While “Lone Star State” is mainly popular for its live music, barbecue, and heat, the mountains in Texas are also an amazing attraction worldwide.
When you hear the name ‘Texas,’ your mind conjures the images of cowboys, loud music, cattle, Texas Hill Country, bluebonnets, and Big Red. It is unlikely to associate mountains with Texas, even though the state is home to some of the most beautiful peaks you will ever find.
With forested areas full of oaks, firs, and pines; desert lands with Mesquite and cacti; and most prominently, grounds with famous animals like mountain lions, black bears, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys, Texas should be the destination for your next trip.
1. The Lone Star State of Majestic Mountains
The greatness and diversity of Texas are apparent in almost all elements of its physical aspects, economy, history, and culture. It is a vast center of natural resources, trade, commerce, agriculture, good food, and nature conservancy. The wild state is also the home of many mountains and some of the highest peaks in the surrounding area.
The name of Texas comes from the Caddo word ‘thecas,’ which means ‘friends.’ So if you ever travel to see the small towns and mountains in Texas, rest assured that you will be welcomed warmly. The good food and live music will also make your stay more enjoyable.
The Texas Almanac considers the state to have four primary physical territories. These are Basin and Range Province, Interior Lowlands, Gulf Coastal Plains, and Great Plains.
The South Central region of the United States of America, Texas houses over forty mountain ranges. Tourists, climbers, visitors, and hikers traveling the land of Texas mountains will find a delightful blend of heights to ascent and trek.
And with this list of beautiful mountains in Texas, you will become more prepared to tackle the rugged beauty of the Wild West.
2. Find the 15 Most Amazing Mountains in Texas
Exploring nature and trekking the beautiful mountains in Texas is an incredible way to enjoy the ragged and rough elegance of the state. So if you ever plan to enter and explore the mountains in Texas, try these peaks on the list to have the best possible experience.
2.1) The Guadalupe Mountains
The Guadalupe Mountains are old fossilized coral reefs that soar spectacularly from the foot of the Chihuahuan Desert. Located in western Texas, these ranges have some of the most beautiful mountains in Texas.
i) Guadalupe Peak
A part of the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas, Guadalupe Peak is also known as Signal Peak and is the state’s highest point, rising over an elevation of 8750 feet. The Guadalupe Peak can be found at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park and is one of the best mountains in Texas. This majestic Guadalupe Peak, against the backdrop of clear blue skies, is undoubtedly one of the best things in West Texas.
ii) El Capitan
El Capitan is another part of the Guadalupe Mountains. Rising at 8,085 feet, El Capitan is the 8th highest peak in the State. Its majestic height has made it a glorious location for travelers.
iii) Bush Mountain
You can find Bush Mountain among the Guadalupe Mountains of Culberson County. The Bush Mountain of Texas is ranked as the second-highest peak in the region.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is recognized for its remarkable rock formation and mountains like El Capitan, Shumard Peak, and Barlette Peak, along with the highest mountain in the state. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the forests of a diverse range of trees like Pine, Gray Oak, and Douglas Fir.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park preserves the world’s most widespread Permian fossil reef, the four highest mountains in Texas, a distinctive variety of flora and fauna, and is hidden with rich culture and history of war, survival, and hope. It has beautiful night skies and stunning vistas, unlike any other place. So visit and take an adventure in the mountains, canyons, and dunes.
2.2) The Davis Mountains
One of the most picturesque mountains in Texas with an igneous rock intrusion; this is one road trip you will want to keep on taking. The highest peak here is near Fort Davis, known as Baldy Peak, rising at over 8,300 feet. Baldy Peak is in Mount Livermore, located on the Davis Mountains Preserve.
The second-largest desert also encircles the biggest mountain range of Texas in the continent of North America. Housing Texas’s most famous stargazing location, and the McDonald Observatory, the Davis Mountains shine as a paradise in the desert region.
The summers in Texas can get quite intense, but the Davis Mountains are the coldest place in Texas because of the peaks’ height.
The Davis Mountains in Texas access points comprise spots like the Fort Davis National Historical Park, Davis Mountains State Park, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, and much more.
2.3) The Franklin Mountains
If you are a resident of or near El Paso, you get a pleasant view of the Franklin Mountains through the town! The highest elevation of the Franklin Mountain range is around 5,400 feet.
