The Lighthouse Trail

MODERATE 222 reviews

The Lighthouse Trail is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Canyon, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
492 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

washed out

no shade

hiking
19 days ago

Easy well marked trail. Once you end the tail, you do have to climb up to the ‘Lighthouse’ - please do! Once your up there (flat rock), take OFF your shoes but be careful to not lose your socks. Water and sunscreen is essential! Be safe, be kind.

P.S.

If you have a mountain bike please bring it! It’s so much better (easier), faster, and fun!

hiking
19 days ago

Easy to moderate out and back with a short climb up loose rock. Continue on and up past the Lighthouse for some amazing views from the top. Be sure to set out early if you're going to hike in summer. The afternoon sun can be brutal, plus the morning light in the canyon is breathtaking. There's very little shade along this well marked and heavily trafficked trail, so bring sunscreen and lots of water.

1 month ago

We did this trail a couple of summers ago with my 10 year old grandson. We left mid morning in June and by the time we completed the trail it was 100 degrees. Saw a lot of lizards. We all enjoyed it but really hot!

hiking
1 month ago

pls hike early when sun is not at peak..i learned hard way..almost passed out on this one as we started at 10am on a high 80's finished at around 2pm with temp of 100 not very smart...at the end of the trail theres like 2 ambulance treating hiker for heat stroke....so pls be careful on this one...wear hat,sunscreeen, bring ice cold water like 2 liters each hiker...again start early. but then this I can recommend I will do it again on cooler weather for sure.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail. it is 5.8 miles return. At the trail's end, you can climb up to the lighthouse rock formation. The trail has ups and downs, nice scenary. Well marked.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail in the hottest part of day in the hottest time of year. Other than the heat and need for plenty of water was a pretty easy hike. All in all this was a nice trail with easy terrain. Lots of lizards and annoying bugs (not sure what they were) that would not stop biting me! Was quite disappointed when we hit the “end of trail” post to find you couldn’t even see the landmark from this point. We didn’t carry on due to time of day and water supply but I do intend on going back and finishing the hike to the top of the lighthouse.

hiking
1 month ago

The trail is rated moderate perhaps because of its 5.7 mile distance but it is more of an easy trail. It is well traveled and the trail itself is wide enough for a car at many places. The exception is the last part to the lighthouse which involves some climbing. But that section is not part of the trail proper. If you don’t mind a bit of climbing it is well worth the effort to get up to the lighthouse. The views from there are great. There are a couple of ways to get up from where there is a metallic bench. At first we took the path toward the left. It ended up being a bit difficult and we turned back. We took the one toward the right which was easier so I would definitely recommend that route.

2 months ago

Of course it's a great trail, but watch out for rattlesnakes. We passed 2 rattlesnakes on our hike. One was in the middle of the trail and one was toward the side of the trail in the shade. It had just bit a hiker and she was waiting for medical help to arrive. Hike in center of trail (about5-6 feet wide) and be very aware of surroundings.

hiking
2 months ago

I took my two small dogs on this trail this morning. We got out there just right before 8am and by the time we got back to the car it was blazing hot. It took us about 2.5 hours to compete, but we took it slow and took lots of water breaks. Heavily used, mostly a hard dirt packed trail with some rocks and sand. I would say that the only thing that is moderate about this hike is the oppressive heat. I saw people walking in with only a liter of water but make no mistakes that is absolutely not enough water if you’re hiking in the heat of the day. I had two 64 ounce water bladders in my backpack and I drained most of them. Not much shade, so sunscreen and a hat is a must. Beautiful views, with lots of wildlife. We saw a few lizards, a tarantula, and some bluebirds. I would imagine this trail would have been absolutely amazing when all of the water crossings were full. I would recommend this trail to experienced hikers in the summer and to everyone on the cooler months.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Very popular though. I probably saw 50 people on the trail. The view at the end is amazing.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with an incredible view at the end of the trail- one you get to the “end of trial” signs, take the dirt trail on the left up to see the hoodoos and the great view. It’s a bit of a climb- steep and a little slippery at some points, but well worth it for the view! Go early to miss the crowds.

