Devil of a hike, day two Guadalupe MNP

Out West there are countless spots with Devil in the name, and maybe the devil makes us do it, but we just can’t resist the temptation. But the trek to Devil’s Hall nearly caused us to meet our maker…

We are not morning people. Hiking party after hiking party from the crack of dawn made staccato our morning sleep in Pine Springs campground.

We gave up zzz’s to see what the fuss was about and were instantly invigorated by the sight of Guadalupe Mountains from our RV bedroom window.

View of the gravelly trail entrance leading between ridges.
View to the left: Pine Springs Trailhead window screen removed. Blue skies beckon!

Pine Springs RV Lot Highlights:
$7.50 for Senior /Access passholders
Dry dock only
12 quiet hours

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A ridge in Guadalupe Mountain National Park
View to the right, sky tinted purply by our bedroom window screen.

That trailhead called to us. We figured we could survive a later start thanks to spring temperatures, so we decided to explore.

Park brochures showed a few trails diverged a ways from the trailhead. We thought we would only go out and back from the intersection where the fittest hikers split off to climb Mount Guadalupe.

We made it to the trail split, easy peasy.

  • Short plant with red shoots at the top
  • Tiny orange blossom in the middle of the gravelly trail.
  • Trail disappearing into bushes, gentle sloped mountain to right
  • Trail disappearing over the more gradual canyon.
  • Ridge crest with rock formation like a man with his head back snoring.
  • AJ has a yucca spike behind her smiling face. Big cliffs way beyond in background. Sparse vegetation still desert scrub.
  • Two black beetles adjoined on a yucca sprout
  • Large rock ridge, one point has a round hole like feature, above deep green scrub.

We regrouped and decided to continue to the Devil’s Hall — a two-mile hike out and back. Two miles, we thought, no problem.

Hearing that devil call us, we simply did not multiply that two times two. We left with only about a liter of water apiece…and no snacks.

–tip: TWO out AND back = FOUR

The trail wound along the canyon ridge but we soon followed it down a slightly treacherous boulder to boulder climb down into a dry creek bed.

From there we stepped rock-to-rock for what seemed ages. Fortunately an interesting variety of trees and scrub and cliffs combined to provide just enough shade.

  • Bill standing in field of boulders, mountain peak overhead with white cloud line from a jet
  • Close up of cliff top, golden and pitted with tiny caves
  • Cream colored upside down bulbs
  • Bill and AJ in front of rock wall with scaly tree bark in background.
  • Pine limbs and more of the tree with scaly lizardy lookingbark.
  • Bill looking up the rocky creekbed trail toward cliffs.
  • Now close to the cliffs from previous photo.
  • Back side of one of the rock walls.
  • The creek bed becomes terraced, as if built by human hand.

The rocky stream bed continued up and up, and rock to rock we went. Previous hikers left rock stacks to mark the best way around clusters of debris.

Group after group of early birds returning from the Devil’s Hall seemed to tell us we were getting further away. We rationed water and debated returning but that devil drew us onward.

After what seemed a lifetime of hard labor, we arrived at a terraced area and realized at last we were nearing. The climb up this almost brick looking wall was steep, and tricky. I dreaded going down that wall on the way back.

  • Layered rocks like a staircase into a narrow canyon of similar layered walls
  • Two jagged cliffs aside the path.
  • Baby barrell cacti cluster with bright red blossoms
  • A narrow and dry slot canyon. The walls look as if built by a mason.
  • Walls narrower with details of the layered tan and grayrock.
  • Bill and AJ look tired with forced smiles in this selfie looking back into Devil's hall.
  • The end of the brick-looking wall with spires of another cliff in the distance between deciduous
  • Greener mountains beyond the expanded canyon walls. Bill stands in the dry creek bed.
  • Reddish whirley seeds with green maple leaves clustered around
  • Yellow flower bud that has retreated. Cluster of this plant thriving on what looks like bare white rock.
  • Trail descending into valley where several campers are parked

Finally around the corner we entered the Devil’s Hall. Like most great temptations, it was better as a thought than in reality. An interesting force of water spot, but maybe not worth the Herculean effort to get there.

As for the two miles back. Holy hell! But the effort sure did make the ham and cheese sandwich we made at RVoyger just about the best ham and cheese we have ever tasted.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Salt Flat, Texas

(915) 828-3251
GMNP Website

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