This is the place to climb the tallest peak in Texas. But this particular trail journey is not up to the top of any peak. It’s a nice 6.3 mile double loop trail that traverses mountains, crawls through deserts and explores lush, cool springs.
Although this particular trail guide is called “Guadalupe Mountains Loop Trail” it is actually a series of three trails combined into one hike. The three trails are the Frijole Trail, the Foothills Trail and the Smith Springs Trail. It is possible to begin your hike from one of three different visitor areas. One of them is the parking lot located at the Headquarters Visitors Center. Hikers have access to drinking water, lavatories and an information desk at this center. There is usually ample parking available at the visitor center. Another place for parking is near the Frijole Ranch History Museum. Restrooms are also available near the Frijole Ranch area as well as a nicely preserved tour of a local homestead residence. There is also some parking at the corral, but this area should just be used by equestrian trail explorers.
Keep in mind that all of these visitor centers are used for people exploring one or more of the plethora of trails in this area, so just because a parking lot looks full doesn’t mean that the trail you’ll be exploring will be crowded. There are plenty of trails to go around.