Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Carlsbad, TX that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round.
The hike up Guadalupe Peak is a rewarding, although very strenuous 8 mile round trip hike with a 3,000 foot elevation gain. It will take from 6 to 8 hours to complete the round trip hike. The hike provides fantastic views from the highest point in the state of Texas (8,749). It also introduces hikers to several of the parks ecosystems including the high desert and the high elevation forests. The trail starts at the RV section of the Pine Springs Campground (1/2 mile from the Pine Springs Visitor Center check in at the visitor center, then turn right out of the visitor center parking lot). Follow the signs for Guadalupe Peak Trail. Follow the hiker trail; the horse trail will add about 1 extra mile to the trip (although it is less steep). You will encounter the steepest part of the hike in the first mile and a half, as the trail switchbacks up the first steep slope. Be sure not to cut across the switchbacks, as this causes accelerated erosion. The views will get better with every switchback you climb. After about a mile and a half, the trail will become less steep as it passes a cliff and then turns around to the north-facing slope. Here, hikers will discover a small forest of pinion pine, south-western white pine, and Douglas fir. The forest exists here since on a north-facing slope there is not as much sunlight. The slightly cooler, shadier climate allows these pines to survive. After nearly three miles the trail will top out at a false summit. It is still a little more than a mile to the actual summit. The trail will flatten out for a short distance as it passes through a sparse forest of ponderosa pine. The backcountry campsite for overnight backpackers is on this summit. After passing the backcountry campsite, the trail descends slightly and crosses a wooden bridge. After the bridge, the trail begins the final climb to the summit. After only a few switchbacks, the top of El Capitan will dominate the view to the south. Eventually you will pass the horse hitching posts and arrive at the summit, where on a clear day you will be rewarded with a tremendous view of the surrounding mountains and desert.
It's tough but well worth it at the top
great challenge, awesome veiws, heavy traffic, good quiet campground, rich and rewarding visits. hiked it twice and still want more.
A hard but rewarding hike!
This was a great trail to hike. Took about 6 hours up and back. Beautiful the whole way and challenging. Definitely my favorite trail to climb so far. Make sure you bring a good pair of boots as there is ice and snow along the top of the path 3/4 of the year.
Very hard, especially for it being my first hike, but I don't regret it, loved the view and the experience.
Amazing hike for a morning! Highest point in Texas and it is the most beautiful view. It's hard to believe that this panoramic mountain view can be found in Texas. Moderate pace and some steeper grades but no rock scrambling required. Highly recommend this lovely hike.
It was difficult but not impossible!
Amazing Journey! Awesome Views! Physically Demanding
Great first hike. Scenic views from start to finish. I would recommend this hike for all ages.
Chose a summer day to make this hike. We got a early start so it wasn't terrible. The nice winds higher up help you cool off. This hike definitely was hard but it was so worth all the different views you get on the way up and at the top. As a Texan it's incredible that this is in our state. Also it wasn't posted very clearly so make sure you stop in the visitors center to get entrance fee's paid.
My first hike and it was pretty awesome. Definitely an indescribable feeling once on top of it. Can't wait to do it again.
Nothing beats baggin a summit in a national park.
steep and long, cloudy day but view should be awesome on a clear day.