Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Ernst Tinaja [Suggest Edits]

15 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

This frequently-visited site sits at the entrance of a limestone canyon that is well-known for three particular features. The first is the bright, curving orange striations in the rocks. Next, are the giant oyster fossils that are found in the rock layers, followed by the tinaja itself.

The Ernst Tinaja is a 13-foot, naturally-formed rock pool which is also referred to as a "kettle". Tinajas are pools or pockets that are formed in the bedrock. This is caused by being at the base of waterfalls or by the recurring erosion from ephemeral desert streams or arroyos that carry sediment which, over time, can carve out deep shapes in the rock. The Ernst Tinaja often has a concentrated, green water in it that can be toxic if consumed. Occasionally, animals fall into these holes and are unable to get out due to the sheerness of the walls.

Past the Ernst Tinaja, that are many opportunities for bouldering up in the canyon. The sandy conditions on the rock surfaces can be slick, so be careful with your footing as you explore.

Visitors should be very aware of any chance of rain in this area. This canyon is prone to flash floods and can be extremely dangerous if there is any sort of precipitation.

Short Hike: On the park's east side, head north from the paved road on Old Ore Road for 4.5 miles. This road is suggested for high-clearance vehicles only. Look for signs for the short, 0.2-mile access road that leads to the Ernst Tinaja Primitive Roadside Campsite. Continue past the campsite for the parking area for the trailhead to Ernst Tinaja. It is about a half mile to the tinaja, for around a one mile hike in total.

Family Friendly: A short hike through an exciting canyon to a naturally-carved, rock pool. Be careful on the slick rock surfaces especially when near the tinaja.

Gem Type: Geologic Feature

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert

0 Comments

You & This Gem


Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Share This Gem

Check In

Check-Ins

Apr 26, 2019
Jennifer Cooper
Apr 14, 2019
Maria R
Well worth the 30-45 minute dirt road drive to this gem! Must have a 4WD vehicle with higher clearance! The hike in is short once the road ends. Go…
Mar 5, 2019
Tom Herr
My favorite hike in Big Bend. The whole walk is up a wash. Unique rock formations.
Nov 20, 2018
Ben C
Oct 31, 2018
Patti B
Very very pretty. Glad a got to see it with Grant. Off ore road 4x4. Canyon walls and watering hole amazingly beautiful
May 26, 2018
Paloma Fernandez
May 18, 2018
Ray Maldonado
Apr 20, 2018
Wes Wilson
Cool to see a part of the park so different from Chisos Basin. However Ernst Tinaja was a little underwhelming.

Nearby Trails

1.0 mi 1.6 km Grapevine Hills Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
1.0 mi 1.6 km Big Bend National Park, TX
All Clear
Update
Dry
42 days ago
24 
1.3 mi 2.1 km Boquillas Canyon Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
1.3 mi 2.1 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
30 
13.2 mi 21.2 km Marufo Vega Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
13.2 mi 21.2 km Big Bend National Park, TX
All Clear
Update
Dry: Best to south fork first to canyon & take the easier way out of the canyon.
71 days ago
11 
0.7 mi 1.1 km Ernst Tinaja
Big Bend National Park, TX
0.7 mi 1.1 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
1.4 mi 2.2 km Lower Straw House Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
1.4 mi 2.2 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
2.5 mi 4.1 km Hot Springs Canyon Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
2.5 mi 4.1 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
15 
2.0 mi 3.3 km Pine Canyon Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
2.0 mi 3.3 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
9.7 mi 15.7 km Elephant Tusk Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
9.7 mi 15.7 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
0.5 mi 0.8 km Rio Grande Village Nature Loop
Big Bend National Park, TX
0.5 mi 0.8 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
0.4 mi 0.7 km Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail
Big Bend National Park, TX
0.4 mi 0.7 km Big Bend National Park, TX
Unknown
Update
Shared by Zander Göpfert on Jul 21, 2016. All Page Views: 2,240. Last Month: 40.