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The Bowl Loop

Difficult
 4.6 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great but strenuous hike through the varied ecosystems of the park.

Liz

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Map Key

8.6

Miles

13.9

KM

Loop

8,252' 2,515 m

High

5,744' 1,751 m

Low

2,565' 782 m

Up

2,564' 782 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

67%

Max Grade (34°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Overview

This hike will take you from the Chihuahuan Desert, up through a canyon, to a treed ridgeline, and back down. The loop allows you experience the variety of environments within the park and offers some great views of the surrounding area. Make sure you're up for it through; the summer heat can make this one feel longer than it is. Come prepared.

Need to Know

This is a strenuous hike and there are no water sources along the way. Though the route winds up through Bear Canyon, and there are few trees along the ridgeline, most of the route is very exposed. Be sure to carry plenty of water, and wear sunscreen and a hat.

Description

This hike starts from the Pine Springs Trailhead and heads west, very briefly, on the Guadalupe Peak Trail. Take your first right onto the Tejas Trail and cross an old dirt road. The trail then crosses the Delaware River (mostly a sandy wash) and reaches a junction on the other side. This junction is where the loop splits; you can hike this either direction. To follow as mapped take a right onto Foothills Trail which follows the braided Delaware riverbed. About 0.5 mile into the hike, the trail splits; take the Frijole Trail heading north as the trail winds along through uninterrupted Chihuahuan Desert.

After about one mile on the Frijole Trail, Bear Canyon Trail turns left and heads north. This is where the going gets tough. The grade steepens significantly as you climb up through Bear Canyon. There area few switchbacks to help ease the grade, but be sure to watch your footing as there is loose sand and gravel in places that can make traction treacherous. As you reach the ridge, the grade eases a little. Bear Canyon Trail ends at the junction with the Bowl Trail.

Take a left onto the Bowl Trail and follow it to the junction with Hunter Peak Trail. Take this short detour up some steps to the summit of Hunter Peak. This is a great place to sit and take a break or eat lunch. Plus the views are quite nice! When you're ready, head back down the trail and take a left to continue west on the Bowl Trail. After about 0.5 mile you'll reach a junction where the Bowl Trail splits; stay left following the ridgeline west.

The Bowl Trail ends at the junction with the Tejas Trail and Bush Mountain Trail. Turn left to follow the Tejas Trail to descend from the mountains. The trail winds in and out of some valleys as it heads south. If you keep and eye open, you might be able to spot the Devil's Hall Trail below you. The trail gradually descends and before long you'll be back near the start. At the junction with Foothills Trail, a right to stay on Tejas Trail will lead you back to the parking lot.

Flora & Fauna

Common Chihuahuan Desert flora and fauna.

Contacts

Shared By:

Liz

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 10 votes

#1218

Overall
  4.6 from 10 votes
5 Star
70%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#23

in Texas

#1,218

Overall
65 Views Last Month
2,766 Since Mar 16, 2018
Difficult

0%
0%
11%
11%
78%
0%

Photos

Sunrise cloud inversion, Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Apr 1, 2020 near Pine Sp…, TX
This view is back down toward Pine Springs and the river bed we crossed earlier.
Apr 16, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX
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
From the Bowl Trail, you can experience great views into Bear Canyon before joining the Bear Canyon Trail.
Apr 18, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX
Devil's Hall Trail is down in this striking canyon.
Apr 18, 2017 near Pine Sp…, TX

Weather


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Check-Ins

Mar 17, 2021
Lily Adams
Mar 10, 2021
Charlie Beals
Great hike. Hot sun, but so incredibly windy. Saw about 8 people total. 8.6mi — 4h 00m
Mar 10, 2021
Noah Minnaar
Probably one of the toughest trails I've done to date! steep inclines, but absolutely incredible views. 8.6mi — 4h 00m
Sep 28, 2020
Laura Knoll
Holy hell this hike was harder than we thought. But well worth it. Took a few side trails to explore. Hunter Peak was glorious. 10.2mi — 6h 56m
Apr 23, 2019
Dan Frechtling
12h 00m
Mar 19, 2019
Dana Ochs
Nov 10, 2018
Adventurous Way
2844ft 8.9mi
Oct 5, 2018
Michelle Gilbreath
Very strenuous hike on bear creek side Tejas side is beautiful and not so strenuous!! Did this with my friend and my 82 yr old mom !! 9.6mi