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Ernst Tinaja



1.3 mile 2.0 kilometer out and back
97% Runnable


Ascent: 114' 35 m
Descent: -114' -35 m
High: 2,291' 698 m
Low: 2,177' 664 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 6% (3°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Jenifer Powers

A short trail leading to a beautiful pool and limestone rock formations.

Jenifer Powers

Features Views

It is a several mile drive on a primitive lane dirt road so take caution if it has recently rained. On a normal day, the drive can be made by a non 4WD vehicle.


A short run through an exciting canyon to a naturally-carved, rock pool. Be careful on the slick rock surfaces especially when near the tinaja.


A well-marked trailhead is located five miles down Old Ore Road from the southern end of Big Bend. From there, a short run on a sandy wash leads to an emerald tinaja surrounded by limestone walls. The tinaja is easily accessible and holds water all year round. It is not recommended to swim here as the water is quite cold and the walls are very slippery. Be careful near the edge. Numerous animals have fallen in over the years and been unable to get back out.

It is just under a mile from the trailhead to the largest tinaja. You can continue on from there but it will require some scrambling over large boulders. There are several other smaller tinaja along the way that do not always have water.

Once over all the boulders, you emerge on the other side of the canyon on a desert plateau with incredible scenic views. The second half of the trail is probably not well-suited for young children as the bouldering is quite challenging in some areas.

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 13 votes


  4.6 from 13 votes
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in Texas


93 Views Last Month
2,601 Since Sep 29, 2015



This gem of a rock formation lies just past the large tinaja.
Feb 17, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
Ernst Tinaja
Sep 29, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
Just past the first tinaja, look back toward the parking lot to experience this gorgeous view of Big Bend's interesting geology.
Feb 17, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
Past the largest tinaja is a series of boulders that do require some scrambling.
Feb 17, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
This is the view back to the east. From here, the trail starts to require some scrambling up pour-offs.
Mar 21, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX
This crazy formation has a hole through the middle.
Mar 21, 2017 near Big Ben…, TX


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