One of the more popular and iconic hikes in Big Bend National Park is The Windows Trail. The Chisos Basin in the center of Big Bend is a secluded valley surrounded by the Chisos Mountains, with a small “window” in the mountains to see out into the surrounding area. The Windows Trail is the trail that leads to this notch. At 3.6 miles round trip, it is a fairly easy trail to navigate with some fun scrambles near the end through and around a stream.
It was foggy as we started the hike and I couldn’t even see the Windows which normally is visible from everywhere in the Chisos Basin. We parked near the campground and strolled through the campground to the trailhead. The trail was pretty much all downhill, but not a very steep grade. Of course that meant the return would be the opposite. The trail winded through some small stands of trees and other flora.
As the fog began to lift, I was able to start seeing the mountains around us and my first glimpse of “The Window”.
While the hike to this point had been fun, there hadn’t been to much that was notable other than the loads of fog. As we neared the Window, we caught up to a creek that the trail followed allowing us the opportunity to climb, jump and scramble with the risk of getting a little wet if we slipped in. This part was my favorite part of this hike.
The trail finally narrowed to just a gash with what seemed to be a huge immediate drop on the other end with the stream rushing through the gap. Other hikers went as close as they dared seeking the perfect instagram picture, risking what would be a certain and thrilling death with one slip down and out of the Chisos Mountains. I perched as close as I felt safe and got my picture and then we headed back the way we came.
The Windows Trail is a must do when visiting Big Bend National Park. You can knock it out fairly quickly and you get a much better feel for what the Chisos Basin is like from hiking this trail. Thanks for reading. rk