The Window Trail

Planning a visit to Big Bend? Check out this guide to a day (or two) in the park.

Download a scan of the Window Trail Map Guide


5.6 miles round trip | ½ day hike candidate: Yes, see tips on speeding it up

This hike will always be near and dear to my heart. Long story short, my wife took me to Big Bend when we were still fairly new in our relationship and this was our first hike there. It was really my first real hike ever. What I thought I couldn’t do, I was able to easily do and fell in love with the land. This was my gateway drug.  The hike offers amazing views around the basin and the terrain changes throughout the hike. It’s beautiful from start to finish. And the pay-off, at the end, astonishing. This is probably the perfect hike; length, beauty, payoff.


Big Bend National Park Window Trail with turkey vulture

Pros: Views, changes in terrain, desert to forest to rocks. The picturesque ending. This is a must.

Cons: Can get crowded during the holidays, may have to wait your turn for photos in the window. Return is uphill.

Tips: Park in the campgrounds. Don’t start at Chisos Basin parking, you can knock off over a mile of grueling stairs that really suck on the way back! Start in the Chisos Basin Campground parking by the restroom, Loop 3 trailhead. Parking limited, get there early.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️