The Window Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Terlingua, Texas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 948 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

no dogs

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.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
22 hours ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
2 days ago

Beautiful trail!! You walk along the mtn side then into it, with a spectacular view at the end! Go early in the day to avoid the sun.

hiking
1 month ago

I thought trail was OK. The hike out to the window was cool the rock was very very slick Albeit dry. But I did have it pretty much all to myself which was nice. Don’t forget you have to hike back up since the trail is pretty much entirely the descending to the window

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing view! Highly recommend going for sunset. Loved the slot canyon

hiking
2 months ago

This trail really showcases the unique micro-environment of the Chisos Basin. As you descend, you walk through thick groves of trees until arriving in a canyon on the approach to the window pour-off. The path to the pour off winds it’s way through a very narrow section of canyon with man made steps to assist. It can be very slick in places. I highly recommend doing this trail in off peak months or hours. The last section of trail does not accommodate large crowds as it is single file only in some spots with very few places to step out of the way of other hikers. The “landing” at the pour off itself is also very small. The proximity of the trailhead to the “tourist capitol” Chisos basin means that many very large groups (i.e. church youth groups) hike this trail, often with a very high impact simply as a result of the group size (we saw a group of at least 20 essentially bulldozing people off the trail). They often have no understanding of hiker etiquette and can definitely interfere with the experience for many people by being loud, not yielding on the trail, clogging up photo ops for extended periods, etc. Like most of Big Bend, this trail simply isn’t able to nicely accommodate massive hordes of people and giant groups. This is still must-do trail for a Big Bend trip, though!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful! The trail is easier to really appreciate on the way back than the way out. Heading out, you start off high and descend throughout most of the hike, which means the hard part of going back up is on the way back. The best view is at the actual window, so make it to the end. It's worth it! We left from the "18" spot and it was exactly 5 miles from camp to the window and back to camp. We also saw wild goats!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome view at the window. Water flowing slowly. Parking at campground saves many uphill steps on return hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous!! If you can catch it at sunset you will not be disappointed.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views! Rocks were slick in a few places, but overall it was a great trail! A few others told us they saw a few bears on the trail, but we didn’t spot any during our time.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful and easy trail. Saw several mountain goats and a non aggressive bear. I recommend hiking about half a mile up the oak springs trail at the end of the window trail for amazing views, especially if you don’t have time for the South Rim or Emory Peak trail

hiking
3 months ago

We are in our 50’s and did great until the last 1/2 mile to base camp. Suggestion—-drive down to the campground and start from there. That takes away that last brutal .6mile and you won’t miss a thing!! The Window was amazing and we had a nice picnic. We left around 10am—perfect weather. It started getting warm on the way back up.

3 months ago

Downhill to the Window. Beautiful view at the end.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great trail! It’s a long one but the view is SO worth it!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Not too bad, some slippery areas down by the window at the end

hiking
3 months ago

Easy and fun trail with superb view at the end!

hiking
3 months ago

Great views at the end. Highlight of the Chisos Mountain area.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful view at the end of the trail. Massive waterfall on the other side so don't get too close! If you're starting from the campground you'll have a good head start. The last .5miles back to the base camp is not fun.

hiking
4 months ago

a great hike, the end view is definitely worth the effort!

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice trail with an ending that is well worth seeing. Hike back is about an 800 ft ascent so gets your blood moving. There was a small black bear on the trail to make things even more interesting. There were more users on the trail on the way back so it gets crowded; suggest you go early to beat the crowds and the heat.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike with interesting things to see along the way. Did not see any bears around noon to 2. Going back up is a killer if you don't like a lot of stair type steps up at the last quarter of a mile.

hiking
4 months ago

My husband and I hiked this trail this afternoon; what a treat. The view at the end is spectacular. As others have said, the trail is downhill until you reach The Window; uphill all the way back. On the way back up we spotted a mama bear and 3 cubs. She and her cubs just sat and watched us and after about 10 minutes wandered off. It took us 4 hours but I take a lot of photos. I am also a little out of shape so probably slower than some.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike. Saw some huge cacti and plants. Saw wildlife, including a black bear minding his business off to the side.

hiking
4 months ago

Loved this hike. Go to the end for pretty little waterfall and the window view of the desert. We also hiked about a 1/4 mile up the springs trail for expansive views

4 months ago

Incredible hike, down from the Chisos Mountain Lodge area. Change in scenery and topagraphy are fantastic, make sure you hike all the way to the bottom!

hiking
4 months ago

Good introduction hike to Big Bend. My husband and I hiked the Lost Mine Trail in the morning and then did this one in the afternoon. The first section of the trail you descend into the basin and then move towards the towering rock formations that form the window. Keep in mind for about the first mile there is very little shade so bring sunscreen and a hat and a good amount of water. Once you descend the trail is pretty flat until you reach the last quarter mile. There is some scrambling (very little) over some rocks through the river bed but the trail is still well defined. This is also a pretty well traversed trail meaning that there are quite a few people who hike this trail. The views at the end are spectacular so make sure to go all the way!

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