Big Bend National Park

Lost Mine Trail -- Virtual Hike

The Lost Mine Trail is a 4.6 mile round-trip hike located in the Chisos Basin. The trailhead begins at Panther Pass along the road into the Basin. The Big Bend Natural History Association puts out a wonderful brochure about the Lost Mine Trail, "Lost Mine Trail Self-guiding Nature Trail". These brochures are available for $.25 at the trailhead.

The Lost Mine Trail is rated as a medium difficulty hike by the National Park Service. The trail begins at an elevation of 5600 feet and ascends to 6850 feet in the 2.3 miles it takes to reach Lost Mine Peak. If you hike the trail for real, remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen-- as a virtual tourist, you can just settle back in your chair and enjoy the hike!
To enlarge a photograph that's surrounded by blue, click on its image.

Trail Markers 1 through 6

Trail marker 1

The most common tree you'll see at this elevation is the Mexican Pinyon Pine. Here in the Chisos Mountains, Pinyon Pines thrive above 4,800 feet.

Trail Marker 3

The unusual tree to your left at marker 3 is an Alligator Juniper. If you take a close look at this tree's bark, you'll see where it gets its name.

This close-up photograph shows the textured bark characteristic of Alligator Junipers. Looks like the hide of an alligator! Click on the image to the left to see the texture enlarged.

Trail Marker 5

Green Gulch is visible from the trail near marker 5. What a view! Pulliam Peak is on the left; the Rosillos Mountains are in the distance. To the right is Lost Mine Peak.

This is another view of Green Gulch from a little further along the trail. Pulliam Peak is to the left, Lost Mine Peak to the right. Both of these mountains were formed by intrusive processes. Magma cooled below the ground and was later exposed when the overlying rock was eroded.

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