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PERMITS: Overnight camping requires a backcountry permit. Go to nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/permits.htm for prices and more details.
MORE INFO: Big Bend National Park, (432) 477-2251; nps.gov/bibe
- Distance: 47.6
Location: 29.2704659, -103.3016815
Trailhead: The Outer Loop is a well-marked, but stout tour. The first day starts with a steep climb and a long, knee-pounding descent.
Location: 29.2699165, -103.3005981
Continue S then SW
Location: 29.2519169, -103.2973022
Saddle between Emory Peak and Toll Mountain
Location: 29.2414341, -103.2971497
Pools: Possible water
Location: 29.2409992, -103.2974854
After climbing over the forested Chisos Mountains, plunge 2,850 feet into Juniper Canyon before making a long traverse through the foothills of the Chihuahuan Desert
Location: 29.223917, -103.2412491
Junction with road; continue S on Dodson Trail, a sun-drenched rollercoaster whose stony trailbed is hard on feet (sturdy boots recommended).
Location: 29.2028999, -103.2940521
Good campsites and possible water at Fresno Creek
Location: 29.2010994, -103.2994003
Location: 29.2068825, -103.3315506
Junction with Smoky Creek Trail and longer loop possibilities
Location: 29.2143002, -103.3667984
Keep R @ Blue Creek Ranch. From here, is a comparatively easy, with a gradual 2,200-foot climb up Blue Creek Canyon, a scenic stroll through the pygmy forests of Laguna Meadows, and a quick descent back to Chisos Basin.
Location: 29.2165337, -103.3566818
Location: 29.2358665, -103.3089523
End of backcountry-zone camping
Location: 29.241066, -103.3104324
Climb evens out
Location: 29.2427826, -103.31147
Junction with South Rim; close loop back to trailhead