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Hiking the Window Trail at Big Bend: Gasps of Amazement vs. Exertion Level Equals ‘Winning’

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Consistently warm enough to explore the great Texas outdoors, taking the trek toward Big Bend National Park to hike the Window Trail is a great way to get some exercise as well as admire several stunning views along the way. This popular trail is a relatively short (approximately 5.6 miles in and back, depending on your trail access point) and low-exertion ramble. The time it takes you to finish will actually depend more on how many times you pause to say “oh!” or “wow!” while you’re admiring the scenery of the park, and wondering how it is that creation found a way to put such beauty in your path.

Hiking the Window Trail at Big Bend: Gasps of Amazement Vs. Exertion Level Equals ‘Winning’

Photo: Facebook/Day Trippin’ Texas

The gasps in amazement versus the exertion level required to complete this hike are truly immeasurable. It’s like winning the exercise lottery! Spectacular mountain formations, a jaw-dropping vista that only the Window ledge can offer, and animals that are native to the area randomly dodging in and out of your line of sight; it’s like something out of a National Geographic guidebook. Hawks, javelinas, and deer often dot the trail and its surroundings, and although the hike is relatively downhill (on the way in) on dry and rocky terrain, there are a few times when water has managed to perforate the land enough to produce some rather hardy local flora.

Hiking the Window Trail at Big Bend: Gasps of Amazement Vs. Exertion Level Equals ‘Winning’
Photo: Facebook/Visit Big Bend

Most often used between March and October, the Window Trail at Big Bend is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding. Descending through Oak Creek Canyon to the Window pour-off, during wetter periods precaution is strongly recommended over the course of the route (which will cross Oak Creek several times), as well as at the top of the Window pour-off, where there are no railings and the rocks can be deceivingly slippery. Remembering that your hike back will be majority uphill, the initial hike descends 800 feet through rolling hills and vertical rock walls. The resulting payoff, however, is the remarkable view of the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. A short pack-list in order to pull this off effectively should include sunscreen, water, and an extra pair of dry socks, your hiking shoes (of course), and most definitely a camera. Enjoy the view!

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