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Tejas Trail



12.1 mile 19.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 2,678' 816 m
Descent: -2,232' -680 m
High: 7,883' 2,403 m
Low: 5,855' 1,784 m


Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 37% (20°)


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Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

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

Kristen Arendt

Features Views · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked

Campfires are prohibited. Camp only in designated sites.


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 hike 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 hike, 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. Hikers 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.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know


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May 22, 2019
Tessa Vande Velden
Did part of this fucking trail on accident - wanted to do Devils Hall
Apr 20, 2019
Curry Perkins
We camped at Dog Canyon and did an out/Back to Lost Peak. Tough close to the peak but overall a great trail! 7mi — 6h 30m
Mar 21, 2019
Pete Bralich
7.7mi — 4h 48m
Jul 9, 2018
Mark Clements
Jun 30, 2018
Mark Clements
Mar 9, 2018
Jay Abernathy
Hiked with Caleb 3/9/2018 4.2mi
Apr 14, 2017
Todd Anderson
PineSprings-Tejas-CampTejas-Juniper-BearCanyon-PineSprings. Awesome. Hard climb, great views, nice forests, 1 night, signs of Coyote Fire, great time! 12.1mi — 8h 30m
Dec 23, 2016
Jake Collins

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 7 votes


  4.1 from 7 votes
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