If you travel into Big Bend National Park from the northern entrance one of the first things you will pass is the Dog Canyon Trail. A 1.9 mile trail (3.8 round trip) out into the desert to an impressive Canyon cut through the large rock hills was one of the last things I did in Big Bend and after spending the past couple days in the rainy Chisos Mountains it was nice to get out in the hot and blazing desert sun.
The trail begins on the left side of the road (if you’re heading towards Panther Junction) and for 1.5 miles goes through the flat and dry desert. Being from the southeast United States I am quite used to trees and hills so naturally I am fascinated by the stark difference of flat desert with only small bushes and cacti. Every time I drive out west watching the tall trees shrink over time before disappearing soon after crossing into Texas is something I love to watch unfold.
Anyways after the 1.5 miles you hop down into a dried up arroyo and head left towards Dog Canyon. If you go right here it will take you to Devils Den, a limestone slot Canyon in the parks backcountry to explore. After another .4 miles you have arrived at Dog Canyon and you are walking in the shade of the Canyon walls. After walking around the Canyon and checking out what was beyond it me and my friends headed back towards the trailhead. This hike is a great one to do with kids because of its flatness and short length just make sure you drink plenty of water because the sun is hot and ablaze in this part of the park. If you’re lucky enough to go to Big Bend be sure to include this trail in your agenda. Thanks for reading – Josh