Texas is among the states that has many mountains that are a sight to behold, with a lot of new fauna and flora. Some people do not give much thought to the mountains in Texas, considering that the state has several iconic elements, from the Dallas Cowboys to the long horned cattle and the chili con carne. The main focus of this article is to give you a guide of twenty of the most beautiful and most popular mountains in the state of Texas. Read on to find out which ones made the cut:
20. Guadalupe Peak
The Guadalupe peaks, according to NPS, rise majestically and magnificently from the floor of the Chihuahuan Desert. The mountains are made of ancient fossilized coral reefs, and both the mountains and the desert are located in Western Texas. Though the site of the mountains is in itself a sight to behold, the centerpiece of the mountains is the conifer-forested peaks, which are the highest point in Texas. They are 8749 feet above sea level. A well-maintained hiking trail leads to the summit, and hikers can hike to the summit. At the end of the 4.2-mile hiking trail, according to All Trails, hikers enjoy a wonderful view, especially at sunset when there are splashes of pink, orange, and purple hue all over the Salt Basin Dunes.
19. Amon-Carter Peak
The Amon-Carter Peak is located in Chisos Mountain, which is inside the Big Bend National Park. Many people also refer to it as Crater Peak. It is one of the most popular hiking areas in the state. The hiking experience is nothing short of excellent, though there is some bushwhacking.
18. Anthony's Nose
Anthony's Nose is named so because it has an uncanny resemblance to the human facial feature, the nose. According to Summit Post, the mountain is located in the Franklin Mountainsand is the second-highest peak in the mountain range, coming at 6927 feet above sea level. The area is without a doubt beautiful, though it is not the easiest mountain to climb or hike. Its terrain is filled with ocotillo, prickly bear, lechugilla, and other prickly plants.
17. Bush Mountain
The Bush Mountain is the second-highest peak in the Guadalupe Mountains and in the entire state. The trail to the top is a pleasant climb with soft grasses, moderate temperatures, and some smattering of Ponderosa Pine trees and Douglas fir. Moreover, you can also expect some epic views of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Pine Spring Canyon at the summit. Hikers will also be able to see Shumard Peak, Guadalupe Peak, and Bartlett Peak.
16. Cerro Castellan
Cerro Castellan is located in the Southwest part of the Big Bend National Park in Santa Elena Canyon. It is a butte that dominates the landscape all around it. At first sight, Cerro Castellan looks like a pretty onerous climb, but that is far from the case. On the east of the peak, a steep scramble provides adventurous hikers and climbers a somewhat straightforward climb. The scramble should not take more than a couple of hours, though it is advisable not to do it during the summer as in many other places due to the heat.
15. Chinati peak
Chinati peak is a high point in Presidio County at 7728 feet above sea level. This mountain is only a couple of miles away from the Mexican border. Those who want to experience the scenic beauty that the place offers should follow the Pinto Canyon Road, a beautiful solitary drive that highlights the green grasslands of the Marfa Plateau, the craggy side of the Chinati Mountains, and the Rio Grande valley.
14. El Capitan
El Capitan is the eighth highest peak in the state and has a 305-foot prominence, and the climb offers adventurers some stunning vistas. The stunning beauty of the beautiful desert below is best seen during sunset. There is no trail to the summit, and thus the ascent is made in a roundabout manner. Climbers and adventurers must first climb the Guadalupe Mountain, and then do a little bushwhacking. The ascent to the El Capitan is fairly straightforward from the Guadalupe Mountain. The best time to make the said climb is during autumn.
13. Goat Mountain
Goat Mountain, situated in the Chisos Mountains which are found in Big Bend National Park, is a sight to behold, more so if you are a geologist or interested in geology. There was an ancient river valley that was eventually filled with lava. This left a plethora of many unique rocks and minerals in Goat Mountain. The mountain has two peaks, one at 4540 feet and the other coming in at 4625 feet. There are no recognized trails, and thus climbers will have to bushwhack. This can be done on either peaks' sloping backside. Alternatively, the hikers can move straight up the gully that separates the peaks and then continue to whatever peak they want to ascend. Either route requires planning and necessities for a multi-hour hike, but the reward, the vistas at the top of the summit, is sufficient for all the hard work.
12. Indian Peak
This is in the Cater Mountain Range, and it belongs to the United States Army. It thus does have a trail. The trailhead is at the northern part of the Franklin Mountains Park. The peak was originally used as an artillery range but is somewhat of a tug-of-war between the army and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition. The latter believe that the mountain should be gifted to the Franklin Mountain State Park and be used for recreational purposes. The peak is outside the park, and thus the train at the summit is not well-maintained. Therefore, from a certain part of the trail, hikers will be required to bushwhack a bit to get to the 6544-foot summit.
11. Lost Peak
If you need a gentle trek, the Lost Peak is just the place for you. It is easily accessible through the northern end of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It is a bit remote, but this is a huge advantage, as it is shielded from the brutal winds that ravage the area. Another upside of the Lost peak is that it has well-maintained trails, according to Gaia GPS. At the summit, the hikers can go for a short walk over some rocky terrain to get to a large cairn. The views at the top are exquisite, and they cover all sides. You should be warned that there is a variety of cacti at the summit.