Over the years, the Franklin Mountains have been the sufferer of geological deformation. These disruptions have built an excellent mountain range and foothills to assemble the city of El Paso.
It is considered among the most urban mountains in Texas and New Mexico. The place also offers many hiking and biking trails for tourists to enjoy. The Franklin Mountains also have camping grounds right in the wilderness for those with adventurous souls.
While visiting this range, you should not miss the Franklin Mountains State Park – a favorite among nature lovers.
Another prominent stop of Franklin Mountains is the Ranger peak. With an aerial tram, this peak provides one of the gorgeous views in the state.
2.4) The Chisos Mountains
Running over 40 square miles, the range of the Chisos Mountains of the high desert is not as vast as the others, but it makes up for that with its scenic views. Visitors who venture to trek the hiking trails of the Chisos are rewarded with ragged cliffs, deep valleys and canyons, and sights of the extraordinary Rio Grande.
The Chisos Mountains in Texas are worth a stop, with endless opportunities for hiking tracks and a ton of camping options.
i) Emory Peak
Another highlight of the Chisos Mountains is Emory Peak which can be found in Big Bend National Park. It is the highest mountain in the Chisos Mountains and Brewster County.
ii) Amon-Carter Peak
It is also located inside Big Bend National Park in the Chisos Mountains in Texas. Also called Carter Peak, it is one of the most prominent regions of hiking destinations, shaping the Window with Vernon Bailey Peak.
iii) Goat Mountain
Huddled in the Chisos Mountains, this one is a geologist’s paradise. The historical river ravine of Goat Mountain is packed with numerous extraordinary rocks and minerals.
It should also be noted that Big Bend was founded in 1935 to conserve the part of the Chihuahuan Desert that broadens into the U.S.A. Another must-see that should be on your list while exploring the mountains in Texas is The Window. Though it presents a fairly simple descent, the return journey is a difficult climb of 900 feet. It is an intermediate-level trek of 5.6 miles from the Chisos Basin Lodge area to the Window pour-off. Ultimately, the spectacular sights and views will be worth all the hard work.
2.5) Capitol Mesa
The Grand Canyon of Texas, or the Palo Duro Canyon, exhibits an assortment of mountains, mesas, and minor canyons.
Trekkers will be gifted with grand views at the height. Capitol Mesa stands at the southern edge of the canyon, where backpackers can anticipate a glimpse of ruddy and golden badlands, white cap rock formations, rocky apexes, and stunning and spindly hoodoos. There is also a chance to hike off-road to the Lighthouse, a great hoodoo.
2.6) Palo Pinto Mountains
The range of Palo Pinto Mountains is considered one of the best foothills. At almost 1,500 feet in height, the content is made up of three prominent mountains in Texas
i) Crawford Mountain
Rising about 1400 feet, this one is comparatively less hiked and not as known to travelers.
ii) Sugarloaf Mountain
It is the final mountain of the range and is attached to South Franklin Mountain by a shared ridgeline. As it is out of the park, there is unrestricted public access for hiking. However, there is no one to maintain or control the trailheads.
iii) Antelope Mountain
Located eight miles west of Palo Pinto, the Antelope Mountain area is characterized by the rocky ground that is the growing land for brush, mesquite trees, cacti, and other grasses.
2.7) Christmas Mountains
The Christmas Mountains are a close range positioned north of the Big Bend National Park’s west passageway in southern Brewster County.
Granted to Texas from a private institution in the 1990s, the Christmas Mountains were authorized into the Texas State University System around 2011. This makes it one of the most recent mountain ranges in TX accessible to the public.
Mountain biking, hiking, and horse riding are fun and exciting things to do in the Christmas Mountains in Texas. The access permits are available at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge offices.
2.8) Fresno Peak
Fearless climbers who aren’t scared of isolated areas will be delighted to take on the challenge presented by Fresno Peak. Situated in Big Bend Ranch State Park in the Chihuahuan Desert, this peak is over fifteen difficult miles of desert from the closest street. There is also a lack of concrete paths to the peak, but fairly countless trekking and hiking trails that former climbers have made.
Even the most experienced and talented hikers should be wary of the harsh and difficult climbs of the cliffs. In the end, for those who embrace the challenge, there are the rewards of gorgeous views of Fresno Creek, Terlingua, and Bofecillos Highlands from the hilltop.
