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Hike to the Chimney
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
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 southeast direction toward the Gulf of Mexico, but before getting there, it turns 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 that will continue into the US through Guadalupe National Park and 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. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, it has a lot to offer in hiking, camping, and general sightseeing.
The Chimney Trail is a 7-mile trail that spans from the Ross Maxwell Scenic Road to Maverick Road to the west. This Guide will cover the 2.5-mile trail from the Ross Maxwell Road to the rock Formation called the Chimney. The trailhead is signed at the parking area along Ross Maxwell road. The trail heads west across the desert to a rock outcrop that is visible at the trailhead. The Chimney is an interesting rock outcrop that has been used by earlier inhabitants of the land and is evident by the petroglyphs left by them. There is a trail that makes a loop along these rock outcrops that is worth taking. This is an easy walking trail with a fun destination, fun for children and adults who still think they're kids.
The Chimney trail starts along the Ross Maxwell Scenic Road at a signed trailhead with parking for about a half dozen cars. This trail is well defined and easy walking as it makes its way across the desert to the Chimney. To the south is Kit Mountain and will be visible the whole time. The Mule Ears are visible to the southeast along the beginning of this trail but will eventually become obscured by Kit Mountain. Nothing is exciting about the 2.5-mile hike to the Chimney; what can you say about creosote, mesquite, and ocotillo, 2.5 miles of them. Once at the rocky outcrop, there will be a rock formation to the south of the trail. This rock formation, I believe is the Chimney, shows evidence that earlier inhabitants lived here. There are grind holes and also at least one petroglyph in this area. As you enter these rock formations, to the north of the trail is a ridge of rock that is worth exploring. You will immediately notice an arch on the southern end of this ridge of rock. There is a trail all along the circumference of this rock outcrop. The Chimney Trail continues west to Maverick road, but it looks like 5 more miles of the same Creosote, mesquite Ocotillo, so we didn’t bother taking it. This is probably a good trail to do with a shuttle, so you don’t have to walk 14 miles through Creosote, mesquite, and ocotillo. This trail would best be done in late fall to early spring since it can get quite hot out in the desert.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
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.