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Hiked the trail from Blaylock trailhead (106) clockwise with my Goldendoodle. Set up camp at winding stairs trailhead (18 miles) under hot and humid conditions the first day. Trail was overgrown in some spots and got some poison ivy from the knees down due to lack of hikers this time of year. Will remember to consume more electro lights on the next visit because of the heat and excessive sweating. Finished the following day before noon. Additionally, treat your water as I didn't this time and got a bit of giardia after returning home. This hasn't been a problem in the past:)

Bring more water than you think, we ran out. Awesome views throughout the hike!

HARD - I do a fair amount of hiking, but this trail was no joke. lots of elevation gain and a pretty relentless climb for the first mile or two. we started early around 6:50AM and were done in a little over 4 hours. bring lots of water, more than you think you’ll need and then some - the heat gets to you pretty quickly. I highly suggest starting early as it both provides some solitude on the trail and a break from the high temperatures that you will experience on the descent. the summit offered some great views and provided a nice place to relax for a bit before heading back down the mountain. I would definitely do this hike again and definitely recommend it if you’re training for any sort of thru-hike. have fun!!!!

Hiked this on May 7, 2018.
it was hot, starting the day at 85 F and climbing to 100 F when we came off the mountain. Even with threr applications of sunscreen, I was burnt.

The views are amazing. The first mile is hard, becoming easier as you go on. Lots and lots of steps though.

thank you to the people that upkeep this trail!

Amazing hike, absolutely beautiful. Trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. Lots of cool geologic structures and fossils in the rooks if you're into that sort of thing. It is tough, felt like I hiked 4 miles straight up. There's not much flatness, zigzags all the way up. Well worth it when you get to the top.

this mountain is huge! I hiked it back in 1983 with a few Army buddies before they invented the internet. it's amazing that it is in Texas. who would have thought such a big mountain is in Texas. The main thing I remember is the top of the mountain was covered with ladybugs. I've seen that a few other times in the Southwest. I remember being impatient as there are some false Peaks and it took forever to get up there. Does anyone else still see ladybugs at the top?

hiking
6 days ago

Hiked this clockwise from winding stairs last week with my brother and his son. What we loved about the trail: there was a lovely stream along the trail at almost every point along the way, the campsites were plentiful and well-maintained, there were beautiful wildflowers blooming, and for the most part the All Trails app was incredibly helpful. Some downsides: the trail is pretty poorly marked, the peaks are below tree line (so no rewarding views after the pretty challenging climbs), the footing is tricky in multiple areas due to small sharp loose rocks. It was a great workout and we had a great time. We chose it after scratching our plans to hike in NC due to less chance of rain. None of us had cell signal for the three days we were on the trail, but that is a plus to me. We hiked Sunday to Tuesday, only seeing three people early Sunday, and no one else the rest of our hike. Loved getting to cool off in the stream at the end of each day, and grateful for the - very basic but functional - showers in the bathrooms at the entrance to Alber Pike Park.

Did this trail in June of 2016, beautiful scenery, but fair warning!!!! me and a friend started at lake valentine as the sun was coming up and finished at woodworth around 330pm. NOTICE: the trail is advertised at 23.9 miles, on the website it says 26.2 miles, we brought water for 27 miles and were going to run down (refill water in woodworth) and back for a total of 54 ish miles. We both had GPS trackers and needless to say we ran out of water at 27 miles.... the total length of trail is 36.4 miles!!!! NOT including the 5.4 miles loop around lake valentine. Luckily we’re both military and were able to push through. Just a warning, granted I know most people don’t try to run the whole length.

Did this several years ago. Found an old school bell about halfway up. Rangers said a guy had wanted to see what it sounded like up there but had dumped it (it weighed about 70lbs). The summit was awesome, though. Highly recommend being in good shape before you go, it's a burner.

trail running
13 days ago

I’ve only run here once during the Rockledge Rumble trail race, but it was my favorite trail run so far. Excellent trail. Loved the mix of terrain and thought it was fairly technical for the area. Definitely recommend it.

