At 8,749 feet above sea level, the “Top of Texas” stands at the zenith of the Guadalupe Mountains, the remains of a vast ancient reef that rose underneath the Western Interior Seaway, a large channel that ran through North America in the Permian Period.
A metal pyramid marks the summit. The pyramid was dedicated in 1958 by American Airlines to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Butterfield Overland Mail Trail, which passed south of the mountain. The mail route was disbanded in 1861 due to the inevitable Civil War hostilities.
The hike to the summit is a strenuous 8.4 miles round-trip with 3,000 feet of elevation gain from the Pine Springs Campground. In the summer, the Chihuahuan Desert can get extremely hot, and the weather may drastically change in a short amount of time, so hikers should come prepared, both for the trek and for the strange monument at the end.
Visit this peak and listen to the desolately beautiful sounds of the American southwest. You can hear wildlife sounds from the high mountains of west Texas here.
Know Before You Go
From the Pine Springs Campground, hike on the Guadalupe Peak Trail for 4.2 miles to the peak.