Stunning geologic features punctuate an arid desert landscape along the Chimneys Trail.”
— Hunter Robertson
Whether you take the route to its full extent or only travel as far as the chimney features, this is still an iconic desert route. The way out is mostly downhill, and this makes for an especially pleasant route if you have a shuttle vehicle parked at the end of the trail at Old Maverick Road.
Dogs: No Dogs
Spray on some sunscreen, lace up your shoes and don a hat and sunglasses in preparation for a fantastic journey through arid, dusty deserts to a series of fantastic stone pinnacles along the Chimneys Trail.
Starting at the Chimneys Trail Parking Area, head west along the trail, descending gently on a smooth tread for approximately 2.5 miles before reaching the trail's grandest feature: the Chimneys.
Formed from magma injecting into cracks in overlying rock, and the erosion of said overlying rock, the Chimneys have held a special place in history since ancient times. In more recent times, this area was used as a popular place of congregation for Native Americans in the area, evidenced by the pictographs and other forms of Native American art found near the base of the monoliths.
After viewing the Chimneys, the most common approach is to return the way you came, back to the parking area. For the more seasoned runners, however, continuing west along the trail provides visitors with a longer, yet enjoyable journey through an arid desert and sandy washes to the trail's end near a junction with Old Maverick Road. Those who chose to follow the trail to this length usually do so with a shuttle car placed at the trailhead off Old Maverick Road, so take that into consideration as you plan your trip.
Whether running the shorter distance to the Chimneys, or the longer one to Old Maverick Road, be sure to bring plenty of water with you, as Big Bend's arid climate coupled with improper hydration can spell trouble for even the most seasoned runner. The National Park Service recommends at least 1 gallon of water per person per day in this area.
Flora & Fauna
Creosote bushes, as well as assorted cacti and other scrubby desert florae can be observed along the trail.