Hiking the Lost Mine Trail to Big Bend’s Most Stunning Viewpoint

Lost Mine Trail gives visitors the most beautiful park views, without having to hike forever.

Share this post!

After spending a full day exploring West Texas, we were ready for some outdoor time in Big Bend National Park. As you can imagine, Big Bend requires a TON of driving, so we were in search of a good hike to get some fresh air and snap a few photographs from up above.

Sunset is my favorite time of day, and while I was exploring Big Bend, I knew I had to find a good viewpoint to watch it. After a bit of research, I read that the Lost Mine Trail was one of the most picturesque hikes in the park, and at just under 5 miles round trip, we’d have just enough time to hike up to the top before the sun began to set. Not knowing much else about it, we decided to give it a go.

The Basics

  • Length: 4.6 miles (7.4 km) round trip
  • Time: 2-2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Climbing/scrambling required? No

What to Bring

Before we left our campsite, we packed a few big bottles of water, hats, and some snacks. I was deciding between wearing Chacos and hiking boots for the hike, and I ultimately chose the boots (which were the right decision). Big Bend is extremely dry, so it’s important to carry more than enough water to last for the duration of your hike. We also slathered on some sunscreen before we left.

Getting to Lost Mine Trail

Head towards the Chisos Basin Lodge and Campsite. There’s only one road to get there. When you’ve entered the basin, look for signs and a few small parking spaces that indicate the Lost Mine trail entrance. You’ll find the trailhead directly in front of the parking area.

The Hike

Upon reaching the trailhead, we knew it would be a very hot and dry hike. Making our way on the trail, we wandered uphill through wooded areas. We spent a good amount of time on the hour-long ascent hiding under our hats to protect us from the sun’s bright rays. The higher up we went, the more we could see of the stark rock formations and the steep valley below. Perhaps one of the best things about the Lost Mine trail is that it offers views into all sides of the basin and out towards the plains.

As expected, the hike was dry, dry, dry. The ascent took a lot out of us because we were a) dehydrated and b) extremely hot. The trail winded through short trees and other desert shrubbery. Birds circled overhead looking for prey, and the sun began to turn a little more golden by the minute. We were on the lookout for other wildlife, such as spiders and rattlesnakes, but luckily didn’t run into any dangerous critters.

The switchbacks began to sharpen and become more frequent as we started to get more spectacular views of the park. At this point, I wasn’t surprised that this was rated over and over again as one of the top hikes in Big Bend National Park. As we reached the top, the trees became a bit more sparse and dusty trails gave way to steep cliffs and open skies.

Once the vegetation cleared, we thought we’d reached the end. However, much to our delight, there was a bit more to explore. Continuing ahead away from the setting sun, we came to a beautiful rock formation that overlooked the west side of the park. We stared in awe at how stunning the views were. I’d describe them to you, but I’ll let them speak for themselves.

The Bottom Line

If you’re going to hike any trail in Big Bend, this is the best one to tackle. It’s a decent length but isn’t too long, offers incredible 360 degree panoramas of the park, and boasts an amazing sunset viewpoint. What more could you ask for in a day hike? Despite not knowing much about this hike to begin with, we certainly weren’t disappointed – of all the times we did in Big Bend, this was our absolute favorite.

*    *    *

If you’re planning on visiting remote places, we always recommend purchasing travel insurance. Not only does travel insurance protect you in an emergency, but it also gives you the peace of mind knowing that you’re covered. Our favorite insurance provider is World Nomads, they’ve always had our backs through medical emergencies and more.

This page may include affiliate links. Using these links to make a purchase supports Jetfarer at no additional cost to you. As always, we only partner with affiliates that we have tried and tested ourselves, and that we personally recommend.

Share this post!

Kay is a full-time working professional located in Washington DC who takes every spare vacation day to get outside and explore the world. When she travels, she loves visiting the most iconic and naturally beautiful destinations in the USA and abroad. You can typically find her wandering the streets of a city, running through a park, taking ridiculous self portraits, or hiking a mountain somewhere. Connect with Kay: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Write A Comment