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The Top Of Texas

Posted by on January 4, 2018

Hey Guys!! While we were in the Carlsbad, NM area we spent a couple of days at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas.

The Guadalupe Mountains sit right on the New Mexico-Texas state line. We were so close, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore another Texas National Park Unit!

Our first day at Guadalupe Mountains NP we did two hikes and the boys completed the Junior Ranger program.

We did the Pinery Trail which is a short trail to the ruins of an old stagecoach stop from the 1800s called the Butterfield stagecoach station. This was a super easy almost one mile paved trail.

The second trail we hiked was the Devil’s Hall trail. This trail started off great with about a mile of constructed trail. We saw some really pretty fall colors on this trail!

Just when you think the Devil’s Hall trail is going to be easy peasy the constructed trail ends and dumps you out at a wash and the “trail” follows the wash for about a mile or so. This was a difficult trail due to the fact that there wasn’t really a trail. There were several times where you could tell which direction you needed to go, but there wasn’t a definite way to get there. And there were a couple of time when we weren’t really sure if we were going the right way. The wash was littered with big boulders and slippery round rocks. So…the going was slow.

One of the things we learned while doing the Junior Ranger program here is what an Alligator Juniper looks like! The bark looks like gator hide. We had fun pointing out the different trees while we were picking our way down the wash.

At the end of the wash you get to a natural staircase that they call a “hiker’s staircase”. You can see The Dude making his way up the staircase in the pic above. It was a little tricky to get up with a camera around my neck. I ended up having to hand the camera up then scale the “staircase” myself.

Once you make it to the natural staircase you’re almost there! I probably took way longer than necessary because I kept stopping to take pictures.

Devil’s Hall turned out to be a short narrow canyon. We walked down it and explored the area for a little bit before turning around to traverse the wash again.

We did another hike on Thanksgiving Day. We did the Guadalupe Peak trail which is a strenuous trail that gains a total of 3,000 feet of elevation.

I try to do my homework when it comes to trails like this. Everything I saw said that if you can make it past the first 1,000 feet or first mile and a half then you won’t have any problem finishing the hike. What they failed to mention is that after that first mile you’ve worked so hard going almost straight up that your legs are shot for the rest of the hike. So, while the rest of the hike isn’t quite as hard…it feels just as hard because your legs are jello! And, I would like to point out…the entire hike is hard. Not just that first mile. Check out the switchbacks we hiked up in the pic above.

Parts of this trail are on exposed cliffs where if you slip…you slide a loooong way down.

Now that I’ve warned you how strenuous this hike is…lets enjoy some of the views! This view was about half way up at the end of one of the many switch-backs.

I thought this bridge was so neat the way it’s right on the edge of the cliff!

Once I got across it and to the other side I got a better look at it and wowzers! It really is right on the edge of a very high cliff!!

Funny story…there was a part right toward the end of this trail where we couldn’t really tell which way we were supposed to go. The couple in front of us each went a different way. I chose to follow the girl and well…we didn’t exactly take the easy way. See those two hikers on top of that rock in the pic above? Yeah, that’s the way we took up to the top. Notice we’re on the trail on the way down. It was much easier! But wait!! I’ve left out the best part!!!

Welcome to the top of Texas, y’all!!

Not a bad place to have a Thanksgiving picnic! We were so hungry from all of our hard work that we promptly sat down on the most comfortable rock ever and ate lunch before we actually looked around at the views. You’ve got to have priorities, you know. Food is very important. 😉

We wolfed down our lunch in record time and then took in the awesome views at the highest peak in Texas! Things sure look different at 8,751 feet up. Oh, I know…there are mountains that would make this one look like a mole hill…but y’all…check out that view!

We spent a good half hour or so eating lunch and taking in the views. We wrote our names in the log book and then started the looonng hike down!

It was faster going down than up and we made it back to our car and the most comfortable seats in the world!

I did find a couple of pretties. Do you remember those little pencil trolls that used to be so popular with the wild hair that went all over the place? That’s what this one reminds me of. Troll hair.

I see this pretty quite often, but still don’t know it’s name. I love it every time I see it.

Well y’all, we made it to the top of Texas and survived the hike! I would say the Guadalupe Peak hike is rated as thehttps://youtu.be/aOw-m8Imk_Y second hardest hike we’ve done so far. The Harding Ice Field hike still holds first place.

See y’all down the road!

#grandwesternloop

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