4.8 miles round trip | ½ day hike candidate: Possibly, the way up can be taxing
About: I visited Big Bend many times before I had the chance to do this amazing hike. If you could only do two hikes in Big Bend, I would say Lost Mine and Upper Burro Mesa just to see the two stark contrasts of the park. Lost Mine offers an alpine hike with breathtaking vistas compared to the Burro Mesa’s desert canyons. There are inspiring lookouts along the way, but once you reach the end of the trail, it will take your breath away. You really feel like you are in the mountains on this one. This is also where I saw my first family of black bears. Don’t worry, they stay far from you, but always proceed with caution. We saw them from the valley below.
Pros: Amazing vistas along the way. The pay-off view is amazing.
Cons: Crowded. Period. One of the most popular hikes meaning almost everyone attempts this. You’ll come across the most inexperienced folks that don’t yet respect the rules of the park (stay quiet, yield, respect). You get loud suburban mom’s yelling up to their kids about their PB&J lunch. It’s not the easiest trail. As you get near the end there are lots of switchbacks. On the upside, the crowd does lean out the farther you go. I guess a large majority that start don’t go to the end.
Tips: This trailhead fills up quick. LISTEN! If you plan to park at the trailhead, get there early! There is limited parking and there are no parking alternatives close by. Not kidding – this lot fills up fast.