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South Rim Trail

Intermediate
 4.6 (11) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

The most commonly used route to the South Rim, with no shortage of incredible views along the way.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.6

KM

Out and Back

7,255' 2,211 m

High

5,364' 1,635 m

Low

1,984' 605 m

Up

1,984' 605 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

29%

Max Grade (16°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views

Family Friendly As one of the most iconic and accessible trails in the park, this is a great route for the whole family.

Overview

The Laguna Meadow Trail to the Southwest Rim Trail is by far and away the most accommodating, and well-traveled route to the pièce de résistance of the Chisos Mountains: the South Rim.

Description

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.

Flora & Fauna

Mixed hardwoods and scrubby desert juniper are abundant along the trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hunter R

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 11 votes

#922

Overall
  4.6 from 11 votes
5 Star
73%
4 Star
18%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#20

in Texas

#922

Overall
119 Views Last Month
4,809 Since Sep 29, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
73%
9%
18%
0%

Photos

Sunset from The Window trailhead
Jun 28, 2018 near Big Ben…, TX
On the Window View Trail
Oct 15, 2019 near Big Ben…, TX
Looking up from the Chisos Basin.
May 4, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
Emory Peak stands guard over the Chisos Basin in the background.
Mar 22, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
The Window, Chisos Mountains
May 4, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
From the Southwest Rim Trail, bask in expansive views of the desert below.
Mar 22, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX

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All Clear 61 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jan 9, 2020
Caleb Longbons
5.8mi
Feb 17, 2018
Samantha House
Feb 10, 2018
Garrett Chassee
Jan 16, 2018
Ari Hoffman
Dec 29, 2017
Cortney Pace
This trail is part of many that get you to the southrim. It is beautiful and challenging, but well worth it. 16mi — 8h 00m
Nov 11, 2017
Tammy Diaz
Apr 29, 2017
David Scott
Jan 14, 2017
Mario De Hoyos