(Pine Springs TX)
Next stop was a visit to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which includes the highest point in Texas. The Visitor Center has a nice display about the area and features of the park. There is another section of the park on the north slope of the mountains.
Ten trails of varying difficulty, elevation gain, and up to 11 miles round trip offer plenty of variety. Some are suitable for overnight back country camping. I chose the moderate Devil’s Hall trail, 4 miles round trip, about 750 ft rise.
The first part of the trail was fairly easy and skirted the wash. A noisy family followed me part way up, but turned back when they encountered the rock strewn wash that the trail took up to the “hall”. It was a relief to have quiet again.
Boulders in the wash made for some rock scrambling, but not too bad. Cairns had been placed every so often to confirm you were still on the right track. As I approached the “hall”, there were natural steps in the rock formation.
Devil’s Hall was a narrow slot with vertical walls on both sides. After passing through the hall, I went a bit further. Soon, I rested awhile, and had a snack before heading back down. It was a pleasant hike with beautiful views all along the trail.
Two nights at the Pine Springs CG inside the park at 5,822 ft. It has two sections, one for tent campers and a parking lot for RVs. There was a picnic table for those lucky enough to get a spot along the edge (I was lucky), and flush toilets. Easy access to the trails from the campground.
Camp: Guadalupe Mountains NP – Pine Springs CG
Scene: Mountains, rocks, cliffs, trails