Bucket List With 10 Of The Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

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Welcome, fellow adventurers! If you’re a Texan who has an insatiable love for hiking, then you’re in for a treat. The Lone Star State offers an extensive array of breathtaking landscapes just waiting to be explored. But with so many amazing options, it can be tough to narrow down your choices. Fret not, my fellow hiking enthusiasts, for I have crafted the ultimate bucket list tailored specifically for those who are obsessed with hiking. Prepare yourself for unforgettable journeys that will take you from the majestic Big Bend National Park to the enchanting Hill Country and beyond. Get ready to embark on these incredible adventures that will leave you craving for more.

1. Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail (Guadalupe Mountains National Park)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Beginning at the RV section of Pine Springs Campground, this difficult, 8.1-mile hike ascends nearly 9,000 feet to the highest point in Texas: Guadalupe Peak. It’s an out-and-back trail that takes 6-8 hours to complete, so consider spending the night at the backcountry campground near the summit. This scenic overlook, known as El Capitan, offers striking panoramic views of the surrounding mountain landscape — just don’t get too close to the edge!

2. Lost Mine Trail (Big Bend National Park)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Arguably the most famous trail in Big Bend, Lost Mine is a 4.2-mile hike that showcases the incredible diversity of flora and fauna in the park. Thick juniper, oak, pine groves, and wildflowers line the path, and just one mile in, a saddle offers sweeping canyon views. At the end of the trail, a ridge looks out over Pine Canyon and the Sierra del Carmen in Mexico.

3. Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls via Barton Creek Greenbelt (Austin)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Barton Creek Greenbelt is one of the most popular Austin-area outdoor recreation spots, and it’s easy to understand why. This enchanting woodland oasis features hiking trails, rocks, and pristine water perfect for swimming. This particular trail is just under four miles long, and with an elevation that’s less than 150 feet, it’s accessible to most people.

4. Santa Elena Canyon Trail (Big Bend National Park)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Possibly the most iconic landmark in Big Bend, Santa Elena Canyon is a true natural wonder. The trail to access it is short and sweet at only 1.5 miles. You’ll begin where Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive ends, before crossing Terlingua Creek, climbing several switchbacks, and gradually descending along the banks of the Rio Grande. Along the way, lush greenery and 1,500-foot-tall limestone rock walls create a truly breathtaking spectacle. There’s even a beach where you can soak up the sun and enjoy a picnic lunch.

5. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Mountain Bike Trail (Plano)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

A hidden gem in Plano, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve offers a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The mountain bike trail is only 2.5 miles long but manages to pack in a variety of different elements such as thick forestry, hills, boardwalks, beautiful wildflowers, and a creek. The signs can be a little confusing, so study the park map before setting off.

6. Enchanted Rock Summit Trail (Fredericksburg)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Among the most popular attractions in Texas, Enchanted Rock is the largest pink granite dome of its kind in the country. The 1.3-mile summit trail only has an elevation gain of ~400 feet, but views like this make it seem much higher. You can practically see the entire Hill Country from up here.

7. Gorman Falls Trail (Colorado Bend State Park)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Why spend money on a plane ticket to the Amazon when you can visit the jungle right here in Texas? Located in Colorado Bend State Park, Gorman Falls is a breathtaking 80-foot waterfall surrounded by vibrant, flourishing greenery. At just 2.6 miles round-trip, this hike delivers an incredible reward despite its brief distance. There’s also an overlook that showcases the Colorado River in all its crystal-clear glory.

8. Crockett Gardens Falls (Cedar Breaks Park)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Enter a jungle-like oasis on this relatively easy, 7.7-mile hike in Cedar Breaks Park. The terrain encompasses everything from tree tunnels to mossy rock outcroppings, ensuring an adventure full of surprises. You’ll encounter the falls about 2.5 miles in, surrounded by lush tropical greenery, and gently cascading into the water below.

9. Balcones Canyonlands Indiangrass Trail (Marble Falls)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

In the Austin suburb of Marble Falls, Balcones Canyonlands is reminiscent of a remote African savannah. Embark on the Indiangrass Trail for a moderately difficult, 3.6-mile hike that showcases some of the best views in the entire refuge. Cacti, vibrant flowers, woodland terrain, a waterfall, and sweeping panoramic vistas are just some of the major highlights.

10. The Window Trail (Big Bend National Park)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

Okay, scratch what we said earlier — The Window might actually be the most popular trail in Big Bend. It’s among the most famed hikes in the park, clocking in at 5.2 miles long, and begins at the Chisos Basin Lodge. Prepare to descend through undulating hills and towering canyon walls before coming to this iconic, breathtaking vista. Don’t forget your camera!

11. McAllister Park Blue Loop Trail (San Antonio)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

During the spring, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better trail than this. At 6.7 miles, the loop is rife with eye-popping bluebonnets on either side of the path, creating a whimsical wonderland that’s sure to leave you breathless.

12. Lost Maples East Trail Loop (Vanderpool)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

One of the most popular fall outdoor destinations in Texas, Lost Maples State Natural Area is an enchanting woodland escape that features some of the most vibrant golden, amber, and deep red foliage you’ve ever seen. This particular trail also boasts water crossings, an elaborate and otherworldly grotto, scenic overlooks, and more.

13. Lighthouse Trail (Palo Duro Canyon)

Best Hiking Trails To Take In Texas

A large portion of people who visit Palo Duro Canyon do so for this trail. It’s 5.7 miles long and doesn’t require much effort until the very end. Scrambling up to the lighthouse formation is entirely worth the effort, but make sure to bring plenty of water.
Some or all of these trails may be closed or operating under different circumstances than normal, so keep up with their websites and Facebook pages for the latest information.

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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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