Smith Spring Trail

Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
Distance: 2.3 miles (3.7 km) round trip
Elevation gain: 410 feet (125 m)
Date: November 3, 2012

Manzanita Spring

After hiking to Hunter Peak on my second day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, I went to Frijole Ranch, which is a house constructed in 1876 that is currently used as a museum. I did not go into the house but rather hiked the 2.3 mile loop trail to Smith Spring.

By hiking the trail counterclockwise, you begin on a 0.4 mile paved, flat, and handicapped accessible section to Manzanita Spring. Manzanita Spring is a small pond below the Guadalupe Mountain foothills in the Chihuahuan Desert that serves an oasis.

Guadalupe Mountains along the trail to Manzanita Spring

After continuing beyond the Manzanita Spring, the trail is a narrow and rocky dirt path to Smith Spring. Much of the trail is through desert, and it drops into a wash at one point, but then exits and moderately gains elevation.

Smith Spring

The trail soon reaches a small wooded area at the base of the Guadalupe Mountains, and before you know it you can hear flowing water. Smith Spring is in a really nice place after walking through the desert, and it provides one of the very few permanent water sources for wildlife in the area.

Guadalupe Mountains viewed from below Smith Spring

Once you leave the the spring the trail quickly reenters the desert where it remains before you reach the trailhead. It is 1.1 miles on the east side of the loop (to Smith Spring) and 1.2 miles on the west side (return to Frijole Ranch).

View Smith Spring in a larger map

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


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