Begin at the trailhead next to the Chisos Basin Visitor Center. Follow the Pinnacles Trail
until a split where the Pinnacles Trail
will head southeast while the Laguna Meadow Trail
will proceed more to the south-southwest. The junction in well-signed, so it will be easy to follow the appropriate trail. From the junction with the Pinnacles Trail
, ascend moderate grades through dense, mixed hardwood forests. The trail grades fluctuate mildly along the first three-quarters of the trail, from more gentle, easier grades along the valley floor to switchbacking, steeply graded sections climbing the valley walls.
The Laguna Meadow Trail
will end at a junction with the Southwest Rim Trail
and the Colima Trail
. Turn onto the Southwest Rim Trail
and travel south along the smooth-treaded trail through rolling terrain. Along the way, enjoy mixed scenery, journeying through commingling areas of dense hardwood forests and more sparsely vegetated arid terrain.
You'll know you have reached the sheer cliffs of the South Rim when the trail passes through a forested area and begins to climb. Ascend the forested trail, cresting the hill at a point where the ecosystem changes to a more arid landscape, and behold the beauty of the South Rim unfolding before you. Take your time at this spot, where you can peer over the cliff edge or just enjoy the view. When you've had your fill, head back the way you came.
Mixed hardwoods and scrubby desert juniper are abundant along the trail. Fire in April 2021 has many burned out patches.