The highest point in Texas is Guadalupe Peak at 8751′ and we stood atop it with pride. During last summer we hiked the highest mountain in Colorado, Mt Elbert. It seemed fitting that we should do the same here in Texas.
Our hike was an out and back of 8.4 miles with 3000′ of climbing. The trail starts and climbs immediately up steps, up rocks, up switchbacks. All the while, you can look back down at the parking lot and see how far you’ve come. Once the trail wraps around the other side of the mountain it is more gradual and makes long sweeping traverses up. Pretty soon you’re in highland forest with trees! The last push is pretty rocky and steep. It was a clear blue sky with very calm wind; I can’t imagine hiking it in less than ideal conditions.
We were alone at the top of Texas and it was wonderful. A giant obelisk marks the peak making it all feel very official. We left a message in the metal box, ate our sandwiches, took a bunch of pictures and headed back down. My knees always get cranky on steep downhills but they did fine this time.
We were done with plenty of time to spare and I was able to read most of the afternoon. Great day.