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Charlie Harley, #14153

Hikes in West Texas?

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My daughter and SIL live in Midland, TX. I’m heading there this fall/winter for a visit, and we’re hoping to get in a few days of hiking.

 

We've been to Big Bend (Breathtaking!!), and are looking for other options within a 3-5 hour drive. I know there are SASS members who’ve been in this area and wanted to pick your brain.

 

Guadalupe Mountains NP?

 

Palo Duro Canyon SP?

 

Others we might not have thought of?

 

I appreciate any insight you can offer.

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Ruidoso, NM is five hours from Midland and is a popular mountain tourist area for Texans.  You can ski there as well as hike.  Fall would be best for hiking but wear blaze orange as this is an elk hunting area.  I've hiked the ridgeline trail along the crest of the Capitans and enjoyed it.  Be conservative in your choice of hikes as the elevation is likely to challenge your stamina.  Link: day hikes in the Lincoln Nat'l Forest

 

Palo Duro is worth visiting even if you don't hike.  The Davis Mountains are a couple hours southwest from Midland.  The state park has some hiking trails.  This park would be good for winter hiking as the trails are unlikely to be closed by snow.

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Have you tried the “All Trails” app?  It’s fantastic and searches near you, ranks the trails in level of difficulty, has lots of reviews and pics, and how heavily travelled the trails are.

 

It’s a great app.

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When I was a teenager, my parents, two brothers and I went to Palo Duro canyon in a motorhome.  Parked in a space for it, but we noticed a cave in the canyon wall that hikers were trying to get to but couldn't because the cave formed from a wash out and although they could climb vertically, they couldn't get over to the entrance.  We climbed up higher than the cave entrance and found a sinkhole. At the bottom of the hole was a hole into the back side of the cave.  We were able to get in and the cave floor was pretty flat. The only living things in the cave were what we called grand daddy longleg spiders. I guess the cave was maybe 20 feet long IIRC.  We went back down to the RV and got our camping gear and climbed back up and we spent the night in that cave.  Never saw any snakes, thankfully.  

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Hey Charlie!

 

Back in 1990 when my bride and I were living in Midland, we drove over and climbed Guadalupe Peak.  We packed up to a primitive campsite on a little mesa, spent the night, then made the easy hike to the summit and descended the next day.  Day hikers make the round trip every day, so what we did wasn't the norm.  Beautiful, rugged country.

 

While you're in the area, you can hike McKittrick Canyon. It's just to the east and a part of Guadalupe Mountains NP.   https://www.nps.gov/gumo/planyourvisit/mckittrick.htm

 

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Part of my formative years were spent in that region... wherever you go, if the weather is warm, do watch for snakes.  ;)

 

 

 

 

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In addition to the above there’s Copper Breaks Canyon near Quitaque.  Not a true hike but you’ll get some walking done in Carlsbad Caverns.  Just a skip away from Guadalupe Peak,etc

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Please, take my advice, and forget Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Please, take my advice, and forget Ruidoso, New Mexico.

 

It isn’t what I would describe (but which Ruidoso presents itself as) a resort community.  
 

Midland is about 300 miles East of El Paso, TX and about 300 miles West of Dallas. Hence, the name.  I don’t consider Midland to be a tourist area.

 

The Guadalupes are closer to El Paso, and are a desolate mountain-desert  wilderness.  Beautiful!  Go prepared!   (“Guadalupe Mountains National Park“)
Apache Indians were one indigenous people of the area.  Get lost in there, pard, and you’ll have problems.  One of my favorite places.  Bring lots of water, some food and  keep your body and head covered.

 

Cat Brules

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Caprock Canyons in the Panhandle is a really nice spot.  Drove through the area once, but didn't have time to stop.  I'd love to go back.

 

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hiking in Texas in the summer time

 

Not something too many of us do who already live here

 

but Fall/Winter . . . much better

 

have fun and don't end up coyote food

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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 6:35 AM, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

My daughter and SIL live in Midland, TX. I’m heading there this fall/winter for a visit, and we’re hoping to get in a few days of hiking.

 

We've been to Big Bend (Breathtaking!!), and are looking for other options within a 3-5 hour drive. I know there are SASS members who’ve been in this area and wanted to pick your brain.

 

Guadalupe Mountains NP?

 

Palo Duro Canyon SP?

 

Others we might not have thought of?

 

I appreciate any insight you can offer.

Palo Duro canyon is worth the trip. Beautiful canyon and the 2nd largest in the US. also the last stronghold of the Comanche. Enclosed is one of the pics of the horse trails. Lots of other trails.

axpd.jpg

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