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The Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains NP National Park

60 Triplog Reviews in the Guadalupe Mountains NP National Park
Most recent of 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
5.2 mi • 889 ft aeg
Guadalupe NP Devil's Hall
After spending the night in Whites City near Carlsbad Caverns I thought I would hike in Guadalupe National Park before heading back to Tucson. My plan was to hike up to Guadalupe Peak but with the wind still hanging around 50 MPH I opted to do a canyon hike instead. Devil's Hall seemed like a good choice. This trail starts out at the same trail head as Guadalupe Peak but within a few 100 feet veers off to the the north entering Pine Spring Canyon. This is a fairly easy trail with very little elevation gain except the gradual uphill slope of the creek. Mileage for this hike is from the visitors center parking lot but if you can start at the campground you can cut off about a half mile. After 1.2 miles the trail heads down into Pine Spring Creek and remains there the rest of the hike. A little rock hopping is required in the creek but nothing difficult. Make sure to check out the rocks for the many types of fossils pointed out and explained in the visitors center. At about 2.2 miles there is a really magnificent water fall/cascade in the creek. This would be something to see when the water is flowing pretty good, of coarse getting to this point would be difficult if it were running. Climb up the falls (steps provided by nature) and continue up canyon another .4 miles to the Devil's Hall. Along this stretch to Devil's Hall check out the fossils in the rocks on the eastern walls. Devil's Hall is a narrow about 20 feet across and cliffs on either side and maybe 100 yards long. You can continue on for another .1 miles before the trail ends with a sign saying not to go beyond between March and August.
This trail is well worth doing if you don't have a lot of time or looking for a short easy hike after a longer hike to finish off the day. In my case a short hike before making the 6 hour drive home. If I had done the Guadalupe Peak hike that drive home probably would of been a long one. I will be back to do that hike the next time I'm in the area (probably in April).
4.6 mi • 610 ft aeg
Road trip to Carlsbad Caverns NP, Guadalupe Mountains NP and Big Bend NP. Wife and I really enjoyed this hike with the natural staircase and devil's hall. While about a mile or so are in a wash you just have to follow up hill we enjoyed following the cairns that suggest the best route. Had a nice lunch at the hall turnaround point and took photos for two groups that came our way. Would recommend!
2.6 mi • 378 ft aeg
Drove 9 hours the day before to get to Carlsbad, NM and toured Carlsbad Caverns the next morning. That slow 'mall stroll' kills my back so with the drive and the cave tour we needed to do a little something. This short hike was perfect. It's a loop but at about the halfway point is a nice spring and places to sit. Would recommend if you are short on time in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
3.92 mi • 693 ft aeg
wanted to do one more quick hike in the park before heading back west so i hit up Devil's Hall. Nice hike, with shade in the second canyon bottom part. some nice pines and maples in the canyon. Devils Staircase was cool and Devil's Hall is a very neat little spot. saw a couple pleasant folks and a terrifyingly massive centipede on the way back :o
16.77 mi • 4,052 ft aeg
did a big loop up into the guadalupe mountain high country and it was spectacular. my route started at the main Pine Spring Canyon trailhead. I went up the Tejas trail to the top out point and trail intersection, then hiked the Bush Mountain trail to and past the summit of Bush mountain to the Blue Ridge trail, hiked entirety of that to the Tejas trail back to top out point, then back down the canyon on the Tejas. Big loop taking in a lot of the unique piney high country.

Tejas Trail: the hike up the canyon on this trail is probably my favorite part of the hike. pretty big ascent along the east canyon wall with spectacular views. gets you up into the pines

Bush Mountain trail: more rugged with ups and downs. still offers views west to the high peaks on the west side of the canyon uncluding guadalupe peak. before the summit of bush mountain you pass two small campgrounds (Pine Top and Bush Mountain). Bush Mountain is the 2nd highest peak in texas. Unlike guadalupe peak, Bush peak has a large, broad and partly forested summit but still offers prettyawesome views to the west. continuing north past the summit the trail is obiously less traveled but still easy enough to follow. it goes through some small burned areas and small ups and downs.

Blue Ridge trail: takes off from signed intersection with Bush mountain and is mostly downhill. early on you pass another small Blue Ridge Campground. Farther out on Blue Ridge are views of the surprisingly forested high country summits. Shortly after passing signed juntion for the Marcus trail, the Blue Ridge ends at signed intersection with Tejas trail

Tejas: drops you down to dry canyon bottom then begins gradual climb back to the trail intersection at the top of pine springs canyon. this section of Tejas trail is also fantastic as you ascend the small dry canyon through very nice pines with some ample shade.

