This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
TRAIL GUIDE by larry rice Worth a Peak


Visit the top of Texas on a hike through Guadalupe Mountains National Park.


WHY GO: Within this rugged 86,416- acre park lies Guadalupe Peak (8,749 feet), the highest summit in Texas. At more than 5,000 feet above the desert floor, it seems that all the plains of the Lone Star State are sprawled beneath your feet.


SETTING THE SCENE: Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains the southernmost, highest part of the 40-mile-long Guadalupe range. The mountains jut from the earth as a monolithic wall, with imposing El Capitan being the most prominent summit, though nearby Guadalupe Peak is 664 feet higher. Thick conifer- ous forest cloaks the park’s highland. The lower elevations support


creosote bush, sotol, yucca and other typical Chihuahuan Desert plants. Elk, mule deer, coyote, mountain lion, javelina, a few black bear and smaller mammals inhabit the area, as well as 70 species of reptiles and amphibians and more than 300 species of birds.


WHERE TO START: Your first stop should be the park headquarters’ Pine Springs Visitor Center and main campground, accessed off U.S. Highway 62/180 at Pine Springs.


WHERE TO CAMP: Two small, unusu- ally inviting campgrounds exist in the park: Pine Springs and Dog Canyon. Pine Springs (elevation 5,822 feet) is open all year on a first-come, first-served basis. Drinking water is available, but all food and supplies should be brought in. The nearest facilities and services are 35 miles east of the park in White’s City, N.M. To visit a wilder, more iso- lated area, drive about 2.5 hours north to re-enter the park at Dog Canyon. From the seldom-used and remote campground here


52 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2014


(elevation 6,280 feet), trails quickly take you into the high country.


HIKING DETAILS: More than 80 miles of trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous, crisscross the park between the mountains and the desert flats below. The major trailheads are at Pine Springs Campground, includ- ing the one to Guadalupe Peak. The path to the top of Texas is a steep and strenuous 8.4-mile round-trip hike, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. Make it to the rocky summit and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of nearby El Capitan peak and the interior of the park. Other trails from Pine Springs Campground will take you to the ruins of a stagecoach station, small freshwater springs, through a narrow, scenic canyon, and to the base of El Capitan.


EXPLORE MORE TRAILS using the adventure guides at scouting magazine.org/trailguide.


MAP BY STEVE SANFORD; ROBBY VIRUS


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68