Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Texas has many natural wonders to offer, and Guadalupe Mountains National Park is among the most fascinating. This gorgeous national park was established in 1972; since then, it has been a Texan explorer’s paradise. Over 86000 acres of land offer various hiking trails for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner hiker, an expert, or somewhere in between, you’ll find something to your liking. With so many of them, you may have trouble choosing the one that’s the best fit for you. To help you do that, we’ve put together this list of the best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. 

Guadalupe Peak Trail

The best way to start our list of hikes in Guadalupe Mountains is with the most famous hiking trail in the entire park. Besides being the highest mountain peak in the park, Guadalupe Peak is also the highest point in Texas. During the 9 miles of this hike, you’ll encounter many different types of landscapes. Large plants and tiny trees border much of the route, providing shade from the hot sun. However, there are places where finding shade is difficult, so we suggest avoiding it during the hottest months.

Even though it’s very popular, remember that this is quite a challenging hiking trail. It takes anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to complete, so if you’re not in that great of a shape, you should probably avoid it. However, if you’re an experienced hiker who’s just moved to Texas, experts at Evolution Moving suggest definitely giving it a shot. It will help you connect to the state you’ve just moved in and give you a chance to relax after a stressful relocation.

El Capitan and Salt Basin Overlook Trails

Apart from the Guadalupe Peak, one of the most famous attractions of Guadalupe Mountains National Park is El Capitan. This 1000-foot-high limestone cliff is best viewed from El Capitan and Salt Basin Overlook Trails. At 11.3 miles, hiking through them will take you a whole day. However, their moderate difficulty makes them quite accessible. Make sure to bring your camera, as you’ll witness some of the most amazing views of nature out there. 

Pinery Trail

Not all the best hikes in the Guadalupe Mountains are reserved for experienced hikers. Pinery Trail is a relatively short, wheelchair-accessible trail that leads to the remains of the old Pinery Station. It goes through the desert part of the park, so you’ll be able to enjoy the views as you walk through the fields of cacti. A walk down this paved path will probably take you no longer than 30 minutes, making it perfect for a short exercise.

McKittrick Canyon Trail

This hiking trail is probably the most diverse in the entire park. What makes it unique is the sole year-round water source in the Guadalupe Mountains, which are famous for being a dry area. We suggest taking this hiking trail if you’re new to western Texas. Finding movers that can reach any part of the state can be challenging, so you deserve some relaxing time once you get here.

There are many unique plant species, and we suggest paying attention to beautiful juniper trees. Also, if you visit during the fall, you’ll be able to enjoy some magnificent foliage. While the hike is almost 20 miles long, you don’t have to complete it all in one go. As it starts from the Visitor’s Center, you can just turn around and go back at any point. 

Devil’s Hall Trail

The Devil’s Hall Trail begins from the Pine Springs Trailhead and travels through a rocky wash. Here, you’ll see the impressive effects of millions of years of water flow on the natural rocks. This rocky wash turns into a canyon toward the trail’s end, where it takes the shape of a rock hallway. Apart from this, you’ll be able to enjoy views of plants and mountains all around.

While the elevation gain at 550 feet isn’t as large as in some other hikes, we promise that the scenery will compensate for it. However, before you embark on this hike, check the weather conditions. Rainfall can make the hike dangerous as some rocks loosen up, so you should avoid it during rainy days.

 Permian Reef Trail

The best way to describe the Permian Reef Trail would be a geologist’s paradise. Different crystal formations and fossils that show due to erosion throughout this hike will leave no one indifferent. However, you should make sure that you’re in good shape before starting this hiking trail. Nine miles in length and 2400 in elevation gain make it challenging even for the most experienced hikers. Still, once you reach the end, it’s all worth it.

Manzanita Spring Trail

Manzanita Spring Trail is the way to go when you’re looking for some easy and relaxing time in nature. The trail begins at the Frijole Ranch and follows a 0.9 miles-long paved path to the Manzanita Spring. It will take about 30 minutes to reach this gorgeous pool that breaks up the monotony of an otherwise dry area. The spring houses many different animal species, especially birds, making it perfect for bird watching. If you want to go a bit further, the Smith Spring Trail extends from the end of this one. However, keep in mind that this one isn’t paved and is less accessible. 

The Bowl Trail

One of the largest ecosystems in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the Chihuahua Desert. Taking the Bowl trail is the perfect opportunity to appreciate this unique landscape. Even though it’s a desert, plenty of trees provide shade, so you don’t have to worry about the sun. There is quite a challenging part of the trail somewhere around its middle. However, once you get through that climb, you’ll enjoy gorgeous panoramic views and plenty of pine and fir trees. 

Final words

Visiting the Guadalupe Mountains for the scenery is always a good idea. However, while you’re there, you might as well do some hiking. Choosing the best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park can be tricky, as so many offer amazing views of nature and challenging climbs. No matter which one you choose for your next hike, you won’t regret it.

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