Dante's Loop through Purgatory Creek Natural Area

MODERATE 195 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.

DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
452 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

trail running
4 days 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Make sure you have GPS and water. 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. 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.

1 month ago

best hike yet!!

1 month 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.

hiking
2 months ago

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

trail running
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail!

hiking
5 months ago

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

trail running
5 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.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

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

hiking
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.

hiking
Friday, March 03, 2017

Great trail.

hiking
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.

hiking
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!

hiking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

Lots of beautiful butterflies floating around.

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

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

hiking
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Awesome

hiking
Sunday, June 19, 2016

We were pretty disappointed by this trail. Part of it was closed - which was the shaded part. We went on the part of the trail that was getting full sun exposure, and it was miserably hot. The trail isn't kept up/frequented enough to keep the trail clean. The path is very narrow and flowers/weeds/plants are constantly rubbing and scratching on your shins. Wish I would have worn long pants, but then I might have passed out from the heat. There wasn't any good views. Just a rock pile, highway, and completely dried out creek bed. The trail didn't have much elevation, so it wasn't a very good workout. (The most athletic part of the hike was dodging the weeds). Somehow, we ended up on the "closed" part of the trail, as well as an area that said we would be arrested for going on. Too bad we didn't see the signs until exiting those areas. Things are not clearly marked at all. On the plus side, I got a few pics of pretty flowers...but most were dried out & dead.

hiking
Friday, June 10, 2016

We did the trail on a Thursday. Not many people and easy parking. Porta-potty at trailhead (south entrance). We had a great time and it seemed a majority of the trail was in the shade.

Would do this again

Friday, April 15, 2016

got lost in the trails but it doesn't matter we were there to get a workout and we did! great place to unwind and enjoy nature.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Amazing trail. Run it very often.

Load More