Hill Country Cougar Canyon Trek

Bandera, Texas

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This demanding hike takes in the far elevations of the Hill Country State Natural Area, reaching three successively higher ridges. Start out in the West Verde Creek valley, and scout the park’s more remote regions. Views open to your west atop the hill. Live oaks grow plentifully up here. The Hightower Trail drifts through live oak groves. You’ll pass backcountry campsites and plunge into Cougar Canyon. A long downgrade takes you back to the trailhead. The trail is very rocky on the downgrade. Boulders, pebbles, and stones of every size cover the trail. Dip to an old watering hole at 1.7 miles. A concrete basin, shed, and salt lick are hereabouts.

Hill Country Cougar Canyon Trek Professional Review and Guide

"This demanding hike takes in the far elevations of the Hill Country State Natural Area, reaching three successively higher ridges. Start out in the West Verde Creek valley, and scout the park’s more remote regions. Views open to your west atop the hill. Live oaks grow plentifully up here. The Hightower Trail drifts through live oak groves.

You’ll pass backcountry campsites and plunge into Cougar Canyon. A long downgrade takes you back to the trailhead. The trail is very rocky on the downgrade. Boulders, pebbles, and stones of every size cover the trail. Dip to an old watering hole at 1.7 miles. A concrete basin, shed, and salt lick are hereabouts."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Bandera
Distance: 10.3
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 5.5 hours
Season: Daily; office hours are 8 a.m.–5 p.m
Trailhead Elevation: 1,550 feet
Top Elevation: 1,950 feet
Local Contacts: 830-796-4413; tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/hill-country
Local Maps: tinyurl.com/hcsnamap
Driving Directions: Directions to Hill Country Cougar Canyon Trek

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May 2018