While much of Big Bend National Park is desert, the park does contain the Chisos Mountain Range (fun fact – this is the only mountain range to be fully contained within the boundaries of a national park!).

We got it into our heads to climb to the highest point in the mountain range – Emory Peak. At 7,825 above sea level, the 9 mile hike climbs approximately 2,500 ft in elevation. It’s not too challenging of a hike, but does require a bit of “bouldering” to reach the summit. From the short info we had read, I was nervous that this actually required some serious climbing! But we were reassured by the park rangers that we would only need to climb over and up a few rocks and boulders to reach the best views.

And the view was incredible. Miles of hazy desert, both in the US and Mexico. The wind was strong and cold, so we only spent a short time at the top.

Watch the view for yourself (And me making it to the top!):

Atop Emory Peak from BeBraveBeBold on Vimeo.


Bears and lions are prevalent in the area, so warning signs and bear lockers were everywhere.

The peak in the background of this photo is Emory Peak.

Several trails lead from the same start, but all are marked clearly. This would be a great area to do a several night backpacking trip – you’d have a good amount of day hikes available.

Although the weather was a bit cloudy and hazy, we could still see over into Mexico, and just pick out the Rio Grande.

Outfitted with solar panels, radio transmission equipment and several antennae, the top of Emory Peak can get a little crowded! But we were lucky to find it empty of other hikers.

I absolutely loved this hike! We were lucky to climb the trail on a colder day – I’d imagine it could be extremely hot in the summer.

Check out a few more pictures:





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