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Emory Peak via Pinnacles Trail

Big Bend National Park, Texas

4.8/5
based on 6 reviews

Details

Distance

9.44 miles

Elevation Gain

2401 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Warren Goh

Explore a hidden gem of Texas with amazing views, natural hot springs, and a well-marked, easy access trail.

The hike to Emory Peak zig-zags up the face of the mountain, and only when you reach the peak do you get the full, 360 view of Big Bend National Park. Trust me, it's gorgeous.

You get some pretty amazing views before reaching the peak, too, but you are hiking on the inside of the “horseshoe” loop, so you have the full view of the basin.

Start from the carpark, where there is a bathroom and trail maps. The fun begins around ¼ mile to the peak, as the marked trail disappears and you have to navigate up narrow passages, and around trees and boulders. The last 50 feet will require you to navigate up a rock face, though it won't require crampons. After a scramble on all fours getting up to the peak, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view.

Remember to bring a windbreaker, as it gets cold at the peak. You can also find a small enclave away from the windchill on the face and relax for a bit.

All in all, an incredible national park in an unexpected place.

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Features

Hiking
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic

Reviews

My buddy and I did the South Rim Trail and ended up adding Emory Peak to our backpacking trip on the 2nd day. Very happy with our decision. When you climb to the top, you think that's it, but there is actually a steep, rocky wall you can climb up to reach the highest peak. It's sketchy, but worth it. You will see 360 views of the entire park!

The views from this summit are incredible, and the scramble/climb to the top makes it one of the more memorable summits! Also, and if you crave a solid meal after a summit hike like I do, then I highly recommend hitting up Big Bend Pizza in Marathon, TX on your way out of the park. It was a great surprise to find such a great pizza place to celebrate a great trip in the park!

The switchbacks felt endless. It was always worth it when we made it to the top. As always watch out for rattlesnacks.

There's a reason so many people flock south during the cooler months. The locals call them Winter Texans, and you can imagine that a place this popular for its mild winters can be a scorch fest in the summer. That being said, heed Warren's advice and pack enough water. Emory Peak is well worth the trip (and its a helluva long drive to miss out on the spectacular view from the top).

One of my favorite spots at Big Bend. Great views and a perfect spot to relax on a beautiful afternoon.

This is a must do if in Big Bend. Emory Peak is the highest peak in the Chisos Mountains, the peak is 7,825ft.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Backpack to the Southeast Rim of the Chisos

Catch a Sunset on the Window View Trail

Chisos Mountains Loop

Hike the Outer Mountain Loop

Window Trail in Big Bend

Hike the Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend NP