This trail begins from the Basin Campground near site #52. This trail is unique in Big Bend in that it descends 800 feet from the trailhead for two miles. Hikers then must gradually ascend on the way back.The first mile is through open scrub vegetation with fantastic views of surrounding Chisos peaks. The last mile enters a cool shady canyon with oaks, wildflowers, and a sometimes a trickle of water. At the end of the trail is the "window"...the pour-off that drains the entire Chisos Basin. It is a narrow slot in the canyon wall at the top of a 100 foot dropoff. This trail is a good one for viewing wildlife. Hikers frequently see javelina, gray fox, and sometimes even black bears. For an extra treat, take the Oak Spring Trail which veers off near the end of the Window Trail. Take this side trail for 1/4 mile to a point above the actual window. The panoramic view from this high vantage point is spectacular.
Please Note: The dry desert air quickly uses up the body's water reserves. We recommend that you carry a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day in the summer, slightly less in the winter. For half-day hikes, carry at least 2 quarts per person.
Springs and tinajas (depressions in rock where water collects) are unreliable and may be unsafe to drink. Springs are rare in the desert and wildlife depend on them. Please carry enough water to supply your own needs
Due to the complex topography and vague trails, detailed 7.5 minute topographic maps and a compass are necessary for most hikes.
On a final note, the weather in Big Bend, hot or cold, injures and kills more hikers than any other factor. Come well prepared because weather changes can be dramatic and unexpected.
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
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Big Bend National Park, Texas
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