South Rim via Laguna Meadow Trail and Colima Trail

Chisos Mountains, Texas

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
The South Rim is probably the classic hike of Texas. Although the trip is fairly strenuous, almost any Texas hiker worth his or her salt will someday try to hike to the South Rim. Few other hikes in Texas can surpass the quality and sheer quantity of views along the trail. On clear days, the views cover most of the Texas Big Bend country and far into Mexico. To fully enjoy the trip, try to allow two or three days on the trail. People in good shape can do the round-trip hike in one day, however. Not surprisingly, the hike is popular. Although there are many designated primitive campsites, it may be difficult to obtain one during Thanksgiving or college spring break. This route to the South Rim is less steep than the other primary route using the Pinnacles and Boot Canyon Trails, although it still requires the same net elevation gain. Often the two routes are combined into a loop trip. Water can sometimes be obtained in a pinch at Boot Spring, but do not count on it without checking on the spring’s status before you start; it does dry up at times. It is best to carry all the water you will need.

South Rim via Laguna Meadow Trail (and Colima Trail) Professional Review and Guide

"The South Rim is probably the classic hike of Texas. Although the trip is fairly strenuous, almost any Texas hiker worth his or her salt will someday try to hike to the South Rim. Few other hikes in Texas can surpass the quality and sheer quantity of views along the trail. On clear days, the views cover most of the Texas Big Bend country and far into Mexico.

To fully enjoy the trip, try to allow two or three days on the trail. People in good shape can do the round-trip hike in one day, however. Not surprisingly, the hike is popular. Although there are many designated primitive campsites, it may be difficult to obtain one during Thanksgiving or college spring break.

This route to the South Rim is less steep than the other primary route using the Pinnacles and Boot Canyon Trails, although it still requires the same net elevation gain. Often the two routes are combined into a loop trip. Water can sometimes be obtained in a pinch at Boot Spring, but do not count on it without checking on the spring’s status before you start; it does dry up at times. It is best to carry all the water you will need."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Chisos Mountains
Distance: 6.3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Big Bend National Park
Driving Directions: Directions to South Rim via Laguna Meadow Trail (and Colima Trail)

Recent Trail Reviews

1/5/2007
0

This was an extremely solemn and beautiful hike in winter. I chose Laguna up to the South Rim because it is less steep than Pinnacles. I would later find coming down that Pinnacles had a lot of ice on it, so I was glad I chose my route through Laguna meadows. The steady incline was nice, but the Meadows themselves were beautiful - the long golden grass was glorious. Once you come up upon the breathtaking rim you MUST spend some time sitting down and soaking it in - there are some wonderful sites to sit, complete with backrest, and admire the desert below. As I worked my way around the rim, I saw deer and Mexican Jays. Going all the way around is probably a must because one never knows when one can make there way to this remote park.


2/20/2005
0

I did this hike in ten hours with my 55 year old father (who exercises rarely) so it definitely can be done as a day hike. The South Rim was amazing. Unfortunately Mexico has established pollution (a.k.a. power) plants causing a discernable haze. Water was available from several streams. Deer were present, but I saw little wildlife. This area is well traversed so don't expect a wilderness experience. I added a solo trip to Emery Peak, which added a good challenge (very worth the additional 1.2 miles). All in all this was an excellent trail.


3/15/2003
0

A look at your map will show two routes for this loop and the Laguna Meadow trail has the easiest grade, but one drawback, no water. Regardless of what the rangers tell you, I have always found lots of water at Boot Spring and for the next few miles upstream from there. For that reason, I prefer to lighten my pack in the beginning and hike the Pinnacles Trail first, filtering water above Boot Spring. The crowds thin greatly after the Emory Peak cutoff. My suggestion for a day hike is to start in the morning to get the slog up the steep part out of the way, fill up your water bottles at Boot Spring, watch the sun set on the South Rim and hike back via Laguna Meadow by moonlight. The trail is unmistakable a night except by the rawest of flatlanders. I’ve seen Mountain Lions often near the South Rim, so keep your camera handy and not in your pack.


6/15/1998
0

This is a the rest of the story. We had completed the Pinnacles, Boot Spring trails and camped the night. It required us to keep a close eye on our daughter since we had heard of cougar attacks in the park. Plus, we did find some tracks late in the afternoond in the sand where a cat had crossed the trail. The next morning we moved out down the Colima trail. The elevation was not bad and it was a trail that allowed us to take in the juniper trees and interesting variation of botanicals. We were impressed at how cool the nights were and the breezes were pleasant. It was not the hot desert experience we had encountered the day before. We made our way down the Laguna Meadows trail. The views were incredible. The way out was much less strenuous than the Pinnacles way in. In retrospect we should have taken this route in. It would have been more manageable with the loads of water we had to carry. Coming out on the Pinnacles trail less the water weight would have been a bit more tolerable.



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May 2018