The Chisos Basin sits roughly in the center of the national park, which itself lies along the U.S. portion of the Rio Grande's "Big Bend" on the far southwestern tip of Texas.
The basin was excavated by stream erosion from the volcanic Chisos Mountains. All drainage in the Basin funnels through the Window, a narrow canyon gap topping a 200-foot plunge.
The Basin provides a good jumping-off point for exploring the remarkably diverse plant life of the Chihuahuan Desert that enfolds Big Bend. The Chisos area is home to the drooping juniper, the only place where this mainly Mexican species reaches the U.S.
The Chisos harbors another rare organism, the Carmen Mountains white-tailed deer, a subspecies of whitetail found only here and in the Sierra del Carmen across the Rio Grande in Mexico.
The Chisos Basin supports a number of park facilities, including a 60-site campground, lodge, store, visitor center and even an eatery, the Mountain View Restaurant.
Explore the network of trails winding from the Basin. Hike to the Window for its dramatic view or trek to the summit of Emory Peak, which, at 7,832 feet, is the highest point in the Chisos Mountains and in the park.