Peak(s):  Guadalupe Peak 8,750 feet
Date Posted:  10/08/2019
Date Climbed:   09/30/2019
Author:  rob runkle
 Guadalupe Peak High point of Texas part deux   

I had previously climbing the high point of Texas back in 2008. I can't believe it was 11 years ago. In 2008, I scampered up the peak in just over an hour, and was back to the trail head in a total round trip time of 2 hours 15 minutes. In the back of my mind, I was hoping to be similar in time, or at least not a lot slower. For certain, my marathon and mountain times have slowed in the last 10 years. The nation parks website recommendation for hike time is 6-8 hours. I was hoping that I wouldn't take that long...

My flight landed just before noon. I jumped in the rental car, and drove straight to Guadalupe peak. Drive time from ELP airport to the trailhead was around 2 hours. I stopped off at the park visitor center and paid the $7 fee required for hiking/parking. I got started just after 2 pm MST.

Guadalupe Peak
Guadalupe Peak, with El Capitan in front
The trail head
View of the parking lot, from up on the trail

The trail gets pretty steep almost immediately, and doesn't let off much until you get within about a mile of the top. The trail is dirt with a lot of rocks. There are sections of the trail that are very runnable, but you have to be careful to not let the rocks reach out and grab your toes. During the ascent, I was able to run/jog the first mile. I started slowing a bit at mile 2, but was still able to run the flat sections. As I climbed, I passed several small groups who were descending. I'm sure they thought I was crazy ascending in the mid afternoon.

Exposed section of trail
Selfie on the trail

As I ascended, I was watching the skies. There was some pretty ugly clouds in the area, and forecast was for some heavy rains in the late afternoon, early evening. With plans to be up and back down in less than 3 hours, I was certain that I could out run any bad weather. Or, at worst, I would get a little bit wet.

The summit from the trail
Bridge on the trail
Pretty flower

The trail has some sections that are pretty exposed, but overall pretty easy to manage without issue. There are definitely a few spots where you would not want to trip over your own shoe laces. As I approached the summit, it finally started to rain on me. I was soaked in no time. It was a bit unnerving approaching the summit with a big metal pyramid at the top, when it was storming. Fortunately, the storm never produced any thunder or lightning. I tag the summit in 1 hour and 32 minutes from the trail head. A bit longer than in 2008. I stayed for 4 minutes, then started jogging back towards the trail head.

Summit selfie
Summit Pano
The Pyramid
Summit Register
Bridge from the descent

As I descended, it continued to rain. The rocks and dirt were slippery, and I had to be careful about my footing. It definitely slowed my descent. As I got closer to the bottom, the trail was a bit more dry. I made it back to the trail head in just over an hour from leaving the summit. Total round trip time was 2 hours 40 minutes.

This is a great peak; plenty steep. A large portion of the trail is runnable. Just challenging enough to be fun.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Rick Canter
Hi Rob!
10/09/2019 06:54
Great flat-landers think alike. I landed at ELP and reached Guadalupe this summer, on 6/29 to be exact. My day was much drier, and warm! I am looking forward to more reports from you; cannot help but wonder if we traced similar steps and highways elsewhere.

Awesome Dude!
10/09/2019 13:07
It's getting closer for me, I don't plan on bringing a gallon of water. Hopefully the weather cooperates for me.

play around
10/10/2019 10:29
Theres a bunch of other fun peaks and trails in that park. Devils staircase is pretty fun

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