This medium difficulty trail can be either a 5.2 mile hike with a 800 foot elevation change, or a 4.4 mile hike with a 480 foot elevation change, depending on where you pick up the trail. For the longer version begin your walk at the Basin Trailhead. For the shorter version begin in the Basin Campground next to site #52. There is a parking lot near the campground where you can park your vehicle. Do not park in one of the campsites. The trail will take you to the top of a 200 foot high pour off called the Window. You will have to cross a stream as you make your way along the trail, and you can either jump across or use steppingstones. Near the end of the trail, stone steps will help you to walk around pools of water that may be formed by rain. This was my favorite hike, taking us through beautiful country with mountain views and huge, red and yellow colored rock outcroppings.
The Window is one of the most popular views in the park, and has become one of the symbols of Big Bend National Park. This pour off channels all the rainwater from the high Basin to a sudden 200 foot drop to the desert below. It is here that the Window Trail hike comes to a sudden stop. The floor of the window is formed of smooth stone and for me was one of the most interesting areas we visited in the park.
The Window is just that a window, a break in the chain of the Chisos Mountains through which you can see the Chisos Basin. The view is great and the walk to the viewpoint short and paved.