I started the hike between 7:30 and 8:00 am on a cool morning (about 38 – 40 degrees) during the third week of December, 2009. It was a little chilly at first, but I quickly warmed up. I’ve hiked in Big Bend National Park many times before, but as this was my first solo trip, the sign at the trailhead warning of an aggressive mountain lion in the area wasn’t exactly comforting. Even in December, the Chisos Mountains are beautiful and I made reasonable progress in spite of frequent stops to take photographs. I was fortunate enough to see several deer on the trial shortly before I stopped for a long lunch. I rested and ate at the South Rim and thoroughly enjoyed the view. The trip back out to the Pinnacles, like the trip in via Laguna Meadows, was very enjoyable. By mid-afternoon, the temperature was about 70-72 degrees and felt even warmer. I don’t think I met more than 4 or 5 other hikers during the trip and I really didn’t mind the solitude at all. The last couple of miles is mostly rocky and a fairly steep decent, so my 54 year-old body definitely felt the result of that pounding the following morning. I shot almost as many photos on the return trip as I did coming out, so I didn’t get back until after 4:00 pm, but considering the view, I really didn’t care. It was a great hike and I never even caught sight of the mountain lion the sign warned of. I strongly recommend the South Rim trail.