Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail

HARD 653 reviews

Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail is a 8.1 mile moderately 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.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,867 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

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.

hiking
9 days ago

My husband and I hiked up Guadalupe Peak today. It was great! As everyone says the views are awesome. We started at 6:45am and it took us about 7 hours (we stopped to take a lot of photos and wandered around and relaxed at the top, too). Definitely need to take lots of water. We each drank about 3 liters. It was well worth the effort, just make sure you are prepared. Then, have fun!

hiking
11 days ago

Very strenuous, bring a lot of water. Very rocky in some parts. All in all it is worth the climb.

hiking
14 days ago

Started at 6:45am local time. Took about 6 hours. It’s tough, no doubt about it. Drank a liter of water before I got there. Took three liters up and finished the third on the way down. Water was key as there’s limited shade in the first half. Each turn showed more beautiful views. Definitely worth it!

hiking
rocky
18 days ago

Very fun and well maintained trail. The views from the top are incredible. Most well known trail in the park. Probably about 50% of visitors that come here just do Guadalupe Peak.

hiking
1 month ago

I love it. It’s hard but posible. I’m in my 50’s not in my best shape but did it in 4 hrs. The first 2 hrs were the most difficult but worth it. It was my first time. The views from the summit are great. I’ll do it again.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great trail, well marked, well maintained beautiful day!

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This hike was strenuous! Bruh lots of water if planning on doing this hike. Windy at the top but worth every step. The sights were amazing!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

A tough trail but the view at the top is worth it. The first mile and the last half mile are the worst. It is riddled with switchbacks and steps so you cover a lot of altitude without much distance traveled. You can’t see the peak til much later so it’s a little disheartening when you think you see the peak you’re going to until you see the taller one right behind it. The last half mile is awfully rocky and the trail is easy to lose. The campsite near the peak is very nice though and the monument alongside the view at the peak is wonderful.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

1 month ago

well kept trail. great campsite near the peak as well. strenuous hike but doable for almost anyone. don't go during heat of the day!

The switch backs at the beginning are tough. So much rock and the steps are large. Coming back down them after your knees and feet are tired is a spiritual journey itself haha. Other than that it was great! I loved turning the corner on one side of the peak to the other, and seeing the transition from desert to forest. The summit is a busy place but everyone is there for the same reason so getting pics and what not is easy, and you can catch a few bits of other people’s stories which is cool. Took right at 4 hours up and down.

Strenuous and rocky. Start early and bring lots of water. Poles helped. Our route measured 8.8 I think.

hiking
1 month ago

Pack light, plenty water, few carb sticks, walking stick, and expect minimum 6 hrs walking at a moderate pace.

1 month ago

My son and I slept in the parking lot and headed up at 4 a.m. and were back down around 8:30. It was amazing meeting the sunrise at the peak. We are in pretty decent shape and pushed hard. Glad we left early, as temps were very agreeable versus when we got back to the car and to some folks were just starting up when the heat was increasing. Beautiful trail. Very windy at the top, but nea to see the change from desert to forest on the way up. Drank entire 2 liters in our Camelbacks and had 4 Clif bars. Not for inexperienced hikers near the top on a windy day.

1 month ago

loved the views did it with my wife, 10 and 13 year old in 7- 8 hours. The only thing that made it hard it was like hiking on boulders and loose rocks. Also make sure you have enough water we ran out the last mile.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Difficult hike. Took 9 hrs. The first mile was steepest. Once you "round the corner", gets easier and shady. Once you hit campground area, you have 1 mile left. The last 1/4 mile is treacherous, the trail us narrow and you have to scramble on the side of the cliff. Spoke to Ranger, the idea is to.maintain it in pristine condition.....a hand rail would be nice. Bring lots of water. Bring food. Start early. Be ready to scramble up rocks on a very narrow ledge for the last 200 feet.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

1 month ago

We are in our upper 50s and it took us 7 and 1/2 hours. It was difficult but well worth it. Very nice to see the top and all the views from there.

1 month ago

beautiful hike, I am in my mind 20s and in good shape, but it had me breathing hard at times. Normally takes 6-8 hours I believe but we did it in 4-5.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was great. Views were great. I would recommend for most people as long as you are reasonably in shape. Took us 6 hours. Forgot to record.

hiking
1 month ago

Start early before the heat sets in. We would rate this trail as moderate. We made it up in 2.5 hours. The trail is well built with lots of switch backs which make the ascend very manageable. The views from the top are stunning.

2 months ago

Epic hike don't miss out on this one. bring plenty of water and snacks.

hiking
2 months ago

Extraordinary hike with panoramic views all along the climb. You must be careful to hydrate well with breaks in the shade when possible. Allow about 4 liters of water. Very beautiful trails.

An amazing trail to hike with a very rewarding view from the peak. We completed the out and back in 3 hours 15 minutes although we were pushing the pace a bit. Bring lots of water and some high energy snacks for the hike.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Great hike! We started at 6:00am and finished around 11:30 with about 1 hour rest. Great views, windy in a couple of places but not bad at all.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Really difficult but trail, but definitely worth the views. Our knees had a hard time on the way down because of the rocks but overall the trail is worth seeing.

2 months ago

A good 6 to 8 hour hike. A well marked trail with Great vistas

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