Last Updated March 29, 2018 3/29/2018

7 Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park, home to the highest point in Texas, has grown into a popular destination for hikers and campers alike. This mountainous, desert environment in west Texas offers easy hikes and challenging treks. No matter what trail you choose here, it’s sure to be scenic. Get out and explore the Texas desert through one of these 7 best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

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Guadalupe Peak
Credit: Flickr.com
Guadalupe Peak

Guadalupe Peak

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, home to the highest point in Texas, has grown into a popular destination for hikers and campers alike. This mountainous, desert environment in west Texas offers easy hikes and challenging treks. No matter what trail you choose here, it’s sure to be scenic. Get out and explore the Texas desert through one of these 7 best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

McKittrick Canyon
Fall at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

McKittrick Canyon

Besides the Guadalupe Peak Trail, the McKittrick Canyon trail is one of the most well-known trails in the park. McKittrick Canyon can be enjoyed by the McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail or the McKittrick Canyon Trail. The nature trail is an easy, one mile stroll, perfect for children. If you’re looking for more out of McKittrick Canyon, hit up the McKittrick Canyon Trail. This 4.8-mile hike follows an intermittent stream through the canyon and is a popular hike during the fall season when fall foliage dots the desert landscape with color.

Devil's Hall Trail
Credit: Flickr.com
Devil's Hall Trail

Devil's Hall Trail

This out-and-back trail is perfect for those wanting to hike a few miles but do not want a strenuous or uphill trek. At 4.2 miles round trip, hikers walk through a dry stream bed through Pine Spring Canyon. This scenic canyon will bring hikers to Hiker’s Staircase, which then leads to the narrow canyon known as Devil’s Hall.

The Bowl
Credit: Flickr.com
Hunter Peak and The Bowl

The Bowl

This nine-mile round trip hike, which is rated strenuous, may be difficult but is also unforgettable. To hike The Bowl trail, start out at the Pine Springs Trailhead and follow the Frijole Trail and Bear Canyon Trail to reach the junction of The Bowl trail. This trail brings hikers through both forest and high ridges. By hiking up the 2,500 feet in elevation gain, hikers will view the changing ecology of this unique desert environment. Reach Hunter Peak by taking the side trail from The Bowl trail, then head down on the Tejas Trail. This full day trek is a great way to experience much of what Guadalupe Mountains has to offer.

Marcus Overlook
Bush Mountain

Marcus Overlook

Head to Marcus Overlook or choose to extend your hike by going on the various side trails in the area. The hike to Marcus Overlook is 4.5 miles. For hikers wanting a bit more of a challenge, head up to the massive Bush Mountain. However you may just be happy with the views from Marcus Overlook. Do keep in mind that this trail is best traveled in the morning or late afternoon, since the trail offers very little shade.

Smith Spring Trail
The Smith Spring Loop at Guadalupe Mountains

Smith Spring Trail

This short yet enjoyable hike brings hikers to Smith Spring and Manzanita Spring. The 2.3-mile round trip trek is an easy hiking trail that starts at the Frijole Ranch Trailhead. Popular among wildlife lovers, deer, birds and elk have been spotted by hikers on the Smith Spring Trail. This trail is great for children and offers plenty of shade.

Salt Basin Overlook
Salt Basin Overlook

Salt Basin Overlook

The Salt Basin is one of the most interesting geological spots in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This lengthy, 11-mile hike brings hikers to the base of El Capitan and to the Salt Basin Overlook. The sandy basin covered in gypsum grains is a fragile environment, therefore only walk on the designated trail. Since this isolated trail is at a lower elevation than the rest of the park, temperatures here can be blistering hot in the summer. Therefore this trek is recommended during milder temperatures, but sometimes winter can bring dangerous high winds. Always check trail conditions before heading out to this incredible spot of the park.

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