The Window Trail

MODERATE 173 reviews
#3 of 68 trails in

The Window Trail is a 5.2 mile lightly 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 birding and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
5.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
948 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

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
23 days ago

Easy hike that starts at the chiso Basin. Starting at the campgrounds will save you 0.6 miles. The initial hike is enjoyable as you're hiking downhill. Near the last mile, you start hiking in the riverbed that leads to the window view. The view is awesome and the canyon walls provide nice shade and cool breeze. Be aware of the season you're going in and the time of day. As we were hiking out around 11 at the end of may, the beginning of the trail isn't shaded and temps got up already into the high 90s.

28 days ago

We started the trail from the Chisos Basin campground. I think it shaved off about .4 miles. The trail is basically downhill the whole way. You are exposed the first .5 miles and then you get more tree cover as you go. It is a gorgeous trail! The view from the window is spectacular. So worth it. We were feeling the heat as we were coming back around 3:00. I recommend leaving earlier or starting after 5pm.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike! The downhill decent provides lots of views and just keeps getting better as you go. The terrain gets a little harder as you get closer to the window but some magnificent views are to come. Watch your timing as the heat and the return hike with an uphill stretch at the end can be though in the heat of the day. The ice cream from the store was the perfect end to this trail.

1 month ago

Spectacular is an understatement. Unexpected dead end to the trail, mostly shaded, with lots of smooth rocks. While on this trail hiking junkie Mia Viccinelli once said “I wanna touch where no man has touched.” While on the hike I sold my sole to the Chisos Mountains and completed the last mile of the hike without the sole of my shoe. Worth it.

1 month ago

The end is slightly technical and the views are beautiful. The rest is a leisurely walk. It is downhill from the Chisos lodge area and then uphill on the way back. I prefer up-and-down trails, but overall a good hike. Some of my family struggled with the uphill portion at the end of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with a beautiful descent into the basin. First half is a decline and pretty easy, but the final climb into the window might be tough if you have balance or mobility issues. The way back is all incline so take lots of water and try to go early so you don't get trapped on the steep switchbacks in the midday sun.

hiking
2 months ago

The view is spectacular!

2 months ago

Window Trail can be moderate or difficult but that depends a lot on the time of day. Parts of the trail are shaded but others are exposed, especially at the beginning (and end) of the trail. We left at around 2pm from the Chisos Basin campground and returned around 5pm after a snack at the pour-off. After 3pm, it started to get very hot and that made the climb out of the canyon grueling. If I had to do it again, I’d try to make sure to get it done in the morning. I wouldn’t want to be on the slick rocks of the pour-off in the evening.

3 months ago

Wonderful trail not too hard. Good cross section of the Chisos Basin.

3 months ago

Great hike to the window. It is beautiful. But, definitely a tough uphill climb back. Our kids (ages 6 and 9) struggled to get to the end. Luckily there is ice cream in the general store at the top!

hiking
3 months ago

Started this hike from the Chisos Campground trailhead which made it about 3.6 miles and 500 feet of elevation change. This shortened route wasn't difficult, and we enjoyed the views leading up to the window. The Window at the end is incredible, but very windy. Careful climbing to the edge, as the rock is worn smooth and there is little traction. This trail is perfect if you're trying to do 3-4 short hikes in a day.

3 months ago

View is definitely worth the hike.

3 months ago

The views along this trail are spectacular. That being said, this is a longer hike than advertised. We walked for 1 ½ hours and did not reach the end. Our children ages 8, 10, 11 were exhausted and we had a mutiny on our hands. The entire hike back is uphill and will take well over an hour. Like I said, absolutely gorgeous, just know you are committing to 3 hours, the second half of which is entirely uphill.

trail running
3 months ago

25 minutes to get down the trail and 30 minutes to get back up. The end of this trail is incredible. Like a dry rock waterfall in a canyon at the end. Well worth the hike. BE Careful if you plan to trail run, there are mountain lions in the desert here. Recommend not running solo.

hiking
4 months ago

Gotta love a hike that starts with a descent and ends with you climbing back up! Portion your water appropriately - we saw a few people needing to ask others for refills on the way back. Little to no shade so if you ignite like a vampire when the sun touches you like me, pack lots of sunblock, or better yet, wear UV blocking clothing and a huge hat. Totally worth it for that view at the end. Lots of wasps during this time of year, for those of you that are bee-phobic.

4 months ago

Nice evening trail

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful view!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

A relatively easy walk that heads downhill from the Basin car park... most of the walk is fairly boring, Nice views of the mountains surrounding the Basin, but nothing spectacular. The reason to do this walk is the narrow canyon at the end and the Window, a narrow slit carved out of the mountains. A good spot for sunset.
https://hikingtheworld.blog/2017/10/29/the-window/

hiking
5 months ago

Down hill the whole way out, but was pretty gradual on the way up. I completed this no problem 3 months post pregnancy.

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

Beautuful trail hard but it’s worth it

hiking
5 months ago

Easy trek down to the window with the last quarter mile requiring some thought to pick your line. The view is spectacular but be careful as the rocks near the window ledge are slippery. The hike back up is deceiving and can be tiring for younger kids. My 6&7 year olds needed a bit of extra encouragement to finish. The view is worth the extra effort.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike to do with the family. Lots of traffic that slowed down the pace of the hike but otherwise gorgeous views.

hiking
5 months ago

A great hike with an amazing view at the end. Don’t be fooled by the distance or the rating. It can be a rough hike if you are a couch potato. Took my wife and I (with son on my back in a pack) roughly 2.5 hrs for there and back. Defiantly hike again! You must make it to the end for the view!

5 months ago

Great views the whole way down! The view from the window at the end is amazing even if you don’t crawl right up to the edge.

Sections toward the end involve having good balance and walking on limbs and rocks to get across water, and I watched many people get literal cold feet in the process. Very doable, but there is no way around having to rock hop.

Lots of evidence of bear along the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Very nice trail. Lots of great views.

6 months ago

Beautiful hike and great for the whole family! Our 5 year old did the full 3.6 mile out and back from the campground trailhead without a single complaint. The full trail starts near the Chisos Mountain visitors center, but we took the shorter route that begins in the campground (near two picnic tables). It’s all downhill to the Window, so be prepared for it to be all uphill on the way back, but only the beginning 1/4 mile is anything you might consider steep (no more difficult than walking down stairs). The ending near the Window is definitely the best part, with stone stairs cut into the smooth rock walls and little pools of water. Definitely a must-do trail in Big Bend and the weather was amazing in December!

hiking
6 months ago

A " must do" trail for anyone visiting Big Bend for the first time. During bad weather the road to the Chisos Basin will close so keep that in mind. For the first time ever I saw no wildlife on the trail (not even a javelina) I guess it was just too cold.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome trail. Loved the entire trail and the little creek we passed over and rock stairs were sweet.

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