DISTANCE
24.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5,708 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

hiking

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

no shade

no dogs

hiking
1 day ago

This hike is difficult but rewarding. Some choose to hike the trail clockwise which takes them down Juniper Canyon trail the first day. I would advise this, as I have done the trail counter clockwise and day 3 up Juniper Canyon can be extremely strenuous. Personally the second day down the Dodson was the most difficult. We made out hike in early spring but the lack of shade and the extreme temperature swing in the afternoon really made the last half of the day MISERABLE. This was all replaced after the camp was set up and the stars came out. Hands down the clearest I have ever seen the stars in my life.

I would recommend caching water at Homer Wilson and Juniper Canyon. We ended up with extra water in the end but as many of you know the weather in Big Bend can fluctuate rapidly. Weather forecast for the day we hiked the Dodson called for highs in the low 80's but it was easily 100 degrees in the afternoon. So a little extra water isn't going to hurt. It actually makes for a pretty refreshing cool down before the final stretch back down into the basin.

This trail is very rewarding with spectacular views and solitude but can be very dangerous if you go in unprepared. Carry plenty of water, and KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS!