This park has Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, the scenic McKittrick Canyon full of Bigtooth Maples, part of the Chihuahuan Desert, and a fossilized reef from the Permian.
Hiking on this trail was a very pleasant experience!. First, because the Bear Canyon Trail, although is steep and some hard to walk, has beautiful views. Second, because of the nice forest at the top that I did not think I was going to to find there. I also climbed the Hunter Peak and walked on the rocks at the top, amazing vista!. I thought going down by the Bear Canyon Trail was going to be very hard, not at all!. Definitely this is a beautiful trek, I enjoyed a lot.
Stunning hike to the top of Texas! Hiked this trail with a couple of buddies in Sep 2014 and we still keep talking about it. Wished we had camped at the top. Strenuous day hike with amazing views. The peak itself and the view of the chihuahuan desert with the clouds beneath us was an amazing sight to see. Be sure to sign the register at the American Airlines pyramid at the summit!
while the part we hiked was beautiful and fun, after about a mile, we found ourselves off the trail somehow. we had three kiddos with us, and once we found our way back, they were mostly over it, so we turned around to head back. we ran into two other groups who had also wandered off the trail. it would be great to have some be better trail markers for first time hikers. i'm bummed that we didn't make it, bc our little folks were making great progress up until we found ourselves in the wilderness. :). but still beautiful.
The first mile and a half was very difficult, both going up and coming down (very steep). The other two and a half miles were a mix of gradual and moderate inclines. From start to finish, it was just under seven hours round trip for me (which included several breaks, photo ops, and an enjoyable lunch at the top). Start fairly early, definitely before 10am. The weather varied greatly, so dress in layers. I experienced sunshine, drizzle, snow flurries, cold wind, cloudy conditions, and then sunshine at the summit. Next to the summit plaque, there was a log book inside an ammo box to record your experience. The first date in the book was from ten days earlier, so I don't know where the log books come from or where they go.
All in all, an excellent and attainable hike if you're willing to push through it. You will probably be exhausted and sore afterwards.
Bring plenty of water and food inside a backpack. You WILL get thirsty and you WILL get hungry. Wear rugged shoes since most of the trail is loose, jagged rock that will slide from underneath you.
It was my first high point and my most difficult hike so far. The view from the summit is extremely rewarding.