Brighten Up Your Camping Trip After Dark with Stargazing

August 19, 2020 | By Melissa Gaskill

Camping brings to mind full days of activities like hiking, climbing, and swimming. But one of the best parts of a camping trip actually happens when the sun sets for the day—stargazing. From any reasonably dark campsite in Texas, you can see prominent constellations, planets, and the moon. Some parks across the state have achieved designation as “dark-sky parks” because of their efforts to control light pollution, while some host star parties to introduce visitors to the night sky.

A New Hiking Guidebook Scours Texas for the State’s Best Hikes

February 25, 2020 | By Matt Joyce

You’d be hard-pressed to find a photographer who’s covered more ground in Texas than Laurence Parent, a leading landscape photographer and longtime contributor to Texas Highways. Parent recently published an update of his guidebook Hiking Texas, A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, 3rd Edition. He says the new edition, which builds on versions published in 1992 and 2009, introduces color photography, improved maps, and new hikes. “The biggest reason for the update was to shift from half-tone black and white photos to four-color printed on coated paper,” says Parent, who recently moved to Prescott, Arizona, while maintaining a business office in Wimberley. “It really improves the appearance of the book and gives readers a better feel for what the hikes look like.”

Hike from Texas to New Mexico on This 100-Mile-Long Trail

March 18, 2019 | By Wes Ferguson

Pieced together from several existing trails, the GRT begins near the depths of New Mexico, not far from the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, and ends on the top of Texas—Guadalupe Peak, which at 8,751 feet is the highest summit in the Lone Star State.

The trail connects Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains national parks via the Lincoln National Forest, most famously the site of Sitting Bull Falls, which tumbles from a spring-fed creek over a mossy, 150-foot-high canyon wall. An oasis flowing year round, it fills clear pools where visitors come to relax, wade, and cool down in an otherwise desolate stretch of desert. If you’ve been hiking for nearly a week on the Guadalupe Ridge Trail, you’ve certainly earned a dip and drink from the falls.

Where to Find 4 Hidden Gems off Big Bend’s Beaten Path

January 31, 2019 | By Clayton Maxwell

Jaw-dropping hikes like the Window Trail and South Rim draw visitors back to Big Bend National Park year after year. But with 1,252 square miles to roam, the park also teems with trails less traveled. Many visitors stick to five or six popular trails, but for hikers who want to go farther, go wilder, and get off the beaten path, park officials recommend these four secluded options.

Scale Five Peaks in One Week on This Epic West Texas Road Trip

November 1, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

A mile or two into my hike to the top of Mount Livermore in the Davis Mountains, I stepped to the side of the trail as two speedsters overtook me on the uphill slope. “I guess that’s where we’re headed,” I said, nodding to a rocky outcrop on the horizon far above. “Nope,” one of them responded. “Baldy Peak is beyond that—you can’t see it yet.”

Take 3 History-Packed Hikes in the Davis Mountains

October 29, 2018 | By

The Davis Mountains have long attracted people seeking respite from the surrounding deserts of West Texas. Delivered as magma from volcanic activity some 35 million years ago, the mountains harbor patches of “sky island” known for relatively moist forested hillsides, cooler temperatures, and spartan beauty. To explore the Davis range’s cultural past and natural marvels, head to the highest town in Texas—Fort Davis, at 5,050 feet—and hit the trail. Or better yet, hit three trails.

It’s Hard to Be Stressed-Out in a Hammock

February 8, 2018 | By Susan L. Ebert

The sky’s a bruised black and a north wind scatters leaves as I step inside the Kammok Gear Shop at the corner of E. 7th Street and Navasota in Austin. I’m a devoted hammock-camper, and I’m here to accessorize for the elements. Glancing around the shop is like doing a face-plant in a rainbow: Hammocks of several sizes hang vertically against the wall in neon streams of electric orange, turquoise, gold, and purple. Against the back wall, I spot just what I need: a Koala underquilt to sling below my hammock and a Firebelly trail quilt to keep me toasty on top.

Explore the Lone Star Hiking Trail in East Texas

September 18, 2017 | By Sara Ramey

The sun crested over the tops of the tall pines, taking the chill out of the winter air as my partner and I set out from our campsite at Double Lake Recreation Area in East Texas’ Sam Houston National Forest. Our goal was to explore an 8-mile segment of the Lone Star Hiking Trail. The needles of loblolly and shortleaf pine trees crunched softly beneath our feet, and we listened to woodpeckers tapping in the canopy above as we looped through the forest on a part of the trail known as the Magnolia section. Encountering some of the namesake magnolias, we stopped to marvel at the towering, untamed trees—so unlike their manicured city cousins that it took me a moment to recognize them.

9 Divine Hill Country Hikes

October 14, 2016 | By Eric W. Pohl

In the Texas Hill Country, the flat Gulf Coastal plains to the east and the Texas brush country to the south collide with the Balcones Escarpment—a conspicuous topographic demarcation that nearly bisects the state from Del Rio northwest past Waco. West of the escarpment, which roughly parallels Interstate 35 in Central Texas, a land of contrasts presents itself as soaring limestone bluffs, rugged hills, and steep canyons.

Tracking Time on the Caprock Canyon Trailway

June 15, 2012 | By E. Dan Klepper

Travelers on the Caprock Canyons Trailway sometimes feel they’ve tipped time’s arrow on its head. Following the path of an abandoned rail line, the 64-mile trail system takes hikers, cyclists, and equestrians across the region’s halcyon backyard, into the agrarian plains and broken rangeland of caprock country, and out of this century completely.

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