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“Stunning hike in April”
Review of The South Rim Loop

The South Rim Loop
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This trail gives a great hike with amazing views.
Reviewed 8 April 2018

We’d come to Big Bend as part of a Texas holiday and Big Bend itself surpassed our expectations . But the jewel in the crown was the South Rim hike. I’d taken my 14yo Daughter (my other 2 kids wouldn’t have made it) so it was father /daughter bonding time. We got there around 930 and loaded with 3 litres of water each set off. I decided to do the Pinnacles approach which is the steepest approach , and challenging but not impossible. It’s lot’s of switchbacks but you get an amazing view of the Chisos mountains as you climb . As it was april it wasn’t too busy or hot either. We saw groups of people but mostly were on our own. We had lunch at the top which is the part of the route for Emory peak. I’d have added that to our loop but wasn’t sure my 14yo could make it and we had to be at the parking lot for 4pm . The hardest part over we trekked to the south Rim hitting it around 1pm. The views were outstanding . Really peaceful as there was no traffic/plan noise. Well worth the hike. The reutrn walk was also good though not as picturesque as Pinnacles. But it was all downhill and my tired calves were grateful. Would highly recommend. You need to be moderatly fit to do this.

1  Thank Jaylist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"day hike"
in 9 reviews
"emory peak"
in 12 reviews
"peregrine falcon"
in 3 reviews
"great hike"
in 8 reviews
"tired legs"
in 2 reviews
"worth every step"
in 3 reviews
"bring plenty of water"
in 5 reviews
"big bend"
in 19 reviews
"weather was perfect"
in 3 reviews
"spectacular views"
in 4 reviews
"nesting season"
in 2 reviews
"chisos basin"
in 6 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 4 reviews
"saw deer"
in 2 reviews
"bear boxes"
in 2 reviews
"take your time"
in 3 reviews
"visitor center"
in 4 reviews
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2 - 6 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 28 March 2018

My friend and I combined the South Rim Loop with Emory to make for a nice 9a-5p full day in the park. We started the loop on the side with Emory in the morning. This was probably a good decision because I couldn't imagine finishing with Emory. Anywho, it's not an overly strenuous trek, it is just time consuming. The South Rim portion has some dramatic, sweeping views overlooking the vast desert towards Mexico. The views are among the best in the park. I docked this hike a point because the return through Laguna Meadows is pretty tedious. It's a lot of switchbacks with no unique views. This trek with Emory would be my top recommendation in the park for hikes.

Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018

I have hiked the South Rim many times, but wanted to backpack in for an overnight and January presented an opportunity. The logistics is key for a predictable success and this is how we did it. We had a reservation at the Chisos Mountains Lodge and arrived just before they closed at 11:00 pm and got a decent night's rest. Up early, had breakfast in their restaurant and walked over to the Park's visitor center by 7:45AM and there was already a line to get permits to campout. They do not take reservations and issue permits only in person and only up to 24 hours in advance, if you choose. We just wanted one overnight (Saturday) on a rim campsite and it was our lucky day and got a permit for SE4 We went back to our room to organize our packs and after checking out I moved the car down to the overflow lot and hiked the .6 miles back to the Lodge area where the trailhead starts for the South Rim Loop.
The very friendly and informative Rangers (volunteers, no less) reported that standing water was currently trapped in pools in Boot Canyon, but it would be an extra 2-3 miles to fetch water, so we just packed in more than we needed. We started up the Laguna Meadows Trail and joined the South Rim Trail to the East Rim Trail to hit our camp site. The East Rim Trail is closed February 1st thru May 31st for Peregrine Falcon Nesting, so this closes at least 9 campsites, so the competition for sites goes up during this time.
The hike is easy to moderate without a big pack, add 35 pounds and it gets strenuous but but doable for those in shape. The views stunning! The Flora was beautiful and we saw deer and a fox visited our camp during the night looking for a snack. There are bear boxes to secure your food. The sites are well positioned, some are very remote/isolated from others, while some are close enough for earshot, but not in eyesight. The campsites are set back off the rim by 50-100 feet and its easy to go sit on the rim and enjoy a beverage and the views! This is a must do hike for the adventurous.

2  Thank William R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2018 via mobile

Extremely challenging but worth it. My ten year old made it all the way but his legs were very tired towards the end. The view at the top was very beautiful. The weather was perfect when we went in March. Pack lots of water. Encountered a few bluejays.

1  Thank Karen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 March 2018

This is long but moderate if you do just South Rim. We did both Emory Peak and South Rim. We are active and in our early 30s. We started at 9:30, got to Emory at 12, South Rim at 2:15, and back at 5. We went up through the Pinnacles Trail (moderately steep but pretty) and back via Laguna Meadows Trail ( less steep but still a lot of elevation chanes and definetley not a meadow). There was some tree/cliff cover on Pinnacles and Laguna but you are mostly exposed on the rest of the trails. I think that South Rim and Emory are different but equaly beautiful. Emory is more interesting to get to because of the climb, if you are into that. The view from the South Rim is very dramatic and there is a great lookout you can walk out on. We were definitely more alone at the South Rim. 2L of water each was fine, at least in early March. There are a couple pit toilets on the trail that are functional but pretty gross and you need to bring toilet paper. We were a little sour the next day, but mostly in our feet.

1  Thank Trish E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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