 13, 2011