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Chimneys Trail

  3.3 ( 6 ) Favorite


8.0 mile 12.9 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 68' 21 m
Descent: -878' -268 m
High: 3,180' 969 m
Low: 2,349' 716 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 8% (4°)


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Trail shared by Hunter R

Stunning geologic features punctuate an arid desert landscape along the Chimneys Trail.

Hunter R

Features Views

Family Friendly While this trail may prove too much for younger children, older kids could make the trek to the Chimneys and back without a problem. Just be sure to bring plenty of water.


Whether you take the route to its full extent or only travel as far as the chimney features, this is still an iconic desert route. The way out is mostly downhill, and this makes for an especially pleasant route if you have a shuttle vehicle parked at the end of the trail at Old Maverick Road.


Spray on some sunscreen, lace up your shoes and don a hat and sunglasses in preparation for a fantastic journey through arid, dusty deserts to a series of fantastic stone pinnacles along the Chimneys Trail.

Starting at the Chimneys Trail Parking Area, head west along the trail, descending gently on a smooth tread for approximately 2.5 miles before reaching the trail's grandest feature: the Chimneys.

Formed from magma injecting into cracks in overlying rock, and the erosion of said overlying rock, the Chimneys have held a special place in history since ancient times. In more recent times, this area was used as a popular place of congregation for Native Americans in the area, evidenced by the pictographs and other forms of Native American art found near the base of the monoliths.

After viewing the Chimneys, the most common approach is to return the way you came, back to the parking area. For the more seasoned hikers, however, continuing west along the trail provides visitors with a longer, yet enjoyable journey through an arid desert and sandy washes to the trail's end near a junction with Old Maverick Road. Those who chose to follow the trail to this length usually do so with a shuttle car placed at the trailhead off Old Maverick Road, so take that into consideration as you plan your trip.

Whether hiking the shorter distance to the Chimneys, or the longer one to Old Maverick Road, be sure to bring plenty of water with you, as Big Bend's arid climate coupled with improper hydration can spell trouble for even the most seasoned hiker. The National Park Service recommends at least 1 gallon of water per person per day in this area.

Flora & Fauna

Creosote bushes, as well as assorted cacti and other scrubby desert florae can be observed along the trail.

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Apr 25, 2019
Lisa Howe
Feb 26, 2019
Donna Kepf
Dec 28, 2018
Angela Seekins
Nov 6, 2018
David Scott
Apr 7, 2018
Ashley Dana
Jan 28, 2018
Jim Spofford
with Dave and Kim
Dec 25, 2017
Carrie Hopper
Not super exciting 5mi
Jul 28, 2017
Cole Perry

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 6 votes


  3.3 from 6 votes
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