Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Today we’re going to show you a few hikes from one of the other national parks we’ve recently enjoyed; another one with which we’ve absolutely fallen in love. About a 40 mile drive south of Carlsbad Caverns, in the same mountain range but just over the border into Texas, is Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This park is home to Guadalupe Peak, which at 8,751 feet is the tallest summit in Texas, and in this mountain range. 

The 8.5 mile out and back hike to Guadalupe Peak was the first hike we did in the park. It was one of our first real hikes at high-ish elevation where we actually had a bit of a climb; I’m happy to say neither of us had any issues with it at all. The park info says this trail typically takes 6-8 hours to complete, but we were up and back in just under 5, and that included an extra peak you have to bushwhack to reach as well as a long lunch break at the summit. So this hike did a lot to ease our minds before any big hiking days. 

Early on in the climb

A few days after Guadalupe Peak, we went back to the park after work for a quick hike on the Devil’s Hall Trail. Most of our hiking tends to be somewhat strenuous, so this relatively short, flat, easy yet scenic trail was a fun change of pace, and a perfect way to unwind after a work day.

One view of our favorite section of the trail
Devil’s Hall
Looking back the way we came
Some of the trees gave this trail a fall feel

Later on in the same week we managed to fit two more hikes in a single day. The first was a quick lunch break loop out to a spring, while our second hike was a post-work 8.5 miles or so on the Bowl Trail to Hunter Peak. The way we went up was a fairly quick climb, and our pace set us up for a perfectly timed arrival at the summit, a stunning vantage point for the sunset we’d been chasing up the mountain.

I wish these pictures could do justice to the sunset. We have talked about getting a camera, rather than relying only on our phones. I’m not sure if or when that will happen though; having a camera also means carrying a camera.

Our last hike in the Guadalupe Mountains, at least for now, was a long one. We set out intending to complete a 17 mile loop but took a wrong turn which tacked on another four. At least the bonus miles were scenic, though. Wrong turns are so much worse when they’re boring.

Despite our late start and unintentional 22 mile route, we made good time and finished not long after dark. I’m not usually a huge fan of night hiking, but these Guadalupe Mountain sunsets might just change my mind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: