There are over 86 miles of trails and three different ecosystems (the desert salt flats, the canyons, and the upland alpines) to explore.
Guadalupe Peak Trail
The 8.4 mile round trip hike to the Top of Texas and back on the Guadalupe Peak Trail from Pine Springs Trailhead generally takes 6-8 hours. It is a strenuous hike with an elevation gain of 3,000 feet on the very steep trail. The first mile and a half is the steepest. THere is a false summit after three miles with a backcountry campsite – the top is another mile. The final climb has a few switchbacks and is after you pass horse hitching posts. A monument installed in 1958 marks the top. Don’t forget to read and sign the Guadalupe Peak register!
Be sure to take plenty of water as this is in Texas and it can be HOT. Also be sure to watch the weather, as thunderstorms can roll in towards the afternoon. If you are planning to camp in the area, you will need solid stakes to ensure they penetrate the rocky ground and your tent does not blow away in the fierce winds.
The Bowl Trail and the McKittrick Canyon Trail to The Grotto are also common day hikes. If you only have a half a day, try the SMith Spring Trail, the Devil’s Hall Trail or the McKittrick Canyon Trail. For a short hike, try the Pinery Nature Trail.