Great hike! It was around 100 degrees but plenty of shady spots to take a quick break if needed. Took us 2 hours up and an 1 hour and 15 minutes down. Took about a 20 minute rest at the top for snacks. Gorgeous views! Definitely glad we did this one!

mountain biking
15 days ago

It was great trail

My husband and I hiked this loop in two days. We got the summits knocked out the first day. The 5th summit is by far the hardest depending on which direction you start. If you have the time you should camp out on top of one of the mountains. They each have a campsite set up and the views are amazing (and the only part of the entire loop where you get some cell service). We hiked the first part of August and there was always a great breeze....never too hot. The Little Missouri trail had some areas we got turned around and was not marked very well but beautiful views. You definitely need water shoes!! Make sure you have great shoes...the majority of the trail is over rocks so your feet will be sore! Beautiful hike and highly recommend

I hiked this November 22, 2017. The weather was partly cloudy and windy. My friend and I started around 9:00. My friend had a double bypass open heart surgery 14 months earlier. He was stopping every 10 minutes so at 0.5 miles from the trailhead i told him to go back to the car. I was 65 and Scott was 62 at the time. We both had 25 to 30 pound packs, 1-1/4 gallons of water each. We used up most of the water because it’s necessary at altitude.

We are both from Arizona and 560 miles from the trailhead.

I continued up and reached the summit in very windy and cold conditions. My wind meter showed 57 mph on the summit. I had some food and took some photos and i did stop and take several photos on the way up and down. At 500’ vertical feet below the summit here was Scott. This totally surprised me and i was impressed. I continued down about 1/4 mile and waited for Scott. This was a place where i wasn’t blockIng the trail.

I never would allow any person i hike with to be behind me on the way down. Especially a person with a double bypass. If something went wrong then he would be up there on his own, not good. He summited and came down to me and continued down.

I told him to continue down and i stayed behind to help another hiker who had knee problems, i am a EMT. I wrapped his knee and helped him down.

Anyway the man i was helping needed help
to walk out even with his knee being wrapped. The trail is extremely rocky with large steps which are hard on you. I had to use my headlamp and it took me over 4 hours to descend from where i helped the hiker. We didn’t get down until around 7:00 pm over 90 minutes after dark. Scott got down just as daylight was fading.

The view is great from on the summit and as stated earlier lots of wind. I have over 45 years of mountaineering including Mt McKinley
and Mt Rainer via 6 different routes including Liberty Ridge. Even though this is a trail i take any mountain seriously. This isn’t for bragging but to show that i never treat trips like this lightly. I lived in Washington State for 60 years until i retired.

I suggest good boots and hiking poles to
help with the decent which is tedious because your always stepping downs 12 to 24”. There is one small traverse on a mildly exposed slab 150’ below the summit. Two hikers in front of me turned around there because they didn’t want to risk a fall. Nothing wrong with knowing your limits and staying with them.

4.5 hours to summit because of issues with Scott the first 0.5 mile, 30 minutes on summit. Waiting for Scott to summit and to descend to where i was waiting 80 minutes. Helped another hiker with a knee issue and wrapped it, 30 minutes. Then another 4 hours to descend with him to his vehicle. Almost two hours in darkness with my headlamp. I will always help anyone with a issue even if it cost me the summit.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and i hope the message is clear. Also that times can almost double, if issues occur in your party, or with another.

Ron

Heavily traveled trails. Lots of people blasting music.
Having said that, it’s nice hiking with elevation gains and losses throughout. It’s the hilliest part of the DFW metroplex.

Beautiful find in the middle of suburbia. Not a fan of suburbia, so this is a gem to me.

Very difficult. Trail signs say more like 8.4 mi, loose rocks for much of the trail, no real leveling off or let up from the incline. With that said great views. Booked it and took 2.5hrs up, 2 down.

Took me and a friend 2.5 hours to summit. Another 2 to return with lots of stops. Definitely worth the work, amazing views of the desert.

