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Tejas Trail

Difficult
 4.3 (10)

Explore this long, backcountry traverse from Pine Springs Trailhead to the Dog Canyon Trailhead.


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Map Key

12.1

Miles

19.5

KM

84%

Runnable

7,883' 2,403 m

High

5,855' 1,784 m

Low

2,678' 816 m

Up

2,232' 680 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Commonly Backpacked · Views · Wildlife

Campfires are prohibited. Camp only in designated sites.

Runner Notes

This would make a great point-to-point run or a challenging out-and-back. Be sure to be self-sufficient and bring plenty of water.

Description

The Tejas Trail is one of the longer and more challenging routes in the park. This north/south trail runs 12 miles through the Guadalupe Mountains, connecting between the Pine Springs Trailhead/Campground and the Dog Canyon Trailhead/Campground. It makes for a great multi-day outing or a long day run for visitors who want to experience the solitude and scenery that the more remote parts of the park have to offer.

Starting from the southern end at the Pine Springs Trailhead, the trail starts with a steady climb that will continue for the first 3.5 miles. Near the start, the trail crosses a wide wash and passes a junction with the Foothills Trail, which branches to the east. Take a left here to continue on the Tejas Trail. From here, the trail starts the long, steady climb up into the mountains. If you look back over your shoulder as you run, you can see the singletrack trail winding back to the trailhead behind you.

Around the 3.5-mile mark, you'll come to a four-way junction with the Bowl Trail and Bush Mountain Trail. If you are planning to camp overnight at the Pine Top backcountry site (an excellent choice for a single night backpack trip), take a left on the Bush Mountain Trail. Otherwise, continue straight ahead on the Tejas Trail.

The next 5 miles of the trailhead along more forested and flatter terrain. Although you won't have as many sweeping canyon views on this section, the shade and solitude offered by the dense coniferous forest is a welcome break. The trail has a few rolling ups and downs, but nothing like the first climb you had to contend with.

Shortly after you pass a junction with the Juniper Trail on your right, you'll come to the Tejas backcountry site. This centrally located backcountry camping area has five sites and is located in a more densely forested area providing nicely shaded campsites that are more protected from the wind. A short distance further on after passing the Blue Ridge Trail junction on your left, you'll come to the Mescalero campground (eight sites) located on a slope overlooking a small drainage—another option for an overnight stay.

Continuing on, the Tejas Trail passes the McKittrick Canyon Trail and Manzanita Ridge Route before turning northeast at Lost Peak and beginning its descent into Dog Canyon. This two-mile long section steadily winds down toward the northern trailhead. Be sure to take your time and enjoy the stunning views on the way down!

Note: There is no transportation between the two trailheads. Runners must plan ahead to leave a vehicle or arrange an alternate form of transportation in order to be shuttled between the start and end of the trail.

Flora & Fauna

Listen for wild turkeys off in the distance. Ponderosa pine and brush grow here.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen Arendt

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 10 votes

#6426

Overall
  4.3 from 10 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#110

in Texas

#6,426

Overall
21 Views Last Month
3,126 Since Mar 16, 2018
Difficult

0%
0%
17%
8%
75%
0%

Photos

This is a fantastic view of the Tejas Trail, looking back at where we had come from.
Apr 18, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX
Nearing the end of the 2000' climb to the top, you're rewarded with this amazing view.
Apr 18, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX
Looking across to Guadalupe Peak.
Mar 26, 2021 near Pine Sp…, TX
There are some great rock outcroppings along the Tejas Trail.
Apr 16, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX
Devil's Hall Trail is down in this striking canyon.
Apr 18, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX
Guadalupe Mountains
Apr 1, 2020 near Pine Sp…, TX

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