Smith Spring

Salt Flat, Texas

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For somebody who wants a short, easy hike that really captures the essence and diversity of the desert environment, the Smith Spring loop is ideal. It's only 2.3 miles with slight elevation gain, and it goes to lush and beautiful Smith Spring, which probably comes closer to fitting the stereotypical image of a desert oasis than any other place in the Guadalupe Mountains. The first 0.2 mile of the trail to Manzanita Spring is hardened and wheelchair accessible. You can hike the loop either way, of course, but the counterclockwise option is described here. This route allows you to start out on the easiest section of the trail and visit Manzanita Spring only 0.2 mile after leaving the trailhead. To take the counterclockwise route, do not take the trail just on the left of the sign at the trailhead. Instead take the trail at the north edge of the ranch and museum.

Smith Spring Professional Review and Guide

"For somebody who wants a short, easy hike that really captures the essence and diversity of the desert environment, the Smith Spring loop is ideal. It's only 2.3 miles with slight elevation gain, and it goes to lush and beautiful Smith Spring, which probably comes closer to fitting the stereotypical image of a desert oasis than any other place in the Guadalupe Mountains. The first 0.2 mile of the trail to Manzanita Spring is hardened and wheelchair accessible.

You can hike the loop either way, of course, but the counterclockwise option is described here. This route allows you to start out on the easiest section of the trail and visit Manzanita Spring only 0.2 mile after leaving the trailhead. To take the counterclockwise route, do not take the trail just on the left of the sign at the trailhead. Instead take the trail at the north edge of the ranch and museum."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Salt Flat
Distance: 2.3
Elevation Gain: 440 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 5,450 feet
Top Elevation: 5,950 feet
Local Contacts: Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Local Maps: Trails Illustrated Guadalupe Mountains Map and USGS Guadalupe Peak and the park brochure
Driving Directions: Directions to Smith Spring

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May 2018