By James Gorman

GPS: 29°15'N 103°15'W

One of the best panoramas in Texas, or anywhere else for that matter, lies at the midpoint of an aggressive 12-mile (19-kilometer) loop hike from Chisos Mountains Lodge up the Laguna Meadow Trail, where the view extends into Mexico. The lodge, in Big Bend National Park, sits in a mile-high realm of pines and trickling streams. Reserve well in advance to secure one of the Roosevelt Stone Cottages, six duplexes long on charm and privacy. Not up for a 12-miler? Far less demanding and no less scenic is the 5.6-mile (9-kilometer) stroll down Oak Canyon to the Window, a gunsight notch where a stream leaps out of view to the desert below.

Vitals: $108;

Originally published in the April 2008 edition of National Geographic Adventure

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