Big Bend - The Window

5.50 Miles
1000 Feet
4stars (4.23)24
2point5stars (2.98)
2point5stars (2.90)
More Info

Getting there: The easiest starting point is just a stone's throw from the Chisos Mountain Lodge parking lot. Near the start you'll find a large wooden sign with arrows pointing in various directions towards the trails that start near that point.

The Hike: The Window Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Big Bend. It starts near the Chisos Mountain Lodge and descends to a narrow opening in the rim of rock that creates the Chisos Basin. It is the sole exit point for water runoff out of the basin, so obviously you would not want to be near the Window at times of heavy rain.

This trail is mostly uphill on the way back, so pace yourself since the going will be harder on the second half of the hike.

View out the WIndow
View through the Window at end of Window Trail (Photo by oliverd)
The Window
Wife and daughter enjoying a leisurely stroll to "The Window" (Photo by CraigS)
The Window
great views and well worth the effort, even if it is all uphill on the way back. (Photo by CraigS)
The Window
great elevation changes, makes for fun and difficulty. I suggest not going in mid summer as we did. (Photo by CraigS)
The Window
Such beauty (Photo by CraigS)
Another View Of The Trail
The trail is easy to follow and takes you back into a recessed canyon where The Window is located. (Photo by Blaze)
Another View Of The Trail
As you enter the recessed canyon, follow the steps that have been cut-out. (Photo by Blaze)
Erosion has exposed all of the individual layers in this sedimentary rock, creating a very interesting pattern and texture. (Photo by Blaze)
View Of The Trail
This part of the trail has steps to make your trek easier. (Photo by Blaze)
The Window
The Window provides a beautiful view, but be careful as the rock is smooth and slippery. (Photo by Blaze)
This is the sign at the trailhead. (Photo by Blaze)
Trail View
A view along the trail leading to the Window. (Photo courtesy of Chris Henderson) (Photo by )

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Log Entries
Beautiful view!
By pats512 on 3/31/2018
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 4.20 Miles Duration: N/A

The trail is easier on the way in than on the way out! There's plenty of flat trail in shade and for the most part the incline/decline is gradual. There are a few stretches with steep rock stairs and a few fun rock piles to climb over. The ascent out of the canyon is intense for the weaker hiker since the descent in is misleadingly easy.

The Window @ Big Bend
By CraigS on 7/1/2015
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A

This was one of our first, and a tough lesson. it was 106 deg and up hill on the way back...lessons learned.

By jimmy peace on 5/20/2015
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 5.50 Miles Duration: N/A
By mtuncap1955 on 3/23/2015
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 6.00 Miles Duration: N/A

This trail is mostly uphill on the way back, so pace yourself since the going will be harder on the second half of the hike.

Okay hike
By texaskdog on 9/10/2013
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 3point5stars
Distance: 4.40 Miles Duration: N/A

There was no water in the creek so no falls to see (we were told Cattail falls is beautiful when running).  We drove to the campground & hiked from there as the mileage is less and apparently you don't miss much.  We took a right at the fork up Oak Springs and there is a rocky (safe) ledge but beautiful view from the top, as long as you don't start the steep hike back down.  We saw some deer on this trail.

By DNC on 8/30/2010
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3point5stars Solitude: 2point5stars
Distance: 4.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
By bsisk on 3/22/2009
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 4stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A

The hike "down" to the window is not bad at all.  The view from the window is absolutely beautiful.  The hike back up the trail can be difficult as you are going up the entire way of the trail.  Make sure that you take plenty of water - I always fill up my camel pak when I go.  There a lots of rock formations in the Chisos Mountains and the trees/plants are usually nice and green because of the elevation.

By rowdy on 3/22/2008
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes
The Window View Is Incredible!
By Blaze on 3/8/2008
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 4.40 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

First, the reason why the mileage on my hike is only 4.40 miles whereas other people have logged 5.50 miles is because I caught the trail from the campground area whereas they caught the trail from the Basin Store area.

This hike is downhill for the first half and then uphill on the way back.  The trail takes you through a scenic canyon and culminates in a water pouroff known as The Window.  The view is absolutely spectacular.  If you walk out to the edge of the window, be careful as the rock is smooth and slippery.

About a 1/4 mile from The Window, you can take the Oak Springs Trail which leads up and over a steep mountain.  The signs says it is 2.0 miles, but it seems longer, perhaps because the trail is so arduous.  If you decide to take this Oak Springs Trail, be sure you're in good shape and have good balance.  The trail is steep and there are narrow areas where a slip could result in a fatal fall.

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