Cinco Tinaja Trail

Variable miles, minimal ~1 mile round trip


Of all the trails I have been on in The Big Bend, this one left me a bit confused and damn near divorced from my lovely and beautiful hiking partner.

I will reference this image to the left as I explain our path. 

See the section that leads from the parking to the “.43” miles? I never really saw this trail, especially on the return trip. I think it’s just following the wash that leads to the tinajas.

We followed the “.25” portion of the trail pictured here and then continued down a bit to the “.26” portion of the trail until we came across a wash downstream from the tinajas.

Here we followed the wash up, making our own trail (see green highlight in photo above), to a canyon entrance below the overlook. This dramatic view was impressive. You can’t hike up to the overlook from here, you have to follow the trail back, which we did. It also seemed risky to hike up into the canyon due to the slick-rock and pool of water below.

We then backtracked and took the “.21 spur, which is well defined by a line of rocks leading to the overlook (see pic to the left), to the overlook.

We made it down to where you see “.43” printed on the map where you can explore the cinco tinajas. There is no point where you say, “Oh! There’s all 5 of the tinajas!” Nothing is really marked here, you just have to explore the area. See the yellow highlight area where I ventured off a bit and found a small canyon that also leads to the main wash.

After exploring, we couldn’t find a marked trail to follow the “.43” segment back to the parking lot so we backtracked to the overlook. What we should have done is followed the wash back to the parking lot. You can clearly see the wash on the map. Our path is marked by the red below.

Pros: Interesting geological formations sculpted by erosion creates a masterpiece by nature for our viewing pleasure.

Cons: A lot of the trail is more primitive than you would think. Be prepared. Also see Cons on the Fresno West Rim Overlook Trail.

Tips: Download All Trails and use it. Download the trail layers before you get to Big Bend Ranch, you won’t have cell service. I have a pro account and didn’t download the trails thinking I wouldn’t need it.

I wish I allocated more time to explore this small system. There seems to be a lot of point of intrigue I messed especially by not following the wash back to the parking. I’ll be back.

The state park offers great maps online.


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½