Salt Basin Overlook

Salt Flat, Texas

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2 Reviews
3 out of 5
For those who want a long day hike without much climbing, the Salt Basin Overlook Trail is an excellent choice. Set aside a entire day for this trip, which leaves an hour or two for relaxing along the way. The trail is well-defined all the way with the exception of one short stretch where it dips into Guadalupe Canyon on the lower loop. The trail climbs gradually (460 feet in about 3 miles) toward El Capitan before dropping into beautiful Guadalupe Canyon, where you’ll find the junction with the Salt Basin Overlook Trail.You’ll start getting good looks at El Capitan after about 1.5 miles. The views from the El Capitan Trail equal those from any place on the loop, so if you’re interested in an 8.6-mile hike instead of an 11.5-mile hike, you can make this an out-and-back hike by retracing your steps back to the campground from the second junction and call it a good day. The loop adds 3.6 miles of new terrain to the trip, but from a scenery standpoint it doesn’t add much.
Hiking Carlsbad Caverns & Guadalupe Mountains National Parks

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Carlsbad Caverns & Guadalupe Mountains National Parks

by Bill Schneider (Falcon Guides)

For those who want a long day hike without much climbing, the Salt Basin Overlook Trail is an excellent choice. Set aside a entire day for this trip, which leaves an hour or two for relaxing along the way. The trail is well-defined all the way with the exception of one short stretch where it dips into Guadalupe Canyon on the lower loop.

The trail climbs gradually (460 feet in about 3 miles) toward El Capitan before dropping into beautiful Guadalupe Canyon, where you’ll find the junction with the Salt Basin Overlook Trail.You’ll start getting good looks at El Capitan after about 1.5 miles.

The views from the El Capitan Trail equal those from any place on the loop, so if you’re interested in an 8.6-mile hike instead of an 11.5-mile hike, you can make this an out-and-back hike by retracing your steps back to the campground from the second junction and call it a good day. The loop adds 3.6 miles of new terrain to the trip, but from a scenery standpoint it doesn’t add much.

©  Bill Schneider/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Salt Flat
Distance: 11.5
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 7 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 5,800 feet
Top Elevation: 6,300 feet
Local Contacts: Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Local Maps: Trails Illustrated Guadalupe Mountains Map and USGS Guadalupe Peak and Guadalupe Pass, and the free park brochure
Driving Directions: Directions to Salt Basin Overlook

Recent Trail Reviews

5/28/2016
0

Probably the least popular of all GMNP trails. I was there over the Memorial Day weekend and there was a wildfire fire, that was caused by lightening, that caused all trails to be closed except for this one. I would only recommend this trail for the most avid hikers.


7/20/2010
0

Terrifically designed trail. I had the good fortune of doing this in the middle of the summer during a tropical storm onslaught. It was a cool 70 degrees and I was actually overtaken by fog! Great amount of fun. Check out the flagstone bench someone put together overlooking a canyon about 2.5 miles in on the left.



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May 2018