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blueBlack La Subida Trail

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0.8 mile 1.3 kilometer point to point
89% Runnable


Ascent: 2' 1 m
Descent: -244' -74 m
High: 1,472' 449 m
Low: 1,230' 375 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)


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Trail shared by Brendan Ross

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A semi-technical shortcut on Black Hill Loop.

Brendan Ross

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The Protected Habitat Area is open September through February, with gates or barriers blocking entry points the rest of the year.

Runner Notes

La Subida Trail is part of the Protected Habitat Area, a remote section of Government Canyon accessible only to pedestrians. It is home to some of the more rugged trails in the state park, but offers the best opportunity for solitude - few people venture this far into the backcountry.

As with other trails, keep an eye on the heat, bring enough water, and let someone know where you will be, as encounters with other trail users are rare. In an emergency, the northeast section of the Black Hill Loop abuts a neighborhood and would be faster access to help than returning to the trailheads.


One of the more rugged trails in Government Canyon, La Subida cuts about three-quarters of a mile out of the longer Black Hill Loop by heading straight down the hillside.

La Subida begins around Black Hill's high point after a climbing segment. The marker at the turnoff is easy to miss, but it is sandwiched by Black Hill markers on either side which can help in locating the intersection. The first quarter mile is a quick descent down the slope of the escarpment. Rocky and uneven, the singletrack is similar to the trickier sections on Sendero Balcones and can be a tough go for less experienced runners.

Eventually, the path levels out in a semi-grassy area. Look for a nice variety of sotols and other yucca-type plants around this section.

As the trail turns south, it makes one more short descent, ending back on Black Hill Loop at another set of markers.

Flora & Fauna

The Texas Hill Country is well known for its abundant tree life. Government Canyon exhibits a number of these varieties, including mountain laurel, Ashe juniper, mesquite and live oak. Birds and deer are the most common animals encountered in the area.


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