2.9) Cerro Castellan
Cerro Castellan mountain is found in the southwest intersection of Big Bend National Park in the Santa Elena Canyon region. It is an isolated, steep landform that surrounds the terrain with steep ridges and hills.
The impressive height looks like an uncertain climb, except for the experienced and pro-climbers. However, at the east area of the peak, a path to the summit stands, giving courageous trekkers a moderately easy climb. While the adventure takes only a few hours, it is better to avoid this during the summer due to the intense heat.
2.10) Double Mountains
Near Rotan, you will discover these two mountains in Texas that sit right next to one other at approximately 2,500 feet. A distinguished radio tower is located on the east summit. Even though paved paths do not steer directly to the peaks, they can be accessed by paved Farm to Market Roads.
The Double Mountains are a prominent part of history and have long been local landmarks. It dates back to 1788 when Jose Mares made a trail from San Antonio to Santa Fe. The mountains are also believed to have once been the sacred place and hallowed ground to the native tribe of Comanches.
2.11) Hueco Mountains
The term ‘Hueco’ in Spanish refers to a gap or hole. It makes sense a space exists between the Hueco and Franklin Mountains ranges on the exterior of El Paso.
Another shared mountain range with New Mexico, these mountains in Texas are noted for their availability for hiking and rock climbing. The historical significance of the place is also noteworthy.
The place is home to some of the most culturally important rock illustrations in the state of Texas. The nicest place established for spending time around the Hueco Mountains is at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Area.
Both guided tours and self-guided hikes are possible in this place.
2.12) Hunter Peak
It is the 6th tallest peak in Texas at almost 8,300 feet. This mountain is, in truth, old fossilized coral. Many loop passages on the mountain and vast tracks steer to the hilltop. The south flank of Hunter Peak is a jagged desert topography, and the northern part is a sloping terrain of pine trees.
The trail of the Hunter Peak loops a hike to a summit of about 8,300 feet at the edge of the cliffs. It also covers the thin and secluded Bear Canyon through the woodland Pines. The whole journey is about nine miles long.
2.13) Indian Peak
The Army of the United States owns this peak in the Castner Mountain Ranges. The trailhead is in the northern portion of Franklin Mountains State Park at the Tom Mays Unit.
As the mountain is out of the park, there is no particular route to its summit. Walkers can travel the rough slant to the forum. Apart from the remarkable views, a geocache is concealed on the ridge.
2.14) Lost Peak
The Lost Peak is the ideal spot for those who need an easy hike. It can be effortlessly accessed at the north end of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The advantage of its isolated setting is that it is sheltered from the occasional harsh winds. Paths are established and well-maintained. From the summit, the sights are breathtaking, and the peaceful desert spreads out in all directions. The ground is also home to an impressive assortment of cacti.
2.15) Mount Bonnell
Rising only about a thousand feet, this is one of the easiest mountains in Texas for hiking with a city atmosphere. This limestone mountain gives hikers sights of a portion of the Colorado River called Lake Austin.
The walk here is closer to a stroll than a hike which is a great relief for the visitors in the humid summers. The pleasant climb is ideal for all levels of climbers, especially those with no experience. Moreover, there is a magnificent viewing pavilion at the mountain summit.
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3. Special Mentions
If the adventurer in you still seeks and longs to explore further, here are some of the other mountain peaks and ranges in Texas that you can visit:
- Eagle Peak
- Mescalero Mountain
- Mitre Peak
- Toll Mountain
- Bartlett Peak
- Blue Ridge
- Shumard Peak
- Mount Pratt
- Blue Mountain
- Jacob’s Well
- Chinati Peak
With an endless list of possibilities and exciting things to do in the Texas mountains, the land of BBQ and bluebonnets will give you the best vacation you will always remember with a smile.
So here you go. Now that you are equipped with all the facts you need to know about the ranges of the state, wait no longer. The ranges of Franklin, the Guadalupe, the Chinati Mountains, and the Davis Mountains are ready to welcome you with the promises of the best time.
Take a chance if you dare and swap your regular holiday destinations of sea beaches or ski resorts and venture into the wilderness of the west with the amazing mountains in Texas.
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