The hardest part about this hike was the heat. There was nothing challenging otherwise. But it was a great way to spend the day working out.

Catching up on my AllTrails reviews. Did this in April 2017 with my then 12 year old son. First mile to mile and a half was no joke, incline got me. I’m a pretty tall 300 pound guy but made it up and down with no real issue. Beautiful hike, beautiful weather, beautiful view at top. Started around 8am, couple of rest stops, finished around 5pm, but detoured on the way down and added an hour. Great hike!

beautiful and challenging. well worth the trip.

Nice trails, but heavy traffic.

hiking
1 month ago

There were numerous spots where we had to cross streams. At one point near the end, we were staring across a river at the spot where the trail continued... on the other side.

Nice hike, lots of bike traffic. Will be back for sure!!

backpacking
1 month ago

Worth the view, but the incline is no joke. I did this with a 50lb pack and camped near the peak. This is an difficult day hike but so amazing, breath taking views!

This was my boyfriend and I’d first summit together. It was really foggy on the way up. We are both new hikers but we’re pretty fit. It took us around 6 1/2 hours to do the trail. We made it up in 3 1/2 hours with multiple breaks. We ate lunch at the top and rested our legs for a little bit until we made our way back down. The fog cleared on our way down and the views were incredible. Definitely worth it!

A little late getting this in, so here goes: I did my annual Freedom Hike (4th of July) this year. Decided to backpack this as, this is part of my training for Mount Whitney. Just getting through the first 1.5 miles of switchbacks was exhausting.

I started out at 10am on July 4th, the temperature was around 95. I weighed by backpack, it came in at 40lbs. Had about 30lbs of gear and carrying 5 liters of water made it weigh right around 40lbs.

The goal was to make to the summit campsite. Right about the turn that it goes from the switchbacks to the wooded area, I said that I would not mind if it rained. Low and behold, it started to rain, for about 3 hours. Stopped several times as the rain was getting heavier and I was keeping an eye out for lightning. This was around noon.

Saw some lightning, and I decided to move forward as the rain was going the other way. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees. It was 95 when I started, and it was 75 when the rains came in. About mile 2.75, saw several day hikers making their way down as they did not summit because of the rain. The Volunteer Ranger (and at this point, he had summited 194 times) was like, "Camp at your own risk." I took that warning.

Got the campsite at around 3 1/2 - 4hrs later, and broke camp. The rain was letting up and it came to a complete stop at around 4pm. At this point, I was napping.

Decided to hike to the summit at 6:30pm and made it up by 7:10pm. I was the only one up there. Signed the book at 7:22pm. I was going to catch the sunset, but didn't want to hike in the dark (I did have my headlamp).

Got back ate dinner. I was the only one there. It was a great way to collect your thoughts, and banjos. Luckily, no banjos were playing.

Headed back the next morning at 7 and made it to my car at around 9:30am. I would recommend camping up there. 5 liters was plenty as i ran out when i got the car.

Very nice scenery! Kids loved it!!!

trail running
1 month ago

Absolutely love these trails. It’s a great mix of level running ground, some mild switch backs, some sandy portions, and some more technical rocky sections. No huge hills or climbs.

Tons of mountain bikers if weather is nice so DO NOT wear headphones. I choose to run counter clockwise along with bikers bc while running I feel I have more of a warning. If I was walking/hiking, I’d go clockwise opposite of bikers.

A few water spigots at major breakpoints but take plenty of water with you as you’re pretty isolated most of the time.

The best part is that it’s not a true out and back since there are the east and west trails. Sometimes they merge, but it’s nice to go out 5 miles, turn come back on a different trail 5 miles to get in 10 (or easily more).

hiking
1 month ago

Went out for a shakedown hike. Started in Woodworth hiked in about 11 miles then turned and came back a couple of miles to a good campsite by water. Trail very well marked, a little overgrown with several trees across trail but nothing too bad. Looking forward to cooler weather. The hike was not bad but it was very hot and muggy at night. Did not see or hear anyone but it was during the week. Will definitely be sharing this trail with my family

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