hiking
4 months ago

Great walk through red rock to the iconic lighthouse formation. “Great reward” at the end is only if you are willing to continue past the end of the trail sign.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great trail with a big reward at the end. Highly recommended to set out first thing when the park opens at 7am, because later in the morning lots of tourists show up. Early AM it was just me and some trail bikers. The trail officially ends at the base of the Lighthouse, where you can't even see it. You then have to go through the two "End of Trail" posts, and follow the footpath up to the spires. Pretty easy, just take care to stay on the correct path back and not a false path, or else you end up a little lost like me. Note that this last part is not on GPS because it isn't official trail, but it is SO worth it to walk the land bridge between the two spires.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail for hiking and mountain biking. Even horses allowed. Couple key notes

* Mostly flat trail. At times rocky with some uphill and downhill. Somewhat slippery.
* Any athletic footwear can handle for anyone who has been hiking but or course trail specific shoes work best
* The trail "ends" before you get to the lighthouse. if that's what you came for, you'll have to pass the "Trail End" sign into a more primitive, un-maintained, smaller trail that's really rugged and slippery. very steep too.
* It's worth it. Great views overall. Unique experience, but the trail overall is easy
* True Moderate. Once you end the trail, difficult.
* Come before May. Gets hotter in the canyon.

5 months ago

The trail itself is one of my all-time favorite trails. I like to start on the GSL, then connect to the Light House. Once you get to the light house, climbing the formation isn't too difficult. But it does have a couple of places that are physically demanding to get to the top. I wouldn't advise the climb for the very young, very old, or if you aren't comfortable lifting your body weight. Otherwise, just the trail it self is awesome, please bring several liters of water. It's hot, dry, and no real shade coverage. Enjoy

hiking
5 months ago

Loved this trail! We went later in the day while it was still cool and beat a thunderstorm coming back in. Didn’t see many others and at one point had to stop and admire the beauty and the great silence of such a vast place with no sound. Awesome!

hiking
5 months ago

Definitely kid and dog friendly, dirt packed and wide. My fiancé and I first time on this trail it was enjoyable started early in the morning to avoid heat and ended up hiking in the low 30s.

hiking
5 months ago

Really great Texas hike.
I started the trail just before dawn so I could capture a few pictures as the sun rose and it was worth the early rise. I was happy with my entire experience while visiting the state park as well.
The trail is large and dirt packed...would’ve made a great jeep trail

hiking
5 months ago

Decent wide hard packed dirt trail with some loose and rocky sections. Highly trafficked but clean and well maintained. It’s worth the trip if you’re in the area.

mountain biking
5 months ago

We mountain bikes from Juniper campground to trailhead and returned for almost 10 miles total. Trailhead is about 1.5 miles from camp. There were hills and some extended flat trail. The last half mile is a scramble walk to the top. We had a great ride. They have temperature gauges along trail. It appears a lot of folks come unprepared. We found a 20 ish couple out of food and totally spent. We gave the snacks so they could get back. Very polite folks.

6 months ago

Good hike and great views. Not to difficult but could get there if it was hotter.

6 months ago

Love it we have We have hiked up and bike to the light house. it would be very tuff in the summer as temperatures are 100+ range. Definitely take plenty of water.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty challenging

6 months ago

One of the most rewarding hikes I have ever done.

6 months ago

I went mountain biking here on Spring Break and got a camp site because someone left early. I was amazed of how much you could see mountain biking this park. When I did the light house trail I mountain biked in to the steep climb and hiked up to the light house rock formations. Very beautiful. They have a place to leave your bike at the steep incline. I remember passing all the hikers thinking “most of this trail is flat , why aren’t they riding a bike. I noticed how tired everyone was. Get a mountain bike people..you’ll love it.

6 months ago

This was a great trail for our family. It is moderate level, but really nothing to difficult until the final ascent to the lighthouse itself. The trail and scenery continuously change, so it does not get repetitive or boring. Definitely bring lots of fluids and snacks for everyone.

hiking
6 months ago

Easy trail, fast walking able to finish in right under 2 hours. Must go past the end to climb up to structure. Trail is good for dogs, minus climbing at the end. Recommend March/April and late fall for hiking to avoid blazing heat.

7 months ago

great views on the way, but a very disappointing ending.

7 months ago

Must continue on past the end of the trail and go up to the lighthouse. It is a short steep climb but very worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Went on 2/9 and the weather was high 60s. Was hot on my way up, but cold at the top and on my way down. Pack a jacket! Quick, easy, fun trail with some scrambling towards the summit which was fun. No shade whatsoever so I can see this being a miserable summer hike. Finished about 2L of water throughout entire hike. Took me about 2h 40m with a 20 min break at the top and no other breaks.

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