Big Bend: The Window (both sides)

In Big Bend National Park there is a feature called The Window, which is an opening in the mountains surrounding Chisos Basin. The Window is on the west side of the basin so it is an interesting place for a sunset. There is also a hiking trail that takes you down to The Window if you don’t mind climbing over rocks and getting your feet wet. I set up on a high part of the trail for sunset on last Friday night in hopes of a nice sunset through the Window.

The Chisos Basin is sort of an oasis in the park as it is higher in the mountains and has trees and more wildlife than the surrounding desert. While waiting for sunset, I did almost walk up on a few deer that seemed to be very comfortable with humans. The deer looked at me occasionally but they spent most of their time foraging about 10 feet in front of me.

There was also a bird on a cactus that I thought was photogenic against the mountain backdrop.

The sky was a clear blue without a hope of clouds, so I knew that sunset would not be very spectacular. I did talk to several other people along the trail, took pictures for them and discussed various places to visit in the parks. Big Bend was quite busy this time of year as it is still cool and there are some flowers to see in places. Chisos Basin is a particularly happening place as there is a large campground, a lodge, a park store, and several trailheads near by.

As the sun dipped below the line of mountains near the window, I was able to start taking a few photos without shooting directly in to the sun. The image below is an HDR merge to get the bright sky and shadowed landscape in the same image.

Sunset at the Window in Big Bend National Park
Sunset at the Window in Big Bend National Park

As you can see, there are very few clouds to be found, but I did get some nice light across the landscape to the right. I think that by mid-summer, the sun should be setting in the window from this vantage point. I wish it wasn’t such a long drive for me.

After the sunset, the sky had tones of orange and a visible layer of dust as it was a very windy day. Below is a shot that silhouettes the mountains around the Window with the orange post-sunset sky in the distance.

Sunset at the Window in Big Bend National Park
Sunset at the Window in Big Bend National Park

If you are wondering what The Window looks like from the other side, below is a photo from the next afternoon taken from the Castolon Road. As you can see I had another day of clear skies on Saturday. I guess this is why it’s a desert.

The Window at Big Bend National Park
The Window at Big Bend National Park

After this I headed out to Sotol Vista for some sunset picture over the desert that I will feature in a coming blog post.

That’s The Window. Tell me what you think in the comments.

27 thoughts on “Big Bend: The Window (both sides)

  1. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. My wife and I have talked of going there this December, but we haven’t made up our minds on that yet.

    The cactus wren photo really stands out for me. I think it’s because I like cactus wrens, as they’re kind of clownish acting birds.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It gets cold and windy here, too, in December. But then there are also some nice stretches of weather. So it’s a crapshoot for those who plan their winter vacations here. I’m assuming the same holds true for Big Bend.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was there at the end of November and beginning of December one year. The hiking was great as it was cool, but it was below freezing at night with a storm one night. Maybe you can get a room at the lodge in the park. Book a long time in advance.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. There is a lodge at Chisos Basin in the park with hotel type rooms. There are also a few hotels around Study Butte and Terlingua of varying quality. The closest real town is probably Alpine.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. There is a golf resort in Lajitas with nice rooms that I thought about checking out for a larger group. It is right at the state park on the river, but down the road from the national park. I had dinner there once and it seemed nice.

              Liked by 1 person

      1. He would rather drive anyway, he isn’t much for flying! If I would say that it wouldn’t cost us a cent to visit all the places that I want to go he would be all for it! LOL!
        We do want to go somewhere this Fall just haven’t decided where.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. We have given serious thought to traveling to Maine in the Fall, making stops along the way. For yes Fall in the New England states is beautiful.
            At the end of June we will be in TN and Brad joked about going to Texas then, we would be halfway!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, your state is Huge, which is why he wasn’t real serious. Plus it nay just be me in TN and if that happens , there isn’t much hope that I would find my way to Texas. I think you heard from Brad before about my “fine” direction skills. 😛

              Liked by 1 person

      1. I may have mentioned this before, but before I started reading your blog, I always thought the best pictures of the sun would happen when there are no clouds, but now I can see how clouds can help make for a more dramatic photo…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s the cactus wren’s nest in the cholla above her. Looks kind of like a football and it’s entered not from the top but from the side. They build them in chollas or prickly pears to keep intruders out.
    Nice set of photos. Just returned from eight nights in Big Bend; the Window Trail is among my favorites.


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