4 Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Overview

With only 80 miles of trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, hikers have the opportunity of traversing all of the best hikes in one weekend visit. The park protects the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef and is home to the 4 highest peaks in the state of Texas. Below we have highlighted the 4 best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park that you won’t want to miss.

StateTexas
Nearest Metro AreaEl Paso, TX
Area Size86,416 acres
EstablishedSeptember 30, 1972
Hiking Trails82 miles

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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Peak Trail
View over El Capitan from Guadalupe Peak
View over El Capitan from Guadalupe Peak, Photo by Shann Yu

The hike up Guadalupe Peak will get you to the highest point in the state of Texas (8,749′). The long climb is a steady uphill the entire way with switchbacks throughout. Sign the summit register and enjoy the expansive views before beginning your return trip down the mountain. The trailhead is located near the Pine Springs Campground.

  • 8.4 miles out and back
  • 2900′ elevation gain
  • Strenuous
McKittrick Canyon Trail (to the Grotto)
McKittrick Canyon Trail
McKittrick Canyon Trail, Photo by Clinton Steeds

Located in the northeast corner of the park, this canyon trail is easily one of the best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This is most popular during the fall foliage as the colors are a sight to behold! The trail continues past the Grotto eventually connecting with the Tejas Trail but the grade increases significantly…the Grotto marks a good turn-around point. The trailhead is at the end of McKittrick Road.

  • 7.0 miles out and back
  • 300′ elevation gain
  • Moderate
Devil’s Hall Trail
IMG_2815
Devil’s Hall Trail, Photo by Kirk Y.

This is a fun trail near Guadalupe Peak where half of the trail hikers pick their own path through a boulder-strewn wash. Scrambling over large boulders sounds like fun to me! A natural staircase will get you to Devil’s Hall, an impressive slot canyon. The trailhead is at the Pine Springs Trailhead next to the visitor center.

  • 3.8 miles out and back
  • 550′ elevation gain
  • Moderate
Smith Spring Loop 
Smith Spring Creek
Smith Spring Creek, Photo by David Fulmer

Fairly easy trail with scenic view of the surrounding mountains, foothills, and desert landscape. The high point of the trail is Smith Spring which creates a unique, lush pool in the desert environment. The trailhead is located at the Frijole Ranch.

  • 2.3 mile loop
  • 400′ elevation gain
  • Easy

Featured Image: Guadalupe Peak from Hunter Peak, Photo by CarlCarlsonIV

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