AUSTIN, TX – Our third and final hike in Big Bend was another ‘moderate dayhike’, this time to the famed ‘Window’ – a literal window that offers a spectacular glimpse of Mexico. It starts right from Chisos Mountain Lodge, which is very comfortable for us as our cabin is right at the trailhead!
As in hikes in Grand Canyon, what’s unique about canyon hikes is that the descent comes first. So you might be misled into thinking that you’re doing an easy hike, only to have to pay for it on the way back, with no summit-induced adrenaline to boost your energy (though sometimes, the steak at the lodge restaurant can be just as motivating!)
When we started the hike it was already very hot. The trail had the usual mix of cacti, desert shrubs, and occasional juniper, oak, and pine, but in the lower reaches there was a shaded portion that reminded me of woods in Athens surrounding the Parthenon.
The trail was actually unremarkable, but it at the very end where you will see the reward. After trekking underneath some amazing rock formations, one reaches the only opening in the entire Basin rim, and here the view, although confined to a narrow lacuna, is magical. It’s as if a door to a whole new world were opened, after living in the darkness for a long time.
Anyway this is just a very short (and rather unexpected) trip to the US and I’m happy that I managed to squeeze in these hikes in a national park I never even knew existed. But Big Bend has turned out to be a special place and will surely remember it fondly. Thanks to my sister Christine for joining me and organising our family’s Big Bend adventure!
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK | SUMMER 2015
Hiking matters #478: Hike to the famed ‘Window’