Chimneys Trail

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Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
Begin at mile 13, Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

A moderate hike (due to distance) to a series of prominent volcanic dike formations. The “chimneys” have always been an important landmark, and Indian rock art marks the base of these high pinnacles. The chimneys are 2.4 miles away and easily seen from the trailhead.

The trail beyond the chimneys continues west another 4.6 miles and ends on the Old Maverick Road near Luna’s jacal. This is an enjoyable 7-mile hike if you can arrange transportation on the opposite end. From the chimneys you can also head northwest 1.5 miles to the huge cottonwood tree that marks Red Ass Spring. Return the way you came.

Big Bend National Park’s primary attraction is its hiking and backpacking trails. Particularly notable among these are the Chimneys Trail, which visits a rock formation in the desert; the Marufo Vega trail, a loop trail that passes through scenic canyons on the way to and from the Rio Grande; the South Rim trail which circles the high mountains of the Chisos; and the Outer Mountain Loop trail in the Chisos, which incorporates parts of the South Rim loop, descends into the desert along the Dodson Trail, and then returns to the Chisos Basin, completing a 30-mile loop. Other notable locations include Santa Elena Canyon, Grapevine Hills, and the Mule Ears, two imposing rock towers in the middle of the desert. Professional backpacking guide services provide trips in the park.


  • Trail Measurement: 4.8 Miles Round Trip
  • Compass Latitude: 29°12'32.2"N
  • Compass Longitude: 103°28'13.4"W
  • Numeric Latitude: 29.208944
  • Numeric Longitude: -103.470387
  • Elevation in Meters:
  • Elevation in Feet:

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