Dante's Loop through Purgatory Creek Natural Area

MODERATE 208 reviews

Dante's Loop through Purgatory Creek Natural Area is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near San Marcos, Texas that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.9 miles
452 feet

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



The 463-acre Purgatory Creek Natural Area is within the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, is home to Purgatory Creek, and includes upland meadows, canyon bluffs of 40 feet or more, dense juniper thickets, champion oaks, and a flood control dam.

1 day ago

it's got some distance to it don't forget to take a bottle of water or two, easy to moderate with some elevation included

15 days ago

Great trails and trail markings, moderately flat and curvy. Love the intersections and alternate trail routes available. But there's a lot of road noise from the nearby highway, but only on certain sections on the trail. Bring water.

trail running
21 days ago

I loved running this trail. It has a lot of variety. There are wide smooth parts to very rocky areas. I enjoyed the challenge of the hills and the rugged terrain. I ended up with 9 miles at 10:40 pace to include some walking parts. I can't wait to run it again!

1 month ago

Had a great time. Ended up 13.58 miles so it was a good hike. But the trails are poorly marked

trail running
2 months ago

Ran Dante's Loop there and back starting at Lower Purgatory. Tripped and fell 7 times, mostly on the upper portion. Too many roots and too rocky. Even if I didn't trip and fall, I couldn't enjoy the scenary because of the concentration the trail requires. Not what I am personally looking for with trail running. I might run the Lower portion again but not Upper. It makes for a fine hike though.

3 months ago

Make sure you have GPS. Some parts of the trail are clearly marked and other areas can be confusing. I planned a 4.3 mile hike and ended up doing 6.6 miles my 1st time out. It's a beautiful area so I didn't mind too much. Lower Purgatory has some car noise from Wonder World/ RR12 so I much preferred upper. I have seen a coral snake very near the trail. We startled each other so watch your feet, expecially in the summer. Upper Purgatory is rather rocky and technical. The Paraiso portion on this suggested route in upper Purgatory is closed in the spring.

3 months ago

best hike yet!!

3 months ago

I went to this trail in late March and it was a tad muddy so boots are important. Also ran into a hive of bees that we're swarming, perfectly natural for them to do, but also had to turn back and take a cut over on Ovid trail. Please avoid the bees for personal safety, and also to cause as little stress as possible to the hives, as they are in decline.

Trail is a decent length. Especially for the area.

4 months ago

Nice trail, not long, but enjoyable for what it is.

trail running
5 months ago

Trail markers are bit confusing. Still great trail to run!

6 months ago

Great trail!

7 months ago

Great for your local walk, not worth driving to just to go hiking.

trail running
7 months ago

The terrain is a nice mixture with enough smooth surface for running. Great opportunity to make it as long or short of a adventure as you want.

9 months ago

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

needs a little more upkeep. areas are very rough, pointy sharp rocks sticking out of ground where path is. very beautiful.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Half of the trails are closed this time of year. But this wasn't posted until we got there. The trails that are open are nothing but rocks. Watch your feet.

mountain biking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The trail is pretty good overall (I loved it) it's a great trail it's on the NW side of the trail when it gets very challenging.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Wish there was water Carrier there. Other than that perfect place to spend all day

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Great park for a nice quick getaway and picnic. Had a run in with several deer and one snake. Man made structures and traffic noise are abundant at the start of the trail at the lower entrance but once you get up, over, and down into the bowl area it's not so bad. Didn't make it to the northern part of the park but will certainly be back to explore.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Great trail.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This complex has over 9 miles of trails. The entrance trail at Hunter does pass drainage infrastructure but the rest is very natural.
There is wildlife and cactus. Most of the trail is fairly clear but there is enough up and down with rocks and roots to add interest. There are a few nice beauty spots.
The rating of moderate fits for about a third of the trail. The rest is easy.
Complaints of not pretty or not marked well enough are funny to me. Nine miles of semi arid area with cactus and mesquite over rocky hills will present some small challenges. That's why people do it. If you didn't see pretty, then you didn't hike far enough.
If you are posting complaints about navigational challenges here, then you are not fully utilizing the app.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Surprisingly good trail. Varied terrain. Some areas are not very clearly marked so it is easy to get turned around. Lots of trail work going on so I expect it to be better each time.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

nice trail, but can get a little repetitive as far as scenery goes. but overall it is a great trail to hike and love going with my dog!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Lots of beautiful butterflies floating around.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Put in at Prospect Park TH and hiked to Upper Purgatory and returned. Well marked and maintained trails.

Friday, July 08, 2016

No water. As stated, does not loop.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Some trails were pretty crowded by brush and it was a little closer to civilization than I'd like but still really nice! Also, clearly marked which is nice.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Trails need to be more define, need more maps posted and areas need to be well kept. It was just OK.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Several of the trails are washed out. Nothing fabulous about the trails. Trails not marked well and are overgrown.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


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