Emory Peak Trail Hike
Back when we were at Guadalupe Mountains National Park we hiked to the highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak. Today we hiked Emory Peak which is the highest point in Big Bend National park at 7832’. Our hike was around 11 miles with 2529’ of climbing.
This trail starts right from the Chisos Basin Trailhead and hikes up into and through the forest. Trees! Deciduous and evergreen trees were everywhere and provided good shade. The pinnacles and rocky landscape on the mountainsides kept me constantly gazing upwards. Though strenuous in parts, especially right before the split to Emory Peak at the top, we made great time. Once on the spur trail to the peak the views really open up and you’re treated to a panoramic wonderland.
We left our hiking poles and scrambled through rock piles to a little perch on the peak and enjoyed our sandwiches while on top of the park! Derek’s fear of heights made him less than comfortable but he stuck it out and pretended to enjoy it. I definitely didn’t feel like I was in Texas.
Laguna Meadows to South Rim Hike
We’ve already had two big hiking days here, with Marufo Vega and Emory Peak hikes, but had to add this hike. This day was 11.8 miles with 2250’ of climbing. Sitting in the truck in the parking lot we were doubtful of the weather as the winds were gusting pretty high. But luckily, once on the trail they died down and the warm weather once again greeted us.
Starting once again from Chisos Basin Trailhead, we headed up the Laguna Meadow Trail. Gently climbing through the forest, up switchbacks and to the saddle we were treated to views of one drainage over from the day before. The meadow with tall grasses and bushes after the first 3.5 miles was fun to see. I felt certain I’d see a mountain lion or bear, but we only spied a couple of deer and a billion birds. Once we wrapped around to the backside we turned and headed out to the South Rim. Whoa. Hands down the best view in the park. Standing alone on a 2000’ cliff looking out across the world was a highlight of the entire park. Stunning. Just stunning.
After our daily sandwich we turned around and hiked back down. Along the way we passed another couple that were having a discussion about french fries. I joked with them about it and then spent the next 5 or so miles thinking about thick steak cut fries.