I absolutely loved this hike and it takes in a lot of cool stuff in the park. aside from a young couple at the bottom of the Tejas trail at the very beginning of my hike, I had this whole entire thing to myself :y:
8.3 mi • 3,054 ft aeg
drove out to guadalupe mountains national park monday morning and did this hike in the afternoon.

nice conditions for the hike and not very crowded at the park. i took my time on the ascent, taking in the scenery of these surprisingly rugged mountains. nice little assortment of flowers. before long you are dabbling in some pines with dramatic views down into pine springs canyon, then higher up views west and south (including the awesome El Capitan). had the summit all to myself and spent a good while enjoying the scenery and a snack. leisured my way down in pristine late afternoon conditions then headed off to carlsbad.

excellent day and excellent hike to the texas highpoint
8.44 mi • 3,400 ft aeg
I had a work trip out to Las Cruces and El Paso to try and sell some plants, and then I had to make the long driver over to Hobbs, NM to give a talk on native plants last week. As it happens, my travels took me right by the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, so I had to get in a hike. :D The peak trail was fairly well manicured as to be expected for a National Park. Worst part of the day were the brutal winds, I had a consistent 40-50 mph headwind climbing uphill, and a few gusts to 70+. There was one point where I went around a corner and the wind was so strong that it actually stopped me and made me stagger to regain my balance...a little disconcerting to say the least. I did run into a few guys from Fort Worth (the 'cool' side of Dallas, as they said) who were heading up to the backcountry camp for an overnighter, at least I am not the only crazy one. I wished them well and kept on chugging. The switchbacks over the first mile and a half are pretty strenuous, but it levels out a bit from there. Pretty country, lots of conifers, Sotols, and Yuccas everywhere you look. Views up top are incredible, even if it is of fairly blank desert and salt flats. I must have been able to see for 60 or 70 miles at least, and it was a somewhat hazy day too. Definitely the coolest peak marker I have seen to date too. I signed in up top, took in the sights, and powered my way down the trail. Good stuff!
2.3 mi • 440 ft aeg
When I was at the Frijole Ranch I mentioned to the rangers that I was going to head up to Smith Spring for the fall colors. One of them who had just been up there told me to be on the lookout for some sheep that were by the spring. About that time a call came in on the radio from park security asking about the sheep sighting and that they were coming over to check it out. Not knowing what they were talking about I joked, "What, are they going to give the sheep a ticket for trespassing?" :lol: With that, I was on my way looking for sheep and color. First stop along the way was Manzanita Spring and pond, then it was a gradual climb to the pocket of colorful trees at Smith Spring. Didn't see any sheep, but took a nice break at the spring area under the canopy of beautiful trees. After taking a bunch of pictures, I finished off the last of a Subway sandwich, washing it down with a Shiner Bock Octoberfest beer. :)

Just as I was finishing the beer, a female voice behind me said, "How are you doing; enjoying that beer?" I turned around and it was the park security ranger who had come up to look for the sheep. She informed me that it was not illegal to be consuming that beverage there, but it does cause dehydration and could increase the chance I might fall on the trail. I chuckled to myself at that and told her I understood (obviously she didn't know she was dealing with a professional when it came to such things :lol: ). That's when I spotted the rifle over her shoulder. :o I mentioned the bit about giving the sheep a ticket and then found out what was going on. She informed me that these were invasive Barbary Sheep (Aoudad) that were introduced years ago, and could not co-exist with Bighorn Sheep. The park would like to reintroduce the Bighorn someday, but that wouldn't be attempted until the Barbary were extirpated from the area.

With that fun out of the way, I headed back to the truck to bid this fine National Park goodbye and start my long 420 mile drive back to Tucson. A stop at Andele Dog House in Mesilla for dinner was the perfect break on the trip home! :D
8.3 mi • 3,170 ft aeg
The set of switchbacks in the beginning felt really difficult, all the while clouds began to fill the canyon between the trail and Hunter Peak. By the time I made it over the ridge to see the stunning views of El Capitan, it had already been covered by the dreadful grey. It was worse at the peak which was entirely socked in. The N/NE cleared up on my way back down, leaving just enough cloud to add dramatic shadows on the mountainsides. Awesome.

On the brighter side, El Cap stood clear and mighty on the drive out.
14.4 mi • 4,800 ft aeg
Bush Mountain & Hunter Peak
Set off on Tejas Trail for Bush Mountain, Texas' second highest peak. Tejas had some pretty good views, but overcast made for lousy pictures. Topped out on Tejas and jumped on Bush Mountain Trail, which generally follows the crest of the huge ridge to the top of Bush. It's basically a straight shot, but there are numerous ups and downs. You can tell this is a back-country trail that doesn't see all that much traffic. Not so much overgrown, just not manicured, which isn't a bad thing at all.
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The peak is somewhat underwhelming. It's really more of a hill, but it has benchmarks. The real reward is the cliffs just a minute to the west. Very cool to see the ground "end" with the desert floor even further below. As I was taking pictures of the cliffs, what appeared to be a big horn sheep was traveling along the ledges. I know I saw the horns, but I'm not familiar with the fauna in the Guadalupes. Possibly some kind of antelope? It disappeared into the trees before I could get a good shot.

With the bad weather the day before causing me to cancel my Bear Canyon hike, I contemplated the option of heading to Hunter Peak and descending Bear Canyon on the return trip. I knew the distance wouldn't be a whole lot more, and with time on my side, it was a no-brainer. Hunter Peak was another one of those sweet peaks that really feels like a peak, if you know what I mean. More cliff candy for the eyes.

I looked for BM Pine Top's azimuth mark near Bear Canyon trail for a while. I ended up walking in a giant circle with no avail. More of those lovely blobs of grey had worked their way overhead and I had some on/off sprinkles on the way down Bear Canyon Trail, which is a steep one. When I was back on "flat" ground, the sprinkling became more consistent. It was pleasant. Frijoles/Foothills took me back to the car, making a nice loop.
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