South Rim Trail - Big Bend, TX • Hike

South Rim Trail - Big Bend, TX

Guide 1 Triplog Mine 0 0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,018 feet
Elevation Gain 320 feet
Accumulated Gain 406 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.45
 Backpack Yes
 Dogs not allowed
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27  2019-05-11
Emory Peak and Rim Loop
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 856
Photos 10,186
Trips 692 map ( 5,853 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Associated Areas
list map done
Big Bend Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, May, Sep, Oct
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:50am - 7:08pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
Culture  Nearby
Views second only to Emory Peak
by markthurman53


The Rio Grande River comes down out of Colorado heads south through New Mexico and passes through El Paso Texas where it now becomes the border between the United States and Mexico. The river flows 1254 miles in a South East direction toward the Gulf of Mexico but before getting there it makes a turn to the North East, creating a momentary bend in the river, This Is Big Bend National Park. The mountains in this park are a continuation of a mountain range in Mexico which will continue up into the US through Guadalupe National Park and into New Mexico. The highest Point in this park is Emory Peak at 7800 feet. This park is probably one of the remotest parks in the contiguous United States but despite being in the middle of nowhere has a lot to offer in hiking, camping and general sightseeing.SOUTH RIM TRAIL

To the south of Emory Peak is a relatively flat area with an elevation of about 7000 feet surrounded by high cliffs on the east, south and west sides. The South and East Rim Trails follow along this rim. The Park Labels them as the South and East Rim Trails but I have seen them called the West, Northeast and Southeast Rim Trails also. Access to this Trail is not direct and must be done in combination of other trails, Laguna Meadow, Blue Creek or Pinnacles Trail. These are fairly level trails changing only a couple hundred feet over their course. This area is through mainly Juniper and Oak forests. Views along the rim are spectacular and in slightly different directions depending on which rim you are on. The rim trails make for a good extended loop hike from Chisos Basin, either a day hike (for the veteran hikers) or an overnight if not wanting to do the 17 miles in one day. Be prepared to bring all water you will require because water in the Chisos Mountains is not always available

The eastern-most portion of the East Rim Trail is closed Feb 1 - May 31 for peregrine falcon nesting. Contact Big Bend National Park at (432) 477-2251 with any questions regarding the closure.

The South Rim Trail has its end points at the junction with the Laguna Meadows and Colima Trails in the north and the Boot Canyon and East Rim Trails in the south. From the Laguna Meadows junction the South Rim Trail continues to climb 250 feet to the high point along the west rim. During the first half mile most of this elevation is gained as you ascend the west facing rim. There are great views of this rim from this portion of the trail. Because a little over half this trail follows above the west rim this trail has been called the west Rim Trail by some but the trail doesn’t really get up close to the rim until it is along the South Rim section. The trail along the west rim is fairly level losing then gaining 100 feet of elevation over a 1 mile stretch. There are not a lot of views from this section of trail because you are back from the rim and in a pinion pine forest. At the end of this mile stretch the trail drops almost 300 feet and you are now on the south facing rim. Before you descend take a side trip to the west to an overlook. This little diversion is about 0.2 miles off the South Rim Trail along a side trail to an overlook; the views from this point are worth the trip. This point is also the area where the south facing rim heads north to become the west facing rim. Once back on the trail descend the 300 feet, the trail remains close to the rim for the next half mile to its terminus at the Boot Canyon and East Rim Trails.

The views along this trail are excellent especially to the south into Mexico. The trails are well maintained and signed. There are campsites along the South Rim Trail and one restroom, bear boxes are also available.

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2020-03-14 markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

     Permit $$

    Big Bend National Park
    Big Bend Fees and Registration

    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From the West
    Along Interstate 20 at Van Horn, exit south on hwy 90 to Alpine, Texas. Take 118 south to Big Bend National Park entrance. Follow park road to Visitor Center in Chisos Basin.
    From the East
    Along Interstate 20 at Fort Stockton take 385 south to Marathon, Texas. Continue south to Big Bend National Park entrance. Follow park road to Visitor Center in Chisos Basin.
    page created by markthurman53 on Mar 14 2020 8:48 am

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