Mule Ears Spring Hiking Trail Pictures & Reviews At Big Bend National Park

by Adam on March 1, 2011

The Mule Ears Rock Formation At Big Bend National Park

The Mule Ears Rock Formation At Big Bend National Park

Near the Castolon section of Big Bend National Park you will find one of many hiking trails out to the Mule Ears, two large rock formations a few miles off in the distance from the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.  The trail to the Mule Ears spring is a total of 3.8 miles round trip and does in fact go to the spring and not the Mule Ears rock formations themselves.  The Mule Ears Spring trail is not particularly strenuous but at 3.8 miles can be a bit strenuous simply because of the distance and the summer heat if you happen to be in Big Bend during the sweltering summer season.

A View Of The Mule Ears Along The Mule Ears Spring Trail At Big Bend National Park

A View Of The Mule Ears Along The Mule Ears Spring Trail At Big Bend National Park

The trail has a minimal elevation gain and goes across rolling hills and arroyos.  If it has rained recently parts of the trail may be wet and water may be flowing through the gullies along the trail.  As you hike along the trail, the true size of the Mule Ears becomes more impressive.  The actual trail is a mix of dirt and rocks along the way and is pretty well worn and easy to follow.  A variety of plants and cacti grow along the Mule Ears spring Trail.  If you hike this trail soon after a rainstorm you may see beautiful flowing plants for much of the way.  During drier times, this area of Big Bend is still surprisingly lush but flowers are often few and far between.

Adam Jewell At The Mule Ears Spring Rock Corral At Big Bend National Park

Adam Jewell At The Mule Ears Spring Rock Corral At Big Bend National Park

As you near the end of the trail you will come to a rock corral and a bunch of cottonwood trees that grow in this particular location.  Just like the area around the Daniels Ranch near the Rio Campground where Cottonwood trees grow, the spring water in the Mule Ears Spring facilitates the growth of Cottonwood trees here and creates an oasis in the desert.  When you get to the end of the trail the spring provides a nice place to take a break, relax and cool off before your return hike back to the trailhead and the parking lot.

Adam Jewell By The Mule Ears Spring At Big Bend National Park

Adam Jewell By The Mule Ears Spring At Big Bend National Park

On the hike to and from the Mule Ears Spring you will enjoy great views of the Chisos Mountains as well as the Mule Ears rock formations from a variety of viewpoints.  The best photos along the Mule Ears Spring Trail will be achieved near sunset as a softer sunlight shines on the Mule Ears formations and the Chisos Mountains.  A hike toward the end of the day closer to sunset will also be a much cooler time to hike this trail that offers little shade along the way.

A View Of The Chisos Mountains Along The Mule Ears Spring Trail Near Sunset At Big Bend National Park

A View Of The Chisos Mountains Along The Mule Ears Spring Trail Near Sunset At Big Bend National Park

While you are in the Castolon section of Big Bend National Park be sure to hike the Santa Elena Canyon Trail, stop by the scenic Tuff Canyon, the Sotol Vista Overlook, the Burro Mesa Pouroff as well as the Sam Nail and Homer Wilson Ranch areas of Big Bend National Park.

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