The state's highest peaks pepper the southeast reaches of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, a solitary wilderness area in West Texas. Summit the tallest one—8,749-foot Guadalupe Peak—on the 8-mile round-trip trek that skirts juniper-studded hillsides and ragged limestone cliffs. Guadalupe's rocky crown showcases views of shimmering salt flats, sprawling desert, and a chain of neighboring 8,000-footers.
PARK INFO: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, (915) 828-3251; nps.gov/gumo/.
- Distance: 12.8
Location: 31.896633, -104.828185
From the parking area, follow Guadalupe Peak Trail west.
Location: 31.895219, -104.834099
Roughly half a mile in, climb a series of switchbacks that lead to Guadalupe's northern slopes.
Location: 31.895231, -104.839767
The trail traverses the shadier, north-facing slopes of Guadalupe Peak. Hike through a small forest of pinion pine, south-western white pine, and Douglas fir.
Location: 31.891505, -104.851145
At the top of the drainage, the trail climbs 0.2 mile to a false summit.
Location: 31.892616, -104.853344
Continue straight at the 3-way junction. The trail on the right leads to a backcountry campground.
Location: 31.891457, -104.86074
Guadalupe Peak: The 8,749-foot summit is the highest in the state. Take in expansive views of shimmering salt flats, sprawling desert, and a chain of neighboring 8,000-footers. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.