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What is the best hike in Texas? There are hundreds of great hiking trails across the state, from the rugged Guadalupe Mountains to the rolling hills of East Texas. Whether you prefer short or long hikes, these trails offer something for everyone.

Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature. It also helps you stay fit and healthy. The best part is that you don’t even need special equipment to go hiking. All you need is good shoes, water, and a map, depending on the location and weather conditions.

In this article, we look at the best hikes in Texas and why hiking in Texas is such a great way to get in touch with nature and explore what the state has to offer.

Hiking In Texas

The best hikes in Texas are located near cities like Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth. These areas have plenty of parks and other natural spaces where you can find some of the most beautiful views in the country.

You may not be able to see all of the sights from your car window, but when you take a walk outside, you will begin to appreciate what Texas has to offer. If you want to spend time in nature without having to drive too far, then hiking in Texas is perfect for you!

There are many different types of hikes in Texas, ranging from short jaunts to multi-day treks. Some of these hikes are popular among locals, while others are hidden gems that are perfect for those looking to escape the city.

Before we dive into individual hikes, we have picked out our three favorite national parks visitors and locals who love to visit to hike.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located near El Paso, TX. The park offers visitors a chance to see the beauty of the desert and mountains. There are over 100 miles of hiking trails within the park. It protects the most extensive Permian fossil reef and contains four of the highest peaks in Texas.

Best Hikes In Texas

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is located in West Texas. This national park features stunning views of the Chisos Mountain Range and the Rio Grande River. Visitors can hike along the river, climb up the mountain, or take a horseback ride.

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The skies are as dark as coal and the rivers make up temple-like canyons in ancient limestone.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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Palo Duro Canyon State Park is located in Southwestern Texas. Visitors can explore the canyon walls and enjoy the scenic views. This state park has several hiking trails, including one that leads to the rim of the canyon.

Best Hiking Trails

These hiking trails include a range from the above three national parks, but we have also included a few extra from around the state, so depending on your location, you’ll have a trail to choose from.

1. To The Lighthouse In Palo Duro Canyon

This trail is 5.4-miles out-and-back and has about 492 ft of elevation gain. You will have to pay a small entrance fee of $5 per person but the trial is free for children.

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Along the way, you’ll be able to see incredible and stunning geological formations and breathtaking views of the canyon, making for some amazing photo opportunities!

2. Big Bend Trail

This trail is 1.6-miles long and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. The trail starts by going through the Guadalupe Mountains before heading towards the Rio Grande.

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3. Pinnacles Loop Trail

This trail is 8.6-miles long and goes around the pinnacles. The trailhead is located just south of Alpine and it’s open year-round, though is best used in the months between September and May. It is moderately trafficked and located near Big Bend National Park.

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It has a great forest setting and can be difficult for new hikers.

4. Cienega Creek Trail

The Cienega Creek Trail is 4.7-miles long and is rated moderate. The trailhead is on Highway 90A between Marathon and Presidio. The creek is to the right of the trail and ducks under Arroyo Willow shrubs as you make your way to the Santa Ana River.

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5. San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio Riverwalk is located in downtown San Antonio, TX. This riverfront walkway is about 4.5 miles long and connects several parks and museums. Attractions in the surrounding area include the Witte Museum, the San Antonio Museum, and more.

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The walk runs through Brackenridge Park and it is perfect for those in the city.

6. Gymsum Sand Dunes In The Guadalupe Mountains

This trail is a 3-mile out-and-back hike and has around 50 ft of elevation gain. It is a trail that is tucked away in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and is home to some of the most incredible vistas of Guadalupe Peak and El Capitan.

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The open landscape makes for perfect photo opportunities and the hike is perfect for beginners and experienced hikers alike.

7. The Window In The Big Bend

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This trail is a 4.4-mile out-and-back trail with around 500 ft of elevation gain. It’s a very popular hike in Big Bend National Park, and along the way, you will witness panoramic views of the Canyon overlooking the desert to Mexico as well as great views of the mountains of the Chisos Basin.

8. Mission Reach Trail

Mission Reach Trail is located in San Antonio. This trail is about 5.5 miles long and takes about 45 minutes to complete.

Best Hikes In Texas
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It offers some beautiful scenic views and is a great hike for all skill levels. It offers a range of different activity options and can be accessed all year round. The great thing about this trail is that dogs are also allowed on, so don’t be afraid to bring your furry friend out on your adventure!

9. Lake Buchanan Trail

Lake Buchanan Trail is located in Corpus Christi, TX. This trail runs along the shoreline of Lake Buchanan. It is about 6 miles long and takes about an hour to complete.

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The famous lake was created when Buchanan Dam was constructed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Dam was finished in 1939 and Lake Buchanan was the first of the Texas Highland Lakes to be formed as a result.

The lake’s surface includes areas in Burnet and Llano Counties and can be found just west of Burnet in Texas.

10. Boquillas Hot Springs

This trail is only a mile and has very little elevation gain, meaning it is perfect for beginners. This trail will lead you to a hot spring on the Rio Grande River, which is spectacular in itself. After hiking all day at Big Bend National Park, this can be the perfect way to unwind and relax those muscles.

Best Hikes In Texas

Keep an eye out for ancient pictographs on the walls of the Canyon as you make your way to the springs.

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about hiking in Texas, as well as written down some of the most famous and most breathtaking hikes in the state.

Although the three main national parks host some of the most popular hikes, don’t be afraid to explore deeper into the state. You never know what trail you might end up on or what discoveries in nature you might end up seeing!


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