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Emory Peak



9.3 mile 14.9 kilometer out and back
75% Runnable


Ascent: 2,415' 736 m
Descent: -2,416' -736 m
High: 7,762' 2,366 m
Low: 5,362' 1,634 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)


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Trail shared by Dan.G. yorlig

A nice summit trail leading to the third highest peak in Texas with a stunning view.

Dan.G. yorlig

Features Views


Starting from the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, take the Pinnacles Trail to the Emory Peak Trail for a challenging ascent to an extremely rewarding mountain-top view.

Runner Notes

Look out for loose cobbles, though fairly packed down as it seems pretty well traveled.


Start running along the Pinnacles Trail, which departs from a trailhead in the Chisos Basin Visitor Center parking lot. The Pinnacles Trail follows the same route as the Laguna Meadow Trail for a short while, but each respective trail is very well signed where they split. Follow the Pinnacles Trail through the Chisos Basin as it ascends the southwest wall. When there's a short reprieve from climbing where the trail crosses a meadow, turn around to take in a stunning view of the basin, and the entire Chisos Range to the north. Continue climbing, following switchbacks as the trail moves from the dry landscape of the lower basin to the more lush foliage found at higher elevations.

The Pinnacles Trail ends when you reach the ridge, and the junction with the Emory Peak Trail and Boot Canyon Trail. Follow the Emory Peak Trail as it heads south from the junction—is very well marked; you can't miss it.

There is a permanent bathroom at the beginning of the Emory Peak Trail, as well as two bear boxes maintained by the NPS. The bear boxes are very convenient as they allow for light run up this trail. While the Emory Peak Trail is only about 1.5 miles long, it gains elevation pretty quickly.

The trail ends just below the peak. If one were to see the benchmark on Emory Peak, a 15 foot climb would be required.

The view is... ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR! On a nice day, a full 360-degree view is possible. One can see almost the entirety of the Chisos Mountains, and the Chihuahuan Desert beyond. The mountains look like they just go on forever.

Once you've taken in the view, head back down the Emory Peak Trail and then the Pinnacles Trail. And make sure you grab anything you stored in the bear boxes!

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Aug 24, 2019
A.m. Raz
Definitely a good hike todo 1st thing in the morning. Beautiful scenery, lots of wild life 12mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 34 votes


  4.5 from 34 votes
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in Texas


96 Views Last Month
6,861 Since Apr 30, 2015



Clouds cleared somewhat for a View of the Window.
Nov 20, 2016 near Big Ben…, TX
Sunset from The Window trailhead
Jun 28, 2018 near Big Ben…, TX
south west view off of Emory Peak (I can see Mexico from here!). One of my favorite photos from the trip.
Apr 30, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
On the Window View Trail
Oct 15, 2019 near Big Ben…, TX
Looking up from the Chisos Basin.
May 4, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX
Desert flower on the Pinnacles Trail
May 4, 2015 near Big Ben…, TX