Journey along the Boot Canyon Trail to experience the most drastic, yet beautiful change in scenery the Chisos Mountains have to offer. From the steep-sided, arid walls of the Chisos Basin to the lush stream bed ecosystem along Boot Canyon, this trail will certainly not disappoint.
Starting at a three-way junction with the Pinnacles Trail
and the Emory Peak Trail
, follow the Boot Canyon Trail south as it contours the base of Emory Peak
before taking a sharp right turn onto the mountainside's southeastern aspect. Follow the trail as it descends gently from the mountain to a small ridge-top. From this point, continue to descend, passing through more densely forested yet small rolling hills until eventually reaching the bottom of Boot Canyon. Revel in the wonderful shade provided by the canyon's established oak and maple trees as you observe the stark color contrasts in the natural world around you; red rocks, tan desert sandscapes, and vibrant green woodlands make for a visual treat while you take off your pack and enjoy a few sips of water.
From its entrance into Boot Canyon, the trail follows the canyon floor, climbing gently for a few miles, past a junction with the Northeast Rim Trail
, until reaching the canyon's end. At this point, climb steeper grades for roughly half a mile before reaching a three-way junction with the Southeast Rim Trail
and Southwest Rim Trail
at the trail's end.
Be sure to bring at least 1 gallon of water per person per day while running in the Chisos Mountains, as the combination of this area's arid climate and increased bodily exertion can quickly dehydrate even the most seasoned runners.
Mixed hardwoods and juniper dominate the local flora. Interestingly, this is the only trail known to have Arizona Cypress in all of Big Bend.