National Park #25: Big Bend, Day 2

Previous Day

We headed out from our cheap motel room early to grab our site at the Chisos Basin campground. (B)  It’s a nice campground but, the sites are a bit tightly packed.  Once set up we drove to the Homer Wilson Ranch/Blue Creek Canyon. (K)  Most of the trail is in the exposed desert, along a dry river bed.  The only respite from the sun is when the canyon wall start to form at the base of the Chisos Mountains.  This trail is a segment of the Outer Mountain Loop trail, a multi-day hike that the growing late-spring heat discouraged us from doing.  The bird life along the trail was quite active with highlights being Black-throated Sparrow, Varied Bunting, Crissal Thrasher, and Verdin.

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Crissal Thrasher

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Varied Bunting

As the afternoon sun heated up, we hurried back to the Chisos Basin for some afternoon rest. In the evening, we hiked the Window Trail from our camp. (B)  Along with the ample bird life, lizards were conspicuous everywhere.

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Southwestern Earless Lizard

Once we reached the Window, an opening in the canyon where you can look out over the Chisos foothills, the wind was cool and the sound of Canyon Wrens echoed constantly. Because of the steeper canyon walls, this area sees regular shade and contained more moisture that the desert approach and has a different collection of wildlife.

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An heretofore unidentified frog

The view of the sunset through the Window was extraordinary and an appropriate way to end our second day.

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Through the Window

Next Day

My eBird checklists:

Blue Creek Canyon

Chisos Basin Campground

Window Trail

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