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.