While Texas is not known for its vast mountain ranges like some other states, it does have some notable mountainous regions and peaks. There are several beautiful mountainous areas worth exploring.
Here are ten scenic mountains in Texas:
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1. Guadalupe Peak in Texas
Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas, standing at an elevation of 8,751 feet above sea level. It is located within the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which is situated in the western part of Texas near the border with New Mexico.
Guadalupe Peak is a popular hiking destination the primary route to reach the summit. The trail is considered challenging due to its steep ascent. Thankfully, a well-maintained hiking trail that is 4.2 miles long to the top.
At the top, Hikers will find a triangular steel monument dedicated to mail stage line drivers and airmail pilots. During at sunset, you can see splashy purple, pink, and orange hues over the white Salt Basin Dunes.
From the summit, hikers can see vast expanses of the Chihuahuan Desert. On clear days, it is even possible to see the distant skyline of El Paso.
2. El Capitan
El Capitan is the eighth-highest mountain in Texas, situated in the Guadalupe Mountains, which are located in the western part of Texas near the border with New Mexico. El Capitan is composed of ancient limestone deposits formed millions of years ago when this region was covered by a shallow sea. Over time, geological processes lifted the limestone formations to their present heights.
El Capitan is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the world. There is no established hiking route leading to the summit of El Capitan. Hikers must climb Guadalupe Mountain, then bushwhack to where the two meet, and ascend El Capitan from there.
Autumn is the most comfortable time of year to make the climb.
3. Emory Peak
Emory Peak is a prominent mountain located within the Chisos Mountains, part of Big Bend National Park in southwestern Texas. It is the highest point in Big Bend National Park and the second-highest peak in Texas after Guadalupe Peak. Emory Peak is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Texas.
The Emory Peak Trail is the primary route to reach the summit. The trail is approximately 4.5 miles (one way) and is considered a strenuous hike, involving some steep sections and rocky terrain.
Emory Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the vast Chihuahuan Desert, the Rio Grande, Mexico, and the rugged landscapes of Big Bend National Park. It is a popular spot for sunrise and sunset hikes, as well as stargazing due to the park’s dark skies.
4. Davis Mountains
The Davis Mountains are situated within Jeff Davis County and parts of Presidio County, approximately 25 miles northwest of the city of Fort Davis. The highest point in the Davis Mountains is Mount Livermore, with an elevation of 8,382 feet above sea level. It is one of the tallest peaks in Texas.
The University of Texas operates the McDonald Observatory on Mount Locke in the Davis Mountains. The observatory is one of the premier astronomical research facilities in the world, benefiting from the region’s clear skies and low light pollution.
The Davis Mountains State Park and surrounding areas offer numerous hiking trails, camping facilities, and opportunities for outdoor activities such as birdwatching, stargazing, and photography.
5. Franklin Mountains
The Franklin Mountains are situated entirely within the city of El Paso, making them one of the few urban mountain ranges in the United States. North Franklin Peak is the highest point in the range, standing at an elevation of 7,192 feet above sea level.
The best hiking trails in the Franklin Mountains among them Ron Coleman Trail, Tom Mays Unit, Thousand Steps Trail, and Upper Sunset Trail.
Start from Tom Mays Park, this is offering hiking trails and picnic spots with scenic views of the El Paso cityscape.
6. Mount Bonnell
Mount Bonnell, also known as Covert Park, is a prominent hill with an elevation of approximately 775 feet above sea level. While it is called “Mount Bonnell”, it is more accurately described as a limestone outcropping or bluff rather than a traditional mountain.
Mount Bonnell is situated along the eastern bank of the Colorado River, within the western part of the city of Austin, and popular tourist destination in Texas, USA.
Hikers can reach the top of Mount Bonnell via a short but steep staircase with approximately 100 steps. At the summit, hikers can enjoy unobstructed views of the downtown Austin skyline, the 360 Bridge (Pennybacker Bridge) over Lake Austin, and the lush greenery of the Colorado River valley.
Many visitors come to Mount Bonnell in the evening to witness the beautiful sunset over the Texas Hill Country, making it a popular spot for romantic outings and photography. As Mount Bonnell is a popular destination, it can get crowded, especially during weekends and holidays.
Explore Best Instagrammable Honeymoon Destinations In The USA.
7. Mount Livermore
Mount Livermore is located in the Davis Mountains, in the western part of the state. Mount Livermore is the fourth-highest peak in Texas, at an elevation of 8,378 feet. It is an igneous rock intrusion from the ancient Buckhorn Caldera. The most popular way to reach the summit is via the Baldy Peak Trail, which is a 5.2-mile out-and-back hike. The trail is moderately challenging, with some steep sections. The summit of Baldy Peak is a rocky dome, and there is some scrambling required to reach the top.
The northern part of Mount Livermore is under the ownership of The Nature Conservancy, which is only open a few days and weekends each year to protect the integrity of the mountain, so impromptu hiking is out of the question. The southern part of the peak belongs to the Livermore Ranch. Visit each site to provide dates for open hiking days and open weekend camping.
8. Hunter Peak
Hunter Peak is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The views from the summit are amazing, and the trails offer a variety of challenges. Located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, in the western part of the state.
There are a number of loop trails on the mountain as well as great trails that lead to the summit. The most popular way to reach the summit is via the Bear Canyon Trail, which is a challenging 8.4-mile loop hike. There are other trails in the area including the Tejas Trail, the Bowl Trail, and the Pine Springs Canyon Trail. The summit of Hunter Peak offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, desert, and the Chihuahuan Desert.
9. Pine Peak
Pine Peak is located entirely within the Davis Mountains Preserve which is owned and maintained by The Nature Conservancy. As such, it is only accessible a few times per year as the mission of the conservancy is to keep the area truly wild and protect the indigenous wildlife of “sky island”. Pine Peak is the 5th highest summit in the Davis Mountains, and at 7,710 feet above sea level, it is also the 15th highest point in the state.
The most popular way to reach the summit is via the Pine Peak Trail, which is a 4.4-mile out-and-back hike that offers a variety of challenges. There are other trails in the area including the Skyline Drive Trail, the Indian Lodge Loop Trail, and the Limpia Creek Vista Trail. Pine Peak is a popular destination for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The views from the summit are amazing, hikers who make it to the top will find Pine Peak Lake, the highest lake in Texas.
10. Anthonys Nose
Anthonys Nose is located in the Franklin Mountains. The mountain is shaped like a nose. It’s the mountain range’s second-highest peak at 6,927 feet.
The terrain is quite hard to hike, with abundant lechugilla (an agave plant indigenous to the Chihuahuan Desert), ocotillo, prickly pear, and other prickly plants. The amount of prickly pear and other plants to pass by to get to the summit is insane.
With no established trails to the top, this climbing experience is for the true adventurer who enjoys the challenge and solitude of mountainous, unspoiled desert terrain. This cross-country day hike is a strenuous one.
These mountains offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and enjoying the natural beauty of Texas. Keep in mind that while Texas does have mountains, they may not be as extensive or dramatic as those found in other parts of the country. While some of these peaks are not as tall as those found in other states, their scenic beauty and unique landscapes make them worth visiting for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.