10 Best Hiking Trails in Texas
Texas is a state located in the South Central region of the United States. Encompassing about 268,000 square miles, the Lone Star State is home to over 2,200 hiking trails spread across hundreds of miles. Each trail offers its own unique blend of terrain, difficulty, and scenery giving you lots of great choices no matter what skill level you are as a hiker.
Hiking in the Lone Star State
If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in all of Texas then this article is for you. Here you’ll find our suggestions for must-hike trails complete with trail information, including what you can expect out on your hike.
1. Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail: Kid-Friendly Trail with Waterfall Views
Let’s start this list with the easy Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail. This out-and-back trail stretches 5.1 kilometers and is located near Austin, Texas. Being an easy trail, it takes just 1 hour and 2 minutes to complete.
The Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail is generally kid-friendly and is also welcome to dogs (leashed). This trail is quite popular among hikers and runners so expect to encounter people along the way.
This trail starts on some rather rough terrain as well as some overpasses. The terrain on this trail is varied enough to keep it interesting. When visiting in summer, Sculpture Falls may run dry.
2. Lady Bird Lake Trail: Kid-Friendly, Stroller-Friendly, and Wheelchair-Friendly
Another great yet easy trail near Austin, Texas is Lady Bird Lake Trail. This 16.1-kilometer loop trail is beginner-friendly and takes around 3 hours and 4 minutes to complete. Don’t be surprised to encounter people along your hike as this trail is quite popular among hikers, walkers, and road bikers.
Lady Bird Lake Trail is kid-friendly, stroller-friendly, and wheelchair-friendly. You can also take your furry best friend along as long as they’re leashed. This trail is open year-round and you can visit it any time.
The trail itself is paved and leads you around Lady Bird Lake. While the trail is usually gentle slope-wise, there is one steep section around the 9-mile mark that may require assistance for wheelchair/mobility equipment or strollers.
3. White Rock Lake Trail: Picturesque and Accessible Easy Trail
Our last easy trail is White Rock Lake Trail located near Dallas, Texas. This loop trail covers around 14.8-kilometers and takes around 2 hours and 47 minutes to complete. Besides hiking, White Rock Trail is also a popular fishing and birding spot as well as for paddle sports so don’t expect much solitude.
Just like the previous entry, White Rock Lake Trail is kid-friendly, stroller-friendly, and wheelchair-friendly. You can also bring your dog along as long as you keep them leashed. The trail is open year-round and you can visit any time.
White Rock Lake Trail circumnavigates the city reservoir of the same name. Feel free to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the reservoir while resting on the benches along the trail.
4. The Window Trail: Great Moderate Hike with Stunning Views
From easy beginner trails, we move on to our first moderate-level trail on this list The Window Trail. This out-and-back trail can be found near Terlingua, Texas. It’s 8.4 kilometers long and takes about 2 hours and 29 minutes to complete.
This trail is quite a popular hiking trail so expect to find other people on your hike. This trail is kid-friendly but dogs aren’t allowed just yet. The best time to visit is from March to October.
You start this trail near the Chisos Basin Lodge and descend about 800 feet through rolling hills, vertical rock walls, and narrow pour-offs, overlooking the Chihuahuan Desert. The pour-off area can be hazardous during flash floods but is usually dry most times.
5. Lost Mine Trail: Challenging Hike with Spectacular Views
Another awesome Terlingua, Texas trail is the Lost Mine Trail. This moderate-rated out-and-back trail is 7.7 kilometers long and takes just a little over 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete. Expect to encounter people while on your hike as this trail is very popular among hikers.
You can visit the Lost Mine Trail any time and it’s open year-round. You’ll have to leave the kids and the pups at home for this one as it can be too hard and dogs aren’t allowed on the trail.
This hike is a great opportunity to acquaint yourself with the views, forest, and wildlife of the Chisos Mountains. There’s also a saddle offering spectacular views of the Casa Grande, Juniper Canyon, and the greater Chisos basin.
6. The Lighthouse Trail: Kid-Friendly with Views of the Beautiful Rock Formations
The Lighthouse Trail is located in the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, near Canyon, Texas. This moderate-rated out-and-back trail stretches 9.3 kilometers long and takes just a little over 2 hours and 10 minutes to finish. Watch out for people hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking while out on this trail.
This trail is kid-friendly and also welcomes dogs (leashed). That said, you may want to bring some cool drinks for the kiddos and pups as there isn’t an inch of shade on this trail. The best time to visit is between September to May.
The Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a very popular rock formation and sees many visitors, especially during peak season. You start this trail from the spacious parking area through a low shrub and sandy area surrounded by beautifully colored cliffs before eventually arriving at the lighthouse section.
7. Crockett Gardens Falls: One of Texas’s Most Beautiful Waterfall Trails
Our final moderate-level entry is Crockett Gardens Falls located in Cedar Breaks Park near Georgetown, Texas. This out-and-back trail is 12.2 kilometers long and takes around 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete. This trail is very popular so expect to encounter other people as you explore.
You can visit Crockett Gardens Falls any time and it’s open year-round. You can bring your four-legged friends along but they must be leashed.
The trail itself is partially paved and the terrain is slightly rocky and hilly. Keep mindful and don’t get lost as you won’t find any marks distinguishing the trail. At the end of the trail, feel free to enjoy the waterfalls before heading back.
8. Devil’s Hall Trail: Beautiful Landscape with Some Boulder Climbing
Easy and moderate trails are great but if you’re looking for real challenges, then these hard trails are for you.
Our first hard-rated trail is Devil’s Hall Trail located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park near Salt Flat, Texas. This challenging out-and-back route stretches 5.8 kilometers and takes about 1 hour and 38 minutes to complete. You’ll definitely want to leave the kids at home for this one and there are no dogs allowed as well.
The best time to visit is from March to November.
Prepare to face rocky turns and some boulder climbing as you hike through the beautiful high desert terrain.
9. Emory Peak Trail: Challenging Boulder Climb Worth the Picturesque Payoff
Emory Peak Trail is located in Big Bend National Park, near Terlingua, Texas. Stretching over 16 kilometers long, this out-and-back trail is quite hard and requires about 5 hours and 38 minutes to complete.
This trail is open year-round and is quite popular with hikers, campers, and backpackers. You can visit any time but dogs aren’t allowed on the trail just yet.
This trail takes you from the Basin Trailhead up to the highest point in the park. Despite being rated “hard”, it’s really the final mile you have to prepare for as it requires you to climb a boulder near the edge of a cliff.
10. Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail: One of the Most Popular and Hardest in Texas
Finally, we arrive at our final entry on this list: Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail. This trail is definitely one of the toughest in all of Texas, which is probably why it’s also one of the most popular.
The trail stretches 13.5 kilometers long and takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes to complete. This strenuous yet beautiful trail takes you through high desert and high-elevation forests up to the highest point in all of Texas. If the challenging hike up the trail doesn’t take your breath away, the stunning view at the top certainly will.