Texas offer some of the best hiking in the country due to its spectacular rugged desert landscapes and strikingly diverse terrain. From steep mountains and jagged cliffs and swampy grasslands to rolling meadows filled with wild flowers and lush swimming holes, the Lone Star State has a hike for everyone. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Boquillas Hot Springs

Boquillas Hot Springs
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Located about four miles upriver from Boquillas Canyon at the point where the Tornillo Creek flows into the Rio Grande River, the Boquillas Hot Springs are a set of geothermal hot springs along the big bend of the Rio Grande River that are 105 degrees year-round. You can reach the Boquillas Hot Springs by a trailhead from the parking lot off Hot Springs Road, which runs for about half a mile and is relatively flat and smooth. There are ancient pictographs of the walls along the trailhead to the hot springs, which offer a refreshing respite from the hot and sweaty hike. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Hot Springs Historic Trailhead, Big Bend National Park, Texas

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2.Brazos Bend

Brazos Bend
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Brazos Bend is located within the Brazos Bend State Park and features about 25 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Set along the Brazos River in Needville, the 4,897-acre Brazos Bend State Park is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including American alligators. Located within a stone's throw from the thriving metropolis of Houston, the park offers several hiking trails, including the 40-Acre Lake and Elm Lake trails, which provide excellent opportunities for alligator spotting. The park also offers a Nature Center with nature exhibits, an observatory, and a variety of camping, fishing, and day-use facilities.

40-Acre Lake Trailhead, Brazos Bend SP, Needville, Texas

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3.Cattail Falls Trail

Cattail Falls Trail
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Located in the Big Bend National Park, the Cattail Falls Trail is a 3.1-mile out-and-back trail that winds its way to the 80-foot Cattail Falls. Rated as moderate and mainly used for hiking, walking, and nature trips, the well-marked trail starts from the parking lot and runs for about a mile up into a canyon with spectacular scenery. Be on the lookout for black bears in the densely forested areas, as well as poison oak. There are some significant boulders near the end of the trail just before reaching the Cattail Falls Trail, which is best after spring melts or heavy rainfall. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Big Bend National Park: Big Bend National Park, TX, Phone: 432-477-2251

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4.Cedar Flats Trail

Cedar Flats Trail
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Cedar Flats Trail is a lightly trafficked 1.9-mile out-and-back trail located near San Antonio that is primarily used for hiking and walking and caters for all skill levels. The Cedar Flats trail ends at the Eisenhower Park's observation deck, which boasts breathtaking panoramic views of San Antonio and the surrounding hill country and is one of the best places in the region to watch the sunset. You can reach the Cedar Flats Trail by taking the road to Camp Bullis and entering Eisenhower Park on the left just before the military base. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash.

1899 Park Boulevard, Westbury, NY 11590, Phone: 516-572-0348

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5.Closed Canyon Trail

Closed Canyon Trail
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The Closed Canyon Trail is a fun and easy 1.8-mile out-and-back hiking trail that goes through a slot canyon near Lajitas in Big Bend Ranch State Park. Winding along a river with beautiful natural scenery, the trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and rated as moderate. While mostly flat, the path has some rocks to scramble over, which can be slippery after the rain, and there is plenty of parking at the trailhead, along with a covered picnic table and benches. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Big Bend National Park: Big Bend National Park, TX, Phone: 432-477-2251

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6.Crockett Gardens and Falls

Crockett Gardens and Falls
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Located in Cedar Breaks Park near Georgetown, the Crockett Gardens and Falls trail is a moderately trafficked 7.7-mile out-and-back trail that runs past a lake and offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the year. The trail snakes along the banks and around the cliffs of Lake Georgetown offers beautiful views along the way. There are no fees for hiking the trail, but other activities on the lake such as camping, fishing, and boating require additional charges. The Crockett Gardens and Falls trail is a section of the 26-mile San Gabriel Goodwater Loop, which winds all the way around Lake Georgetown. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Cedar Breaks Park, 2100 Cedar Breaks Rd, Georgetown, TX 78633, Phone: 512-930-5253

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7.Eagle Point Trail

Eagle Point Trail
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Set within the Caprock State Park, the Eagle Point Trail is a 4.3-mile out-and-back trail located near Quitaque that takes in spectacular panoramic vistas over the badlands landscape of the park. The path leads to a beautiful bridge, which hikers can walk beneath and explore, and relax on a wooden bench to soak up the views. Rated as moderate and accessible year-round, the trail is primarily used for hiking, but mountain bikers and horseback riders can also make use of the trail. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash. Camping is available in Caprock Canyon State Park, and sometimes bison can be seen roaming the grasslands in the park from the trail.

