Monday, March 3, 2008

The Windows Trail

2/28/2008 The Windows Trail
There is so much to do here! Our next thing on the list was the Windows Trail. We had first heard about it from Chuck. We had met him in Iowa, at Red Haw State Park, and he told us we must see the Window, ( the Window is a pour off from the Chisos Mountains).
So we got up, packed our day packs, and drove to the Chisos Basin. Our first stop was at the visitor center where I asked the ranger if we needed a permit, no, or a permit to climb, no but not recommended, or if the bear signs were real, not likely as there are about 15 bears in the park.
We had a little trouble finding the lower parking lot. I drove the wrong way on a one way lane and got yelled at by the camp host and a ranger, oh well. Finally we found the trail head , parked, and started the downhill hike.
The trail is about 2.2 miles long with a vertical drop of 440 feet and is well maintained. Going to the Window is downhill all the way with the knowledge that you will have to climb back out. What a beautiful hike and the destination was well worth it. Along the way Renita spotted some strange scat, bear or javelina? I also got a brief glimpse of a Mexican jay.
We reached the windows about noon and had it to ourselves for lunch. The pour off itself is slippery and polished from the flash floods. It’s not as long a drop to the plateau below, about a short repel. The wind was howling through the opening but blowing uphill so it was safe,(It reminded me of the Devils Tower climb on Weisner, where Matt and I stopped below the summit as the wind was too strong to top out). As we ate lunch a canyon wren flitted above us. We met a nice couple from Oregon and finally started hiking out.
The hike out was uneventful. We took pictures and stopped often, to drink water and rest in the shade. It was nice and the uphill walk turned out to be easy. When we got to the truck a pyrrhuloxia and cactus wren landed on a bush nearby. We saw three new life birds on one hike. We stopped at the store on the way out as Renita insisted we get ice cream bars as a reward. This trail is a must do in Big Bend National Park! Clear skies.

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