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Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Flat, Texas that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 8.1 mi Elevation gain 2,867 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

No dogs

Description
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Contact
Getting There

Note: This trail is currently closed due to COVID-19. The hike up Guadalupe Peak is a rewarding, although very strenuous hike. 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.

Park office 400 Pine Canyon Dr, Salt Flat, TX 79847 (915) 828-3251

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in far West Texas on U.S. Highway 62/180. The driving distance is 110 miles east of El Paso, Texas, or 56 miles southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Weather
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Reviews (1083)
Photos (905)
Recordings (656)
Completed (1867)
Rachel Washburn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Tough hike, but then again aren't all Mountain climbs difficult? We made it halfway and had to turn back because we didn't bring enough water. Beautiful hike though!

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Miguel De La Rocha
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
HikingRocky

A good challenge but worth it!

Daniel Chilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
Hiking

The trail was reopened on June 25, 2020.

Derrek Sack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingRocky
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Rosie S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingFeeRocky
View Rosie's Recording
Zachary Strimbu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky
View Zachary's Recording
Michael Rush
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 01 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Take water - it’s a nice uphill hike until the peak. Wonderful views around. Careful coming down - loose rocks in place.

View Michael's Recording
Jessica Dziondziak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 03 2020
HikingClosedRockyScramble
Robert Franklin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 16 2020
Bugs

It is closed due to the covid-19 over reaction I did it anyway by adding several miles to the hike. Due to the altitude and not bringing enough water i was stopping quite frequently near the top to catch my breath. I am in pretty good condition and I don't know how a person without any conditioning could make this climb. I ended up going over 14 miles total so maybe that hurt more than I thought. Also saw 2 pairs of goats 1 set crashing down near the bridge and the other set running up after I got on the final side for the decent.

Andrew Roseborrough
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 29 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Hiked with my dad on his 60th birthday. Not a technically difficult hike, but strenuous at times; as others have commented, you gain quite a lot of altitude quickly in the first quarter or so of this trail. I strongly recommend planning your trip with an extra day or two available so that your hiking day can be flexible due to weather. Our intended hiking day got cancelled due to high wind warnings on the mountain, so we happily substituted Carlsbad cavern (a short drive!) the first day and hiked the next. What a gorgeous trail!! Being in the southern edge of the range, you're rewarded with great views for during most of the hike, getting to see yourself climb higher and higher off the desert floor. Pack for versatility. It was cold in the shade (in November), but plenty warm in the sun. The views were wonderful due to low tree density, but at times shade was scarce, so be prepared for lots of sun. The wind was fierce at times even on our day with great weather; do NOT challenge this mountain during a high wind advisory, you will be miserable. The hike was incredibly enjoyable all the way up and down, and the views from the top highly rewarding. Pay respect to the weather and you'll have a great time!

Alex Clark
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 19 2020
Hiking

This trail was so rewarding! Definitely not for the faint of heart, but the views all the way up and the reward of the trip are second to none. According to my Watch workout, we climbed 3000 ft elevation from the campground to the peak and went a total distance of 9.3 miles. The weather turned on us at the peak, so I didn’t get the high point views; I guess I’ll have to go again! But don’t miss this trail!!

Crystal McJunkin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 14 2020

First part is pretty steep lost a few toenails. Great hike over all loved the bridge!

Greg Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 12 2020
Hiking

Loved this hike. Every challenging for me (51). But did it in 7 hours. Trails well marked and I did not see one piece of trash. I would do it again.

Zia Sil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 12 2020
HikingRocky

It was awesome! definitely bring a windbreaker with a cinch-able hood because the wind was strong. Bring hiking boots with good socks too. I am out of shape so the ascent was difficult. The descent was hard on my knees but much easier than the ascent. Beautiful views throughout the trail. I loved it!

View Zia's Recording
Austin B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 11 2020
Hiking

Extremely difficult. No dogs allowed.

View Austin's Recording
Nic Monk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 01 2020
HikingRocky
View Nic's Recording
kerri ward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Apr 01 2020
Hiking

Easy to follow, few hikers. Winds gusts weren't bad, occasional. Great time to do it. I had to start from the visitor center adding about 0.66mi (on paved flat road)ea way due to campground closed. Switchbacks were not bad at all, definitely not tight and steep as somewhere like Lassen Peak, just gentle, gradual, and decent distance between. looks worse from the view going down but did not feel it on the way up. Saw a wild hog in the campground parking lot on the way back. Took my time (2.5 excluding extra walk)and spent quite a bit of time at the top.

View kerri's Recording
Jessie Cuellar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 29 2020
Hiking

Great hike, take breaks as needed but very rewarding once you’re on top of Texas!

View Jessie's Recording
Vera Zhdanova
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 29 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Live in TX for 4 year and only about 2 month ago finally hiked. If you are in Texas it is a good activity to here. It took me and my husband to hike round trip about 6 hours. Watch for the weather and wind speed the day you going to hike. When we got to the top the wind was like 22 mph, very strong

Kait S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Mar 28 2020
HikingRocky

Epic hike! This one has been on my list for a while and was so happy I finally get to check it off. Lots of uphill switchbacks for the first mile or so, but after that it’s a fairly easy incline until the top.

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Stephen L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 23 2020
Hiking

Did this one 3/20/20 One of my favorite hikes I have done to date. You go through a couple micro climates which makes the hike super fun and very intersting.

Ellen White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
Hiking

The whole trail is pure switchbacks, but the views are incredible and for warm blooded northerners like myself the cool wind is a blessing. Had to stop around every 15 minutes for a breather cause the elevation is steep, but touching the top is so rewarding. Bring extra socks, band aids for blisters, an extra layer for the wind at the top, lots of water and sunscreen.

William Greening
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
Hiking

Wow! Breathtaking views from the highest natural point in Texas. Well worth the hike and intense incline in the first 3 miles.

View William's Recording
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