Caprock State Park P.O. Box 204 Quitaque, TX 79255, Phone: 806-455-1492

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8.Emory Peak Trail

Emory Peak Trail
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Emory Peak Trail is a roundtrip hike to the highest point in Big Bend National Park that rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views. Located near Terlingua, the 8.5-mile out-and-back trail is used for hiking and walking. It is moderately busy and rated as difficult, with sections of rock scrambling up a sheer wall at the end of the hike. The hike begins at the Basin Trailhead and follows the Pinnacles trail for 3.5 miles before cutting off and heading up to the summit for about a mile. Surrounded by stunning wildflowers and fantastic views, the path usually takes most hikers approximately five to six hours for the roundtrip journey.

Big Bend National Park: Big Bend National Park, TX, Phone: 432-477-2251

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9.Enchanted Rock Loop Trail

Enchanted Rock Loop Trail
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Enchanted Rock is a famous pink granite mountain in Llano Uplift located approximately 18 miles north of Fredericksburg. The Enchanted Rock Loop Trail is a 6.2-mile lightly trafficked loop trail that runs along the floodplain of the Sandy Creek. It is the longest trail in the park, and probably the easiest trail, terrain-wise at Enchanted Rock. Used mainly by hikers, the trail consists of crushed granite and is largely flat, wide, and typically easy to navigate with a few exceptions. It snakes past incredible rock formations that resemble mushrooms, with wide tops. Part of the trail tracks old jeep trails from the land's ranching days, and the hike to the top of the rock is challenging but well worth the effort once you reach the top.

16710 Ranch Rd. 965 Fredericksburg, TX 78624, Phone: 830-685-3636

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10.Gorman Falls Trail

Gorman Falls Trail
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The Gorman Falls Trail is a 2.6-mile out-and-back trail located near Bend that ends at the lovely Gorman Falls. Hailed as one of the gems of the Texas Hill Country, the path and the waterfall are situated in Colorado Bend State Park and is considered a “living waterfall” – growing over time due to the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the water that flows through the large limestone deposits in the area. The Gorman Falls Trailhead is situated near the park entrance and has a parking lot at the start where hikers can leave their cars before starting the three-mile round-trip hike to the falls and back. The Gorman Falls Trail is rated as moderate. It’s accessible year-round, and dogs are allowed on this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Gorman Falls Trailhead, Lometa, Texas

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11.The Gypsum Sand Dunes, Guadalupe Mountains NP

The Gypsum Sand Dunes, Guadalupe Mountains NP
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Set within the vast Chihuahuan Desert of western Texas, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is renowned for its bright-white gypsum salt basin dunes, which can be explored on the Guadalupe Peak Trail. The trail winds its way up through a conifer forest to the state’s highest summit, which boasts spectacular panoramic views of the rocky El Capitan peak and the surrounding landscapes. You can find more information about the trail at the Pine Springs Visitor Center, where there are expert rangers who will share their knowledge of the region. There is a parking space with shaded picnic tables at the start of the trail where hikers can relax once finished.

Williams Road Gate, Dell City, Texas

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12.Guadalupe Peak

Guadalupe Peak
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Rising from the desert like a phoenix on the New Mexican border and 110 miles east of El Paso, Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas. The spectacular peak can be climbed on an 8.5-mile round trip, which has an elevation of over 3,000 feet, making it a moderate hike. The trail features a lot of switchbacks that help you reach the summit quickly, and although the first 1.5 miles are the toughest, the rest of the hike is relatively easy. The trail passes forests of Pinion Pine, South-Western White Pine, and Douglas Fir on the north slope, and it boasts awe-inspiring views of El Capitan to the south.

