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Ernst Tinaja

Intermediate
 4.6 (13) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A short trail leading to a beautiful pool and limestone rock formations.


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Map Key

1.3

Miles

2.0

KM

Out and Back

2,291' 698 m

High

2,177' 664 m

Low

114' 35 m

Up

114' 35 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

6%

Max Grade (3°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Family Friendly This route is a short outing that leads to a beautiful tinaja surrounded by limestone rock, which makes for the perfect hands on lesson about Big Bend's natural ecosystem.

It is a several mile drive on a primitive lane dirt road so take caution if it has recently rained. On a normal day, the drive can be made by a non 4WD vehicle.

Overview

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.

Description

A well-marked trailhead is located five miles down Old Ore Road from the southern end of Big Bend. From there, a short hike on a sandy wash leads to an emerald tinaja surrounded by limestone walls. The tinaja is easily accessible and holds water all year round. It is not recommended to swim here as the water is quite cold and the walls are very slippery. Be careful near the edge. Numerous animals have fallen in over the years and been unable to get back out.

It is just under a mile from the trailhead to the largest tinaja. You can continue on from there but it will require some scrambling over large boulders. There are several other smaller tinaja along the way that do not always have water.

Once over all the boulders, you emerge on the other side of the canyon on a desert plateau with incredible scenic views. The second half of the trail is probably not well-suited for young children as the bouldering is quite challenging in some areas.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jenifer Powers

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 13 votes

#756

Overall
  4.6 from 13 votes
5 Star
62%
4 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#15

in Texas

#756

Overall
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2,712 Since Sep 29, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

This gem of a rock formation lies just past the large tinaja.
Feb 17, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
Ernst Tinaja
Sep 29, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
Just past the first tinaja, look back toward the parking lot to experience this gorgeous view of Big Bend's interesting geology.
Feb 17, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
Past the largest tinaja is a series of boulders that do require some scrambling.
Feb 17, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
This is the view back to the east. From here, the trail starts to require some scrambling up pour-offs.
Mar 21, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
This crazy formation has a hole through the middle.
Mar 21, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX

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Check-Ins

Jan 11, 2020
Jeff G
1.6mi — 13h 07m
Jan 3, 2020
M Allen
Oct 19, 2019
Tammy Diaz
Apr 26, 2019
Jonathon Pirpich
Short hike.. 6-8 mile drive off paved road 1mi
Apr 14, 2019
Maria R
Easy trail through a gorgeous ravine; well worth the drive to this trailhead. 0.7mi — 0h 20m
Feb 23, 2019
Jason Draper
Feb 7, 2019
Dan P
1.4mi
Dec 18, 2018
Kevin Chidester