Guadalupe Peak


Guadalupe Peak

Guadalupe Peak offers one of the most rewarding hikes in Texas. This iconic peak is part of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and provides hikers with stunning views of the Chihuahuan Desert and beyond. The hike is challenging but promises a sense of accomplishment and breathtaking vistas from the "Top of Texas."

Guadalupe Peak is part of the ancient Capitan Reef from the Permian Age, making it a geologist's paradise with well-preserved marine fossils. At the summit, you'll find a stainless steel pyramid installed by American Airlines in 1958 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Butterfield Overland Mail route. This historical trail was an essential stagecoach line connecting St. Louis to San Francisco.

Access Point

Navigate to V5WC+HV Salt Flat, Dell City, TX.

The trailhead for the Guadalupe Peak Trail sits beside the Pine Springs Visitor Center, accessible via Highway 62/180. After passing the visitor center and Pine Springs Campground, you'll find a large parking lot at the end of the road. This lot also serves other popular trails in the park, such as the Devil's Hall and El Capitan trails.

Recommended Route

Follow the Guadalupe Peak Trail.

The Guadalupe Peak Trail is an 8.4-mile round-trip hike that begins at the Pine Springs Trailhead. The trail starts with steep switchbacks, gaining 1,000 feet in elevation in the first mile. It then levels out slightly as it passes through a forested area with pinyon pines and Douglas firs. The final ascent involves more switchbacks and open terrain before reaching the summit. The hike typically takes 6-8 hours to complete, so start early to avoid the afternoon heat and secure a parking spot.


  • Pets: Not allowed on the trail to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Fees: An entrance fee to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is required.
  • Leave No Trace: Pack out all trash and respect the natural environment.
  • Weather Considerations: Be prepared for rapidly changing weather, and avoid hiking on windy days as gusts can reach up to 80 mph.

Lodging & Camping

No lodging facilities are directly on the trail, but the nearby Pine Springs Campground offers a convenient place to stay. The campground provides basic amenities and is a good base for exploring the park. For those looking to camp closer to the peak, there is a designated backcountry campsite about 3.3 miles into the hike. This spot offers a more rustic experience and requires carrying all necessary supplies.


How challenging is the hike to Guadalupe Peak?

The hike is considered strenuous due to the 3,000-foot elevation gain over 8.4 miles round trip. It involves steep switchbacks and rocky terrain, making it challenging for those not in good physical condition.

When is the best time to hike Guadalupe Peak?

The best time to hike is during the cooler months of spring and fall. Summer hikes can be extremely hot, and winter conditions can bring snow and ice to the trail. Starting early in the morning is recommended to avoid the heat and secure parking.

What should I bring on the hike?

Essential items include sturdy hiking shoes, at least one gallon of water per person, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, snacks, and a camera. Trekking poles are also highly recommended to help with the steep and rocky sections of the trail.

Are there restrooms at the trailhead?

Restrooms are available at the Pine Springs Trailhead near the parking area. However, there are no facilities along the trail, so plan accordingly

Can I bring my pet on the hike?

No, pets are not allowed on the trail.


Photo credit: Neil James Fernandes