One of the less strenuous hiking trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is Smith Spring Trail. We hiked that trail during our visit to the park a couple of weeks ago. Here are a few scenes from that hike.
Dominating the eastern landscape near the beginning of the trail is this symmetric peak, having almost the shape of a perfect cone. Its name is Nipple Hill. (Honestly!)
The first half of this loop trail is uphill to the edge of a mountain where Smith Spring is located. The spring seemed to be feeding into more small pools than we remembered from earlier visits, perhaps a result of erosion from the recent drought-breaking deluge in the park. Here is one of the pools filled by the spring.
The autumn colors of the trees surrounding the spring were impressive. Below are two photos of the trees aligning the portion of the trail leading downhill away from the spring.
Of course, it being West Texas, many cacti lined the trail once we were well away from the spring.
The many dead trees in the park were interesting to me because they still seemed so sturdy. Back home, termites and other insects would have soon rendered such trees rotten and ready to fall. Even with the hurricane-force wind gusts that often occur in the park, these trees are apparently strong enough to keep standing.
The locations from which these photos were taken are shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.