10. Mescalero Maintain
According to Mescalero Apache Tribe, Mescalero Mountain is part and parcel of the Davis Mountains. It has three peaks; Point at 7,990 feet, Apache Peak at 8,045 feet, and Arrowhead at 8,060 feet. The mountains are named after the Mescalero Apaches, They used the Guadalupe Mountains as a base during the war with the Comanche. Nature Conservancy owns all the peaks, and the organization restricts access to only a couple of days a year. The Chihuahuan Desert surrounds it, and the mountain is a protected habitat for a myriad of fauna and flora there.
9. Mitre Peak
This is a conical mass of land located between Texas, Alpine, and Fort Davis. From the summit, it offers a panoramic view of all three of these counties. The maximum elevation of the peak is 6190 feet, making it one of the highest peaks around, though it is not listed as a high point. Climbing this peak, though, may prove to be a bit problematic. This is because it is located in private land and is thus not open to the public. Most hikers who have tried to climb it have stated that access is generally denied. However, you can be able to spot the peak from the Chihuahuan Desert Centre. The guides at the center lead all-day climbs up the Mitre Peak. The said hike is challenging and requires that you be in tip-top fitness. Note that the guided hike offered by the center are limited to only 15 participants.
8. Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell is only 1000 feet high, meaning that it is a pretty easy climb. Moreover, it has a pretty urban feel to it. The mountain is located just outside Austin, and the peak is made out of limestone. It offers the hikers the ability to view the dammed section of the Colorado River known as Lake Austin. Additionally, you can also view Austin's downtown skyline and all the affluent neighborhoods between the riverfront and downtown. Climbing Mount Bonnell is more of a stroll than a hike. During the said stroll, you will experience the breezy views and enjoy the summer humidity. The gentle ascent is suitable for climbers of all levels. A grand pavilion exists at the summit on which you can enjoy the vistas.
7. Mount Livermore
Mount Livermore is the highest peak in the Davis Mountains ranges. It is made of igneous rock, an intrusion that occurred from the ancient Buckhorn Caldera. The northern part of the mountain is owned by the Nature Conservancy and thus is only open for a few weekends annually. To know when you can visit, you can check the hiking dates on the area's official website.
6. South Franklin Mountain
Both the North and the South Franklin Mountains are in the Franklin Mountain State Park. The South Franklin Mountain is 6971 feet higher. The route to the summit is a sole trail known as the Ron Coleman Trail. Its trailhead is located at McKelligon Canyon, and the end is at Trans-Mountain Road. On the hike, the climbers will be treated to El Paso, Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas views. The area gets 302 days of sunshine a year, meaning that any day is a good day to take a hike. Summer, though, may prove to be arduous and physically straining.
5. Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf is also part of the Franklin Mountain Range. It is actually the last mountain on the range and is connected to South Franklin Mountain via a ridgeline that they share. Though it is part of the range, it is not part of the Franklin Mountains State Park. It is completely free for public access since it is outside the jurisdiction of the park. However, it does not have any marked trailheads or maintained trails. Some scrambling and bushwhacking is important if the trail is lost.
4. Toll Mountain
Toll Mountain stands at 7415 feet. It is, therefore, the third-highest point on the Chisos Mountains. It does not have any maintained trails, and therefore a little bushwhacking may be necessary. The best route to use is to take the Pinnacles trailhead up to the Toll Mountain campsite. From here, you will have to bushwhack to the summit. Note that it is about eight miles from the campsite to the summit.
3. Bartett Peak
Bartett Peak is part of the Guadalupe Mountains, and it is the fourth highest peak in Texas. Although it is majestic, it has no defined trails. Additionally, a sheer wall on the northern part renders that region impassable, and its scrubby landscape has cactus and agave plants, which also contributes to this. All this contributes to the fact that the region does not see a lot of action. For hikers, the best route is to use the Bush Mountain Trail and cross the Pine Spring Canyon. From there, all you need to do is ascend on the northeastern side.
2. Shumard Peak
Shumard Peak is a part of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It is the third highest peak in Texas at 8,615 feet. There is a sheer face on the western side that catches the evening sun perfectly. It has no defined trail. The best route to climb is to drop from the Bush Mountain Trail and cross the Pine Spring Canyon. Afterward, you can ascend on the eastern side of the mountain. Backcountry and front country camping is available.
1. Mount Pratt
Mount Pratt is located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and it is the seventh highest peak in the state of Texas at 8,342 feet. As a matter of fact, eight of Texas's highest mountain peaks are part of the Guadalupe Mountain Range. Hikes on Mount Pratt are often hot, windy, and dry. The best route to take is to ascend the Bear Canyon Trail then catch the Bowl Trail. You will then have to cross to the South Pratt Ridge, and afterward, you can hike to the summit. You should expect dense cacti along the trail.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn