13 reviews Guadalupe Mountains National Park #1 hike out of 22 in
1 hrs 29 min
This is a difficult one way trail to Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
This trail goes by Guadalupe Peak Campground.
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Very challenging hike with great views. Started early and it was very cool though warmed up to about 82 in the afternoon. The dry, cool climate make the ascent much more manageable than would be the case if it were hotter. View from the peak is well worth the trip. Downhill goes fast but can be rough on the toes. Lace those shoes tight. Can be crowded on weekends.★ ★ ★ ★
I came into this hike pretty unprepared. I do barre often, and I walk a lot for my job. However, I should have done lunges and bleachers. Here we are. We started our hike at 8am, and we finished at 1:00pm (trailhead to peak and back). It was in the 50s when we began and around 75 when we reached the parking lot. While the first 2.5 miles were horrifically uphill and technical, it stands to mention that it really is all uphill. There’s very little relief from switchbacks and climb. However, once you hit mile 3, you begin to get shade from Douglas firs and are provided gorgeous views. I was stressed for a whole week before the hike, but it was entirely worth it. Though my legs are sore now, I loved the experience and would hike it again. Be sure to bring light layers as it’s windy up top, and have shoes with good traction.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We went on January 17. 34° at the trail head and 25° at the peak with 30 mph winds. We started hiking at 0145 to make the peak by sunrise with was 0700 that day. We made it for a full dark to full sun experience. 4 hours is a realistic hike time. We trained by doing bleachers at the local high school with an elevation of 465 feet. We were not ready for the altitude difference. Our average was a bit over 1 mile per hour with frequent stops to rest, water and snack. The trail between the trail head and the woods is the toughest stretch. However, the trail never really gets easy at any point. The wooden bridge is not "near the top" as just about every internet review says. Yes, it is a bit over a mile from the top but the going is still strenuous after the bridge. Just use it as a marker for mile 3 completed. Mentally, you will be better off. I'm glad we made the entire hike in the dark to see the sunrise. However, just below the summit the switch back trail turn takes you to a "window" with cairns of stacked rocks on each side. You stick your head out and the wind slams you in the face. You look again and see nothing but black emptiness and a little bitty ledge of angled down rock ledge as the trail. I pulled out my iPhone to check my Gaia GPS downloaded map to make sure that little bitty ledge was actually the trail. It was. Once out on the ledge, it was one more switch back turn and the summit. Going back down in day light the ledge and "window" didn't seem so bad. But at night it was kind of unnerving. 9 hours trail head, summit and back to trail head.★ ★ ★ ★
Cloudy day, but a fantastic hike otherwise. Though the result of a forest fire, the contrasted colors of the landscape going up was beautiful.