Guadalupe Peak Trail Visitors Center, Culberson County, Texas

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13.Kirby Nature Trail and Sandhill Loop Trail in Big Thicket National Preserve

Kirby Nature Trail and Sandhill Loop Trail in Big Thicket National Preserve
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The Kirby Nature Trail and the Sandhill Loop Trail are located in the Big Thicket National Preserve, and both pass through beautiful landscapes of sloping forests, cypress sloughs, and riparian zones along Village Creek. The trails range between 1.5 to 2.5 miles, and an interpretive trail guide is available at the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center. The Sandhill Loop Trail loops for 1.3 miles beginning with the Kirby Nature Trail, crossing the bridge over Village Creek, and following the Turkey Creek Trail north for another 0.8 miles. The Big Thicket National Preserve offers a range of other activities such as hiking, bird watching, regular camping, and backcountry camping.

Big Thicket National Preserve: 6044 FM 420 Kountze, TX 77625, Phone: 409-951-6800

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14.Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon

Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon
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The Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro Canyon is a 5.7-mile out-and-back trail that is heavily trafficked and rated as moderate. Set in the canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment known as the Palo Duro Canyon, the Lighthouse is the most famous rock formation in the park and is located three miles from the road along a relatively easy trail, which is well sign-posted. The busy path used by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, and it winds through a diverse range of landscapes from scrubby bushes, sandy ground, colorful, eroded cliffs, and stony washes. The Palo Duro Canyon offers a variety of different activity options as well as hiking and is best enjoyed from September until May. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, TX 79015, Phone: 806-488-2227

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15.Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area
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Set on the on the upper Sabinal River in the Edwards Plateau Region of Texas, the Lost Maples State Natural Area offers several miles of rugged hiking trails that snake through dense woodlands and sheltered canyons. The area is home to a wide diversity of plants and wildlife, which can be enjoyed on one of the five hiking trails in the area. The hiking trails include the 36-mile Maple Trail, the one-mile East-West Trail, the three-mile East Trail, the 3.57-mile West Trail, and the 2.57-mile West Loop Trail. Points of interest along the trails include Monkey Grove, Grotto, Spring, and the Scenic Overlook.

37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885, Phone: 830-966-3413

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16.Muleshoe Bend

Muleshoe Bend
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Located 50 minutes outside of Austin, the Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area features over 540 acres of pristine landscapes and fields of bluebonnets overlooking the Colorado River along with a network of hiking trails, camping sites, and picnic tables. The highlight of the park is the miles of bluebonnets that bloom in mid-March through late April, attracting crowds of visitors who flock to soak up the beautiful scenes. There is a 6.5-mile loop trail that is ideal for hiking and mountain biking for all skill levels, swimming is permitted in the river to cool off, and there are 27 primitive campsites stretching along two miles of river for those wanting to stay longer.

Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area, Spicewood, Texas

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17.Palo Duro Canyon's Rock Garden Trail

Palo Duro Canyon's Rock Garden Trail
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Palo Duro Canyon's Rock Garden Trail is one of 30 hiking trails in the Palo Duro Canyon and one of Palo Duro's most challenging and strenuous, but most scenic hikes. The five-mile round-trip hike features a rigorous incline, taking hikers from the floor of the canyon to the rim with an elevation of over 600 feet in under 2.5 miles. Due to the difficulty of the hike, the Rock Garden trail is sparsely populated but well worth the effort of making through the oscillating inclines and declines that make their way through the rockiest part of the eponymous path for the breathtaking views over the canyon at the top.

11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, TX 79015, Phone: 806-488-2227

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18.Santa Elena Canyon Trail

Santa Elena Canyon Trail
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One of the crown jewels of Big Bend National Park, the Santa Elena Canyon can be experienced on the Santa Elena Canyon Trail, which is a 1.3-mile out-and-back trail that offers spectacular views of the canyon as it ascends 160 feet above the Rio Grande. Surrounded by lush riparian vegetation and towering 1,500-foot canyon walls on either side, the Santa Elena Canyon Trail begins at the end of the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, crosses the Terlingua Creek, and climbs several short switchbacks before descending along the banks of the Rio Grande. The trail ends where canyon walls meet the river where hikers can have lunch and soak up the stunning natural scenery.

