Sunday, May 05, 2013

Cool Smith Spring

Natural spring and shade on
the Smith Spring Trail, Guadalupe
Mountains National Park
One of our favorite places to escape summer heat is in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  There's a short, relatively easy 2.3 mile looped trail through desert and arroyo at the base of the mountains, that also takes hikers to the this cool oasis at Smith Spring.  Click here to see more photos on our Flickr page.

More on natural springs in the Guadalupes, here.

This is what the park's website says about this hike:

"Smith Spring Trail
Begin this hike at the trailhead sign. Look for birds, mule deer, and elk as you walk this loop trail to the shady oasis of Smith Spring. Take a break here and enjoy the gurgling sounds of the tiny waterfall before continuing around to sunny Manzanita Spring. Scars from wildland fires of 1990 and 1993 are evident along the trail. The trail is rated moderate, with a round-trip distance of 2.3 miles. Allow one to two hours.
Manzanita Spring (only)
Begin this hike by turning right behind the ranch house at Frijole Ranch and follow the short, paved trail to Manzanita Spring (.2 mile). Return to Frijole Ranch on the same route. The trail is wheelchair accessible. Manzanita Spring is an excellent desert watering hole for park wildlife and a great birding location.
Please: Water is precious for park flora and wildlife species. Do not disturb the water in any way."

This trail is also part of our Peak Fitness Challenge, a joint program of our Texas Mountain Trail and our partners (Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Franklin Mountains State Park, and PhiDev, Inc. of El Paso.  What is the Challenge?  Pick a trail you want to hike, record your miles online, and you might win prizes for your effort?  It is free, it is fun, and you get to explore our beautiful Texas Mountains AND be healthier for it!  This trail is also a Texas Mountain Trail Heritage Hike

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