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Undulating Rocks at Ernst Tinaja

Ernst Tinaja, a natural watering hole in the Chihuahuan Desert, is one of my favorite spots inside Big Bend National Park.

A short hike from the parking area takes you into a narrow canyon, where centuries of flash floods have scoured out deep depressions in the rocks.

Those natural pools capture precious water from the rainy months, which lasts long into the dry months. In the cool of the evening, it's a natural draw for desert dwellers - everything from mice to mountain lions.

Surrounding the tinaja are colorful rock layers and unique formations. I won't pretend to know what geological contortions created this one, but I like it.

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