Hike Big Bend's Emory Peak

8.5 miles 2401 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Warren Goh

Explore a hidden gem of Texas with amazing views, natural hot springs, and a well-marked, easy access trail.

The hike to Emory Peak zig-zags up the face of the mountain, and only when you reach the peak do you get the full, 360 view of Big Bend National Park. Trust me, it's gorgeous.

You get some pretty amazing views before reaching the peak, too, but you are hiking on the inside of the “horseshoe” loop, so you have the full view of the basin.

Start from the carpark, where there is a bathroom and trail maps. The fun begins around ¼ mile to the peak, as the marked trail disappears and you have to navigate up narrow passages, and around trees and boulders. The last 50 feet will require you to navigate up a rock face, though it won't require crampons. After a scramble on all fours getting up to the peak, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view.

Remember to bring a windbreaker, as it gets cold at the peak. You can also find a small enclave away from the windchill on the face and relax for a bit.

All in all, an incredible national park in an unexpected place.

Read More

Tags

Hiking
Hot Springs
Lake
River
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Emory Peak while hiking South Rim Trail

My buddy and I did the South Rim Trail and ended up adding Emory Peak to our backpacking trip on the 2nd day. Very happy with our decision. When you climb to the top, you think that's it, but there is actually a steep, rocky wall you can climb up to reach the highest peak. It's sketchy, but worth it. You will see 360 views of the entire park!

🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Awesome Summit!

The views from this summit are incredible, and the scramble/climb to the top makes it one of the more memorable summits! Also, and if you crave a solid meal after a summit hike like I do, then I highly recommend hitting up Big Bend Pizza in Marathon, TX on your way out of the park. It was a great surprise to find such a great pizza place to celebrate a great trip in the park!

🥈 Contributor

about 4 years ago

As A Little Kid

The switchbacks felt endless. It was always worth it when we made it to the top. As always watch out for rattlesnacks.

🥉Contributor

over 4 years ago

Beat the Heat - Bring Enough Water!

There's a reason so many people flock south during the cooler months. The locals call them Winter Texans, and you can imagine that a place this popular for its mild winters can be a scorch fest in the summer. That being said, heed Warren's advice and pack enough water. Emory Peak is well worth the trip (and its a helluva long drive to miss out on the spectacular view from the top).

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Perfect Views!

One of my favorite spots at Big Bend. Great views and a perfect spot to relax on a beautiful afternoon.

Stay Nearby

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Chisos Basin Group Campground

Overview Chisos Basin Group Campground, situated high in the rugged Chisos Mountains, is one of the most sought-after campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. It has seven group camping sites availab...

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Chisos Basin (Big Bend)

Overview Chisos Basin Campground, perched high in the rugged Chisos Mountains, is one of the most sought-after campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. At an altitude of 5,400 ft., the campground is ...

Terlingua, Texas

Coyote Crossing Campsite 1

Coyote Crossing is a 21 acre Primitive Tent Area that is directly on 118 just a mile or so from Gas, Food, Post Office, Hardware Store, Horse Back Rides, River Tour Guides, Outfitters, local craft,...

From $30/night

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Cottonwood (Tx)

Overview Cottonwood Campground is a quiet desert oasis in the southwestern corner of Big Bend National Park. Conveniently located between the Castolon Historic District, the scenic Santa Elena Cany...

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack to the Southeast Rim of the Chisos

    This 14 mile loop provides incredible views of the Chisos mountains. This hike can be done in a day, but to really take in the scenery, stay overnight and experience the incredible cliffs overlooking Mexico. You can add on an extra 2 mile by doin...

    14 miles 1600 ft gain

  • Catch a Sunset on the Window View Trail

    If you're staying at Chisos Basin, the sunset at Window View Trail is one to see. The Window View Trail is a paved, wheelchair-accessible, 0.3 mile loop that starts near the Chisos Basin Store and leads to a viewpoint.The viewpoint provides an exc...

    0.3 miles

  • Backpack the Chisos Mountains

    Most people don’t know that there are 8,000-foot peaks in Texas, but in the exceptionally remote southwest corner of the Lone Star State, Big Bend National Park’s Chisos Mountains soar high over the Chihuahuan Desert. The South Rim of the mountain...

    13.9 miles 2400 ft gain

  • Hike the Outer Mountain Loop

    The Outer Mountain Loop is a 3-day hike in Big Bend National Park. It traditionally starts at the trailhead in the Chisos Basin, leaving the Lodge area by way of the Pinnacles Trail. You then follow the Boot Canyon Trail to the Juniper Canyon Trai...

    32 miles 5000 ft gain