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Showing posts from March, 2014

Bush Mountain

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Summit elevation: 8631 feet
Elevation gain: ~2800 feet net
Distance: 6.5 miles one way
Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Date: March 29, 2014


Bush Mountain is the second highest peak in Texas, being located 2.87 miles northwest of Guadalupe Peak. Between the two peaks are Shumard and Bartlett peaks, the third and fourth highest peaks in the state, respectively. Bush Mountain can be accessed from either Dog Canyon or Pine Springs, where I began my hike.




From Pine Springs it is about 6.5 miles one way with 2800 feet of net elevation gain (not counting the several hundred feet that you gain and lose along the ridge) to get to Bush Mountain. I began by hiking the Tejas Trail for 3.7 miles and nearly 2000 feet of elevation gain as it switchbacks to the trail's intersection with the Bowl and Bush Mountain trails. The Tejas Trail steadily gains elevation for much of its length, without any really steep sections. This trail also sees a fair amount of traffic on nice days …

Frijole Ranch & Manzanita Spring

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Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Date: March 28, 2014


After a 2.5 mile loop hike on the Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail, I made a short trip to Frijole Ranch and Manzanita Spring where there were many small wildflowers in bloom on this warm spring day. Frijole Ranch was built in 1876 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Manzanita Spring (which has been dammed and turned into a pond), is a short walk down a paved path from the ranch. From Manzanita Spring, you can continue on the trail to Smith Spring and then return to the trailhead to make a loop.









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Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail

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Distance: 2.5 miles (round trip)
Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Date: March 28, 2014


The Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail is an alternate trail for hiking the very bottom section of the route to Guadalupe Peak. As is in the name, it is for horses since they are not allowed on the first 0.7 miles of the Guadalupe Peak Trail (but people are allowed on the horse trail). On the afternoon I arrived in the park on the day before hiking to Bush Mountain, I made a 2.5 mile loop hike by combining the first mile to Devil's Hall, 0.8 miles of the Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail, and then finishing with 0.7 miles on the Guadalupe Peak Trail.




The first mile to Devil's Hall is relatively flat, but once you reach the junction with the horse trail, you begin a steady climb, although it isn't all that steep. The views from the Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail are fairly good and include Pine Spring Canyon and Hunter Peak. The overall elevation gain is about 500 feet, and you reach the h…