President’s Day Weekend meant crowds at Big Bend so I headed back to my old stomping grounds in the Guadalupe Mountains.
As expected there was no problem getting a permit (meanwhile Big Bend was essentially full at least in the Chiso area).
No matter where you start you always have to climb a lot to really get into the Guadalupe Mountains. Usually this means a steep hike up Tejas Trail.
The “Bowl” or forested center of the Gaudalupe Mountains may be my favorite spot in West Texas. It doesn’t have the dramatic scenery of the canyons but having a mountain forest to hike through in the middle of a desert is cool. And the fact that I can enjoy it while New Mexico and Colorado are buried under snow makes it even cooler.
If there had been more time I would have done a side trip to Hunter Peak and a hike along the Canyon Rim. But daylight was fading so I headed across the Bowl toward my campsite.
I often don’t set up a shelter in West Texas. But since I was unsure of the weather forecast I went ahead and pitched my tarp. It was a good thing I did because it rained pretty hard about 2 AM. I would have gotten pretty wet in just my bivy.
In the morning clouds hung over the mountain tops. I decided to skip a trip to Bush Mountain and just go straight out on Tejas Trail. Another good call as it turned out.
At the edge of the canyon the fog was thick enough to block all views.
This trip was a chance to try out my second version of a pack built on the Seek Outside Unaweep frame and hipbelt. This version had side pockets and was a bit shorter in the torso and wider.
The sky began to clear as I finished the hike out to my car. Another fun weekend in West Texas was over.