Spread across more than 800 thousand acres, there’s a lot to see in Big Bend. The park’s primary attraction is hiking and backpacking. In reality, hiking and backpacking are just fancy terms for walking, and we did a lot of it.
When you pass through the visitor center at the park entrance, the rangers provide a nice park guide that we referenced often. Included in the guide were a dozen of the most popular trails, each rated by length of time/distance, level of difficulty and a description of what you can expect to see.
I knew I wanted to hike to The Window, it’s one of those most storied views in the park. It’s a relatively short hike, 4.5 miles from the campgrounds in the Chisos Basin with an elevation change of 500 feet. The hike itself was excellent, great views and much of the trail was covered from direct sunlight.
Our little group of hikers took plenty of time to rest, relax and take in the scenery. We weren’t in a rush so our leisurely pace allowed us to really enjoy our surroundings. Listening to the birds, guessing rock types and wondering how much longer kept us entertained and our minds busy.
The Window itself is a large rock canyon that cuts through the Chisos Mountains rim. Formed by drainage from the Basin to the Chihuahuan Desert, the canyon offers a spectacular view of the vast desert beyond.
The rocks are quite slick at the edge of the pour off, a scary fact considering the 220 foot drop off into the desert below. Be careful!
A front seemed to roll in just as we reached The Window. Luckily we didn’t catch any rain.
I’d like to spend more time in Big Bend in the near future, hopefully I can make it back to the park before it really starts to heat up, it is a desert after all.
There’s so much more to explore.