Big Bend National Park TX 79834, Phone: 432-477-2251

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19.Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail

Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail
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The Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail is a 13.8-mile out-and-back out and back trail that leads to the Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls. The heavily trafficked path is located near Austin and is one of the city’s most popular trails, flanked in places with rock walls and following the course of the eponymous creek through lush greenery and the Barton Creek Wilderness Park southwest of the city. The main access point for the Barton Creek Greenbelt is located in the center of the trail and offers a variety of activities year-round. The path is best enjoyed from March until October. Dogs can use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail, Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-974-6700

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20.St. Edwards Park

St. Edwards Park
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St. Edwards Park is an 80-acre urban park that features two main hiking trails that go through the park and wind along a creek, through meadows of wildflowers, prairie grasses and cacti, and up hills with beautiful views over the city. The Creek Trail is a two-mile round-trip out-and-back hike that boasts spectacular vistas of sheer rock faces along the quieter section of Bull Creek and is the more relaxed hike of the two. The Hill Trail is a moderately challenging hike that goes up limestone bluffs overlooking the clear waters of Bull Creek and also rewards hikers with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes. The moderately trafficked loop is accessible year-round, and dogs can use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

7301 Spicewood Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78759, Phone: 512-974-6700

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21.The Window Trail

The Window Trail
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Located in the Chisos Mountains in the Big Bend National Park, the Window Trail is the most popular hiking route in the area, drawing crowds in the summer months to enjoy the pristine landscapes. The trail begins on the floor of Chisos Basin and gradually descends downstream to the upper portion of Oak Creek Canyon where the seasonal creek falls away at the west edge of the mountains. The trail follows an increasingly broad and overgrown canyon that ends in spectacular views framed by vertical cliffs known as the Window. The lower end of the canyon boasts the most beautiful landscapes with pretty swimming holes and quiet pools, water-polished rocks, and flowing streams. Deer frequent the surrounding woods, along with other wildlife such as black bears, mountain lions, javelinas, and many species of butterflies.

Big Bend National Park TX 79834, Phone: 432-477-2251

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22.The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
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The Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve is made up of 227 acres of native Texas Hill Country habitat and 2.5 miles of hiking trails for the public to enjoy. The Preserve is also home to the Creative Research Center, which is owned and operated by St. Edwards University and acts as a research center for the Wild Basin region. Managed as part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve was established in 1974 to protect the beautiful Texas Hill Country and encourage the public to take an interest in the preservation and conservation of the environment through a variety of educational programs.

805 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746, Phone: 512-327-7622

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23.Upper Guale Mesa Hike in Big Bend Ranch State Park

Upper Guale Mesa Hike in Big Bend Ranch State Park
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Located in the Big Bend National Park and surrounded by the spectacular Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem, the Upper Guale Mesa Hike is a scenic day hike that offers incredible 360-degree views of the striking terrain. Boasting over 300,000 acres of rugged high desert terrain, the park is one of the top five darkest regions in the country, making for excellent night hiking. There is also a 19-mile loop hike for hikers wanting a more extended adventure, which ends near the High Sierra Bar & Grill for excellent post-hike recovery.

Big Bend National Park TX 79834, Phone: 432-477-2251

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24.West Peak Hike

West Peak Hike
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Situated near the popular Lost Maples and Garner state parks in the beautiful Hill Country State Natural Area, West Peak is a lovely hike with a scenic overlook that gives unparalleled views of the Hill Country Valley. The main trail leaves from the visitor center and is used by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, and it is fairly busy in the summer months. There are several benches along the loop trail for relaxing, and although some parts of the trail can be challenging, it is a fun hike for all levels of hiker. The Country State Natural Area features a few primitive campsites and a Bar-O day use areas.

10600 Bandera Creek Rd, Bandera, TX 78003-3867, Phone: 830-796-4413

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25 Best Hiking Spots in Texas

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