Route: Outer Mountain Loop (TX)

Texas, US

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.