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South Rim Trail

Intermediate
  4.7 ( 9 ) Favorite

Trail

11.6 mile 18.6 kilometer out and back
87% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,984' 605 m
Descent: -1,984' -605 m
High: 7,255' 2,211 m
Low: 5,364' 1,635 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Hunter R

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

Hunter R

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views

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.

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 9 votes

#969

Overall
  4.7 from 9 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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Featured Run Rankings

#19

in Texas

#969

Overall
139 Views Last Month
2,255 Since Sep 29, 2015
Intermediate

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56%
33%
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11%
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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
The Window, Chisos Mountains
May 4, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
Desert flower on the Pinnacles Trail
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

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