Summit El Capitan in Guadalupe Mountain NP

Rate this Adventure 1.9 miles 1100 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kyle Obermann

The 8th highest peak in Texas, El Capitan soars over 3000ft above the desert valley floor below. Standing on top of this peak with nothing but the horizon in front of you allows you to appreciate the true beauty of the vast, Texas desert. 

The route to the summit of El Capitan starts from the Guadalupe Peak trail some 300ft below the summit where you can first see the full vista of El Capitan stretching out before you. There is no trail to the peak, so you will have to navigate and find the best route possible.

There are four prominent ridges leading down to the "bowl" of El Capitan before you have to ascend again to the peak. I suggest taking one of the two western most ridges down to the bowl in order to reduce the total elevation lost before you have to climb up again. Generally, the western-most ridge will require you to lose the least elevation. As you will be fighting through scrub and sharp rock the whole time, this is ideal.

Once in the bowl, when you start to ascend stay as close to the western ridge/cliff of El Capitan as possible. This is the easiest going, least scrubby route and there are faint remnants of a path leading to the summit. If you're afraid of heights, don't look down. There is a metal box at the summit (and at the lower summit before you reach the real summit further on). The route is fairly exposed all the way so do not attempt in bad weather and beware of snakes.

Read More

Tags

Hiking
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Carlsbad, New Mexico

Carlsbad Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Bush Mountain Trail To Blue Ridge Loop

    Bush Mountain Trail to Blue Ridge Loop is a 15.2 mile loop hike where you may see local wildlife located near Salt Flat, TX.

    15.2 miles 4 ft gain

  • Hike Tejas Trail To Mckittrick Canyon

    Tejas Trail to Mckittrick Canyon is a 17.5 mile point-to-point hike that takes you past great forest setting located near Salt Flat, TX.

    17.5 miles 3 ft gain

  • Hike The Tejas Trail

    The Tejas Trail is a 11.2 mile point-to-point hike that takes you past scenic views located near Salt Flat, TX.

    11.2 miles 2 ft gain

  • Hike the Hunter Peak Loop

    From Pine Springs Trailhead follow Tejas Trail (3.7 miles), then take the Bowl Trail counter-clockwise (.9) until the Hunter Mountain spur trail (.1 each way). Then it's back on the Bowl Trail until you reach the start of the Bear Canyon Trail (.5...

    8.7 miles 2546 ft gain