Difficulty: Strenuous; significant elevation changes and primitive trail, no water.
The "Outer Mountain Loop" refers to the 30-mile circuit that combines the Pinnacles, Juniper Canyon, Dodson, Blue Creek, and Laguna Meadows trails. It includes a wide variety of habitats and scenery including, the piñon/juniper/oak woodlands of the Chisos Mountains and the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert. Sections of this trail are extremely steep and there is limited flat or level hiking. The route is highly strenuous and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers.
Carrying adequate water is always a concern on this trail. Do not rely on seasonal or intermittent springs. We recommend that you carry a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day. Water can be cached in the storage boxes located at the Homer Wilson/Blue Creek Ranch and at the end of the Juniper Canyon road (Juniper Canyon requires a high clearance vehicle). Caching water in any other NPS-provided storage box is prohibited.
You will need a backcountry permit for camping along this route. Most hikers plan on 2 nights/3 days to complete the Outer Mountain Loop.
Last updated: February 27, 2020