Hike Big Bend's Emory Peak
Texas › Emory Peak Trailhead
Added by Warren Goh
Distance: 10.5 miles roundtripElevation gain: 2,425 ftExplore a hidden gem of TexasAmazing viewsNatural hot springsWell-marked, easy access trailBeautiful drive to the trailhead
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.
- 3L water (minimum)
- Food: 3 protein bars, 1 apple/banana, small ziplock of trail mix, gummy bears
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
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!
Beat the Heat - Bring Enough Water!
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).
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Four Notch Loop
Texas / Four Notch Hunter Camp
The Four Notch Loop is a relaxing ~10 mile hike just north of Houston.
Hike the Upper Sunset Trail at Franklin Mountains SP
Texas / Upper Sunset Trailhead
The trick to this view is that the park gate closes at 5 pm. Therefore you have two options: Park at the entrance of the park (outside of the gate) and hike into the park.