Big Bend National Park is Texas’ most popular national park. Located in West Texas, this desert and mountainous environment is home to a number of great hiking trails. No matter if you’re looking for an easy stroll or a strenuous trek, there is a hike in the park for you. Explore this beautiful place by foot on one of these 7 best hikes in Big Bend National Park.
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Lost Mine Trail (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re looking for a nice day hike that will challenge you at some points, then the Lost Mine Trail is the hike for you. A popular hike in the park, the Lost Mine Trail is a 4.6-mile out-and-back hike up a mountain of 1,000-feet in elevation gain. This moderate hike is accessed via Basin Road. Do expect to hike uphill but you will be pleased to find, after just a mile, great views of the Chisos Mountains. Since the Lost Mine Trail can be crowded during the day, beat the heat and the crowds by hitting up this trail in the morning.
Santa Elena Canyon Trail (Nearby Hotels)
Get your camera ready when you hike this iconic trail in Big Bend National Park. Santa Elena Canyon, a canyon that was carved by the mighty Rio Grande, offers a hike with incredible canyon views. This short yet moderate hike is perfect for beginners and children, since its only 1.7 miles round trip.
Window View Trail (Nearby Hotels)
Start out at the Chisos Basin Trailhead for this 5.6-mile round trip hike known as the Window Trail. Now if you’re simply looking for a short stroll from this same trailhead, the Window View Trail, which is less than half of a mile, is a paved, wheelchair accessible jaunt giving way views of the “window.” However the Window Trail, a moderate hike, is truly the hike that deserves to be on this list. The hike descends into Oak Creek Canyon, where you’ll be granted a view through the “window,” which offers a beautiful desert view.
South Rim Trail (Nearby Hotels)
The hike to the South Rim is popular among backpackers and experienced hikers. Since this hike gains 2,000 feet in elevation and spans more than 13 miles, the South Rim is not recommended for beginners. Access this hike through the Chisos Mountain Basin, and expect to spend a full day doing this incredible trek. Once you reach the 2,000-foot cliff ledges, the expansive view is well worth this lengthy and challenging expedition.
Boquillas Canyon (Nearby Hotels)
Although not as popular of a canyon hike as Santa Elena Canyon, Boquillas Canyon offers a beautiful and short hike, granting you views of Mexico and the Rio Grande. At 1.5 miles, a hike through Boquillas Canyon starts out with a small uphill but will quickly descent to the river, a perfect place to cool off. Don’t forget the camera, as Boquillas Canyon has huge canyon walls that are worth photographing.
Mule Ears Spring Trail (Nearby Hotels)
This out-and-back hike accessed through the Mule Ears Overlook parking area on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive offers a scenic view of the foothills. Mules Ears Spring Trail is incredible during the spring months when wildflowers are in bloom. This easy-to-moderate hiking trail crosses a number of dry creek beds and passes around Trap Mountain.
Ernst Tinaja (Nearby Hotels)
Last on this list is the hike known as Ernst Tinaja. This short, one-mile trail is located on the park’s eastern end. This trail itself is found via Ore Road, which is accessed only by a four-wheel drive vehicle. Perfect for rock enthusiasts and self-proclaimed geologists, the Ernst Tinaja hike boasts incredible views of uplifted rock layers and slabs of rockbed as you hike through this eroded canyon.