4 miles round trip | ½ day hike candidate: yes, easy
About: The Mule Ears are a landmark that can be seen on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. It’s hard to miss for the twin peaks resemble two mule ears sticking up in the desert. This is a fairly easy desert hike approaching the foothills of the Chisos. The end brings you to some old ranch ruins that used the spring as a water supply and, of course, the flowing spring. With all springs in Big Bend, great care and respect must be practiced here. This is a water source for this delicate eco system and needs to remain pure and untouched. The last time I was here, someone threw their orange peel into the spring. It may be biodegradable but so are milk cartons. It’s still litter.
Along the way you will pass through some slight elevation change, make your way in and out of arroyo’s while being surrounded by all sorts of desert plant life.
Pros: The spring is not too much more than a trickle, but I think it’s always cool to see running springs.
Cons: There’s no shade until you get to the spring, so protect yourself from the sun.
Tips: The trailhead is also at the Mule Ears look out point which can fill the parking lot up fairly quickly on the holidays. A lot of folks jump out for a pic and leave, so if there are no spaces, one should open up within minutes.