PART ONE: Orientation
Unless you have been to far west Texas you might not know the state has sizable mountains along its far western reaches .
The highest of these is Guadalupe Peak, in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Here it is on the map, and here is the route we will take to get there from Pine Springs (a parking and camping area) next to the Park Headquarters:
The trail is 4.2 miles (6.7 km) up and 4.2 miles (6.7 km) back. Funny how that works.
It is steep, it gains 3,015 feet (919 m) in elevation.
This hike took place on a summer day with some cloud-buildup that never made it to either the towering cumulus or cumulonimbus stages. No rain, No lightening.
It was 97 that day in Carlsbad, less on the mountain, but the sun and lack of wind in many places made it a hot hike. Carried 5 water bottles and 2 Gatorade bottles and drank it all by the time I go off the trail, and more as soon as I got back to the car.
Enough about me, now it is time to look at the trail we will be walking up. Back in 2012 when I climbed up to Hunter Peak (see map above), directly across the canyon from Guadalupe Peak, I took this photo:
Look at the mountain rising at left and you will see the switchbacks in the Guadalupe Peak Trail coming up from the canyon bottom, and then making a right turn.
It follows below a crest until it gets to another mountain where you can see another set of switchbacks, then it goes west between two mountains and then meanders up the slope that finally reaches Guadalupe Peak. It is a long walk.
Here is another view of Guadalupe Peak from the Bowl Trail that takes you from the Tejas Trail to Hunter Peak, with Shumard Peak to its right.
Since you have now seen where we are going from Hunter Peak, we will use Hunter Peak from time to time to gauge our elevation. Once on Guadalupe Peak we will be only 400 feet higher than Hunter Peak.
At the parking lot the face of the first mountain looks a bit forbidding, it is hard to tell where the trail is:
The trail meanders back and forth up the grassy slope and then walks at an angle up the face of the rocky cliff part. We will get to the cliff on the next page.
PART TWO: To the cliff bottom
PART THREE: Through the cliff
PART FOUR: Slanted forests
PART FIVE: The false peak
PART SIX: Final ascent
PART SEVEN: Views from the top
PART EIGHT: Just a few return views
Click here to go to Guadalupe Mountains index page with hikes and maps
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