Climbing Guadalupe Peak

Believe it or not, Texas is not completely flat. The "hill country" to the west of Austin leaves much to be desired from a topological standpoint: the hike with the greatest elevation gain in the whole Hill Country appears to be in Enchanted Rock State Park, and that only goes up a whopping 425'.

guadalupe peak texas

However, once you get into far west Texas, things start changing for the better. In fact, the highest point in the state is Guadalupe Peak and it's 8749'. Not exactly the Himalayas, but still not just a "hill".

I bagged said peak on Thanksgiving day 2003. The wind on the passes near the peak are infamous, and when I started out in the morning from nearby Carlsbad New Mexico, the strong wind was a bit of a concern. However, it wasn't that bad when I got to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The hike to the top is 8.4 miles round trip, with almost 3000' of gain. It took me a little under 3 hours to go up and a little under 2 hours to come back down. Because of the desert environment, I carried over 10lbs. of liquid: 3L of water and 2L of gatorade.

As others have mentioned, whatever wind there is on the trail abates once you summit. Up top you can see the desert for miles all around.


United States
31° 53' 29.3388" N, 104° 51' 38.6172" W
May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm