South Rim Trail - Boot Springs Trail

HARD 131 reviews
#2 of 68 trails in

South Rim Trail - Boot Springs Trail is a 11 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Basin Junction, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, birding, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
11.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,329 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

backpacking
2 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

Did this loop, including Emory Peak in one day. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone else. This hike is very strenuous, but the views! The view from the south rim is one of the most breath taking views I’ve ever seen. Especially in Texas! For me, it was worth it. But make this a 2 day hike and camp along the way.

hiking
11 days ago

Great hike extremely strenuous. If i were to do it again i would camp at the halfway point the first day and then the 2nd i would go to the top. I’m not terribly out of shape and in my 30s and this trail was very hard for me. Someone that was with me in their 20s who is in very good shape also said this trail was very hard for them. I’m not sure what’s going on with these reviews that say it’s not strenuous. They must be Olympian’s or hike every day. Took us 7 hours and we were rushing to get back before dark.My advice is to start at 7am and to take your time.

hiking
23 days ago

VERY HARD trail. The view at the top is beautiful, but the rest is just ok. Not worth how hard the hike is. Bring lots and lots of water and snacks. Do not hike in the heat. This trail almost did me in. Not recommended unless you are in GREAT shape and an experienced hiker.

3 months ago

Long and strenuous, the South Rim Trail took us a little over 7 hours to finish with a few breaks and a 15-minute lunch on the rim. We took Pinnacles to Boot Canyon and climbed down the Laguna Meadows Trail. We left from the Chisos Basin at 8am, but didn’t start climbing down Laguna Meadows until 1pm and the heat started taking a real toll on us. Even though there are three toilets along the way, we really had to go during the last four miles and tried to hustle our way down. People don’t often talk about the after effects of doing hard hikes but our bodies felt overheated and in shock the rest of the day. We felt much better the next day.

hiking
3 months ago

Went counterclockwise since we did Emory Peak last spring break, so wanted a new experience. Started at 8am and didn't see any people the first 90 mins, but did come across deer 3 miles in. Had a nice long lunch on south rim. 7.5 hours including lunch and several breaks for photos. Great day hike and not too strenuous. Enjoy!!!

hiking
3 months ago

This is the trail to do if you come to Big Bend. We did Emory Peak along the way. Started at 7 am, took 3 hours to Emory Peak. Trail gets rough near the peak, but it's there. 2 more hours to the Rim from there, then approximately 3 more hours back to the trailhead. Including stops and lunch, about 9 hours to complete the 15 miles.

As far as preparation, we did bring toilet paper as there are bathrooms along the trail. 25L of water between 5 people was way more than we needed. Probably 2.5-3L per person would have been right. Admittedly it was cool and cloudy when we hiked, so warmer weather should warrant more than that.

The views are all there, just come prepared and it'll be a great hike!

hiking
4 months ago

My wife and I went out via Pinnacles (more elevation change) and returned via Laguna Meadows and I would recommend it.

We hike slightly faster than average but are by no means 'speedy.' The whole loop took us 5 hours of hiking with an additional 0.5 hr lunch break at the Rim. (We did not go to Emory Peak or take the NE Rim).

Trail Difficulty: Moderate (mainly just long)
Exposure: Moderate, plenty of shaded areas.

It was an ~80F day, I had about 2 L of H20 which seemed reasonable. However, I had at least one already that morning before starting.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail. Strenuous, but manageable. Will definitely be back!

hiking
5 months ago

Long day way, but worth the effort for the stunning views. Do the full South Rim circuit (Southeast and Northeast Rim trails). Camping sites available along the South Rim. If there's one walk you do in Big Bend NP, do this one...
https://hikingtheworld.blog/2017/10/29/emory-peak-big-bend/

backpacking
5 months ago

Backpacked overnight, not terribly strenuous. Views were spectacular. Will definitely be back.

5 months ago

Must do. Took Pinnacles to Emory Peak, Boot Canyon down around SE Rim, around South Rim back up Laguna in one day. ~17 miles in ~10 hours. Made for a long day but was incredibly worth it.

5 months ago

Really tough hike for me, but well worth it! A picture can’t do justice to the views. Recommend staying in SE 4 campsite.

5 months ago

Loved every minute of it! I camped at SE1 and to say I was a happy camper is putting it lightly! The views were incredible. A saw enough people, but had plenty of alone time as well. It was perfect.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome views and very challenging! Loved every minute! My new favorite trail. Going down just a scenic.

trail running
6 months ago

Ran it in 2:20 excluding ~20 minutes of picture taking. Nice trail with a variety of scenery & terrain. Really loved the Boot Canyon. The view is a big payoff

hiking
6 months ago

A tough hike with outstanding views lots of snow on the mountains which was refreshing to see. Took almost 6 hours to do 12 miles, stopped for snacks and views of amazing landscape a couple of times. Would highly recommend comfortable boots that you have trust in. Loved the Hike and the park.

backpacking
6 months ago

Great views, campsites.

hiking
6 months ago

By far the best hike I’ve ever done. Rewarding, and challenging.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views, enjoyed every bit of it!

