“The most commonly used route to the South Rim, with no shortage of incredible views along the way.”
— Hunter R
Birding · Fall Colors · Views
As one of the most iconic and accessible trails in the park, this is a great route for the whole family.
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.
Starting at the junction with the Laguna Meadow Trail
and the Colima Trail
, 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.
In one such area near the midpoint of the route, 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, as you peer over the cliff edge and take into perspective your surroundings.
After absorbing the scenery as best you can, while perhaps taking a few pictures, continue east on the trail, following the canyon rim to the trail's end at a junction with the Boot Canyon Trail
and the Southeast Rim Trail
Flora & Fauna
Mixed hardwoods and scrubby desert juniper are abundant along the trail.