Route: Outer Mountain Loop (TX)

Texas, US
30.2 mi

This is a 30 mile loop in Big Bend National Park.

Difficulty: Strenuous; significant elevation changes and primitive trail
Distance: 30 miles (side-trips to the South Rim or Emory peak add up to five additional miles).
Time: Allow at least three days

The "Outer Mountain Loop" refers to the 30-mile circuit that combines the Pinnacles, Juniper Canyon, Dodson, Blue Creek, and Laguna Meadows trails. It includes a wide variety of habitats and scenery including, the piñon/juniper/oak woodlands of the Chisos Mountains and the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. Sections of this trail are extremely steep and there is limited flat or level hiking. The route is extremely strenuous and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers.

Most hikers begin from the Chisos Basin and hike the trail in a clockwise direction. Bear-proof storage boxes are available for caching water at two locations only: The Blue Creek/Homer Wilson Ranch on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive and the Juniper Canyon Trailhead (high-clearance vehicle required). Caching water or other items for use on the Outer Mountain Loop in the storage boxes at Toll Mountain Pass (upper end of the Pinnacles Trail) or any other NPS-provided storage box is prohibited.

The Outer Mountain Loop has a Strava segment.


GPS Track


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Hi there everyone, I just wanted to make a post to officially say that I will be attempting this loop tomorrow morning, December 30th. I want to start between 8am and 9am. The loop is very remote, without service, so I won't have live tracking but I will have my Garmin on to track the run. I will be going out to do the loop on my birthday, I'm turning 32 and it will be my 6th year running my birthday age. After the loop is complete I plan to add another mile on to make it 32! Thanks all and though I am not sure how long it will take, I will enjoy every minute. Big Bend is one of my favorite places in the world. Thanks and I will post afterwards! - Aubrey Garner (oh! and I will be supported, having my partner meet me at the start, at 2 points and at the finish) 


Almost exactly a year later, but I’m also running the OML the 12/28/20. How did it go? Did you go clockwise or counterclockwise? 



Giving this a shot Saturday morning, 2/22/20. I’ll be self-supported, caching water at Wilson Ranch. 

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Profile picture for user MarkSaroni

I will be going for this FKT in two weeks on 01/23/21. 10-day forecast isn't out yet so I might tweak a day or two depending on weather but that is the plan for now.

I will be doing the route unsupported. My goal is to finish in under 5 hours which will be averaging about 9:30 pace for the loop.

My tracking beacon will be here-

My Strava is here-

I'll try to post a few updates and stories on instagram-

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Profile picture for user not_your_average_ro

Has anyone ever done 2 loops?