6 months ago

My GF and I did this in Mid-October. Great sunny and mild temperatures. We camped as well. Tbh, I had never been to Big Bend, and totally overshot my expectations- I had no idea there could be so much lush beautiful in Texas!

Camping sucked- not a big deal, it happens. I saw some baby bears, and decided to camp in the more populated camping areas, where there were some loud teenagers.

The hike itself was great. Not very trekked, so traffic was light. The switchbacks going up and down for 1.5miles each way is def a Quad killer. The views at the top are amazing and worth it! You’ll feel the reward. Bring a hammock and take it all in at the top when you get there!

That said- I felt every bit of the 12.5 miles the next day.
Would def do it again. Would def also get permits and camp that trail. It’s a beautiful hike. A lot of water options. A lot of wildlife too. This is a very desolate hike- meaning hard to get to if you were to need help or bailout, so prepare yourself accordingly.

Ps. I have more pictures and info on this and my other BackCountry hiking explorations on my IG- Colewurlddd

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike, but strenuous!

hiking
6 months ago

Added the North Rim Loop to this loop, great long day hike.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a solid hike. Went up Pinnacles and looped around clockwise. 5 hours hiking plus a 20 minute break at South Rim two days after snowfall. Pretty majestic views up the Pinnacles and, of course, at the rim. One of my top two hikes (so far).

hiking
7 months ago

Completed this trail on 11/20/2017. We parked at the amphitheater, hiked Pinnacles Trail to Boot Canyon then took the NE Rim Trail around to the SW-4 campsite. The campsite was amazing, about 100 feet or so to the rim with amazing east facing views. The next morning we hiked around the South Rim Trial with many stops along the way to check out the views. We continued around the Laguna Meadows Trail back to the Amphitheater. Total round trip was about 14 miles.

7 months ago

Tough strenuous but breathtaking

8 months ago

This is absolutely gorgeous trail and offers so many breathtaking views of the south side of the park. Surreal at sunrise and moon rise. WOW!!!!

backpacking
8 months ago

My brother and i hiked this on the 8th of November and spent the night on the southeast rim! Absolutely incredible view from near our campsite.

We hiked clockwise and did the entire rim, emory Peak, and had planned on going back up Laguna meadows but due to some other advice we ended up going back Colima to pinnacles. We got a lot of fog throughout in the beginning. It seemed to clear off by the afternoon. But it did cloud our view on emory Peak and most of the first half of the hike. One of the reasons we went back on pinnacles to get the full experience.

We packed 2 gallons of water a piece and it was a very good amount for hydration and the luxury of coffee while watching the sunset on the rim. We took 2 days. Started at 9 the first day and got to camp around 4. The second day we also started at 9 and got back to the basin around 2. We clocked 17.8 mi total the route we went.

Incredible hike with some difficult sections if you are carrying water and overnight gear but completely worth it!! I would absolutely recommend taking the extra mileage to travel the full rim trail!

hiking
8 months ago

we did this hike on Nov 4, 2017. we did the trail clockwise (via pinnacles trail) per recommendations and glad we did. I tracked the hike and it's about 12.7 mile loop. the hike wasn't too difficult. we started at 12:15pm and completed the hike at 6:20pm, with a few quick breaks and 10 min lunch. the view at the top made this hike worthwhile. glad I got to check this one off my big bend hiking list.

hiking
9 months ago

What a wonderful hike! I would consider this a must if you are in Big Bend. The park ranger said The Lost Mine Trail was the most popular, but I enjoyed this one more.

When you start the hike you have the option of going up Pinnacles (clockwise) or Laguna Meadow (counter). We went up Pinnacles, which I would recommend. Hiking up Laguna will put a lot of the views to your back. I also agree with some previous reviews that Laguna is the "boring" part, so if you just did an out and back up the Pinnacles, you wouldn't be missing too much.

The views are incredible from the top. Far exceeded my expectations. Could have spent all day looking out over the rim. The views make this the best hike in the park, IMO.

Also, saw my first bear! I've always been afraid of a bear encounter, because you only really hear the horror stories on the news. But this bear saw me before I saw him, and he hightailed it up the mountain before I could even blink. There has never been a bear attack in Big Bend, so even though these big creatures are super scary in person, as long as you don't agitate or threaten them, they really do want nothing to do with you.

We didn't see any mountain lions, but we did see a tarantula, which was cool. Not as scary in person, as these are pretty docile critters.

Lastly, this wasn't a busy hike- we only saw 6 other people the 11+ miles we were in the trail. It was pretty cool to have the trail to ourselves, especially at the top.

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