How to Visit the Best Mountains in Texas

Are there mountains in texas? You bet. Seven ranges are open to visitors—here they are.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
Everything’s bigger in
—except, maybe, the mountains. While Texas’s rugged geography includes 40 individual mountain ranges, they’re lower and harder to visit than in other states. 
That’s why
car insurance
comparison super app
created a guide to visiting all of the mountains in Texas, from the high peaks of Guadalupe and El Capitan to the rolling hills of the Christmas mountains. 
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The seven tallest mountains in Texas

Texas isn’t known for its soaring peaks, but its highest point is actually in the top 15 of any US state! Although the state’s mean elevation is just 1,700 feet above sea level, the hilly regions of West Texas include seven named mountains over 8,000 feet. They are: 
  • Guadalupe Peak: 8,751 feet
  • Bush Mountain: 8,631 feet
  • Shumard Peak: 8,615 feet
  • Bartlett Peak: 8,508 feet
  • Mount Livermore: 8,383 feet 
  • Hunter Peak: 8,368 feet
  • El Capitan: 8,058 feet
All seven mountains, along with a few more high points that haven’t yet been named, are located in two mountain ranges in Culberson and Jeff Davis Counties: the Guadalupe Mountains and the Davis Mountains. But they’re not the only mountain ranges in Texas—in fact, Texas is home to 40 distinct mountain ranges! 
The only problem? Over 93% of land in Texas is privately owned, and that includes most of its mountains. However, there are seven ranges you can visit to hike, camp, and get a breath of fresh Texas air—just don’t expect to find any ski slopes! 

Seven Texas mountain ranges you can visit

Guadalupe Mountains

Location: West Texas and southeastern New Mexico
Highest peak: Guadalupe Peak (8,751 feet)
The Guadalupe Mountains might be Texas’s highest mountain range, but these dramatic bluffs and peaks were once completely underwater! In fact, most of the range, which stretches from Culberson and Hudspeth Counties all the way up to Carlsbad, New Mexico, is made up of an ancient 400-mile fossilized reef
Here are a few things to do in the park: 

Davis Mountains

Location: Jeff Davis County
Highest peak: Mount Livermore (8,383 feet) 
The jumble of peaks known as the Davis Mountains was formed approximately 35 million years ago by eruptions in the Trans-Pecos Volcanic Field. Completely surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert, the Davis Mountains are a true sky island in the heart of West Texas. 
While you’re visiting the sky island, make time for the following activities: 

Hueco Mountains 

Location: El Paso-Hudspeth county line 
Highest peak: Cerro Alto Mountain (6,703 feet) 
The word hueco is Spanish, and it refers to the natural rock basins where Indigenous people once collected rainwater in these low mountains just outside
El Paso
Visiting the Hueco Mountains isn’t just a great way to see some of Texas’s most beautiful natural scenery—it’s also a chance to go back in time. In between
hiking, stargazing, and rock climbing
, consider some of the following activities: 
  • View
    over 3,000 rock paintings
    created by hunters and gatherers and an ancient group called the Jordana Mogollon thousands of years ago. 
  • Pick up a
    birding checklist
    to identify some of the 222 species observed in the park (including many rare birds!). 
  • Visit the
    Old Fort Bliss Museum
    in nearby El Paso to learn more about the area’s military history. 

Franklin Mountains 

Location: El Paso north to New Mexico
Highest peak: North Franklin Peak (7,192 feet) 
Formed millions of years ago by the Earth’s shifting crust, the Franklin Mountains are composed of some of the oldest rocks in Texas
If you don’t want to spend a full day climbing the strenuous North Franklin Peak, these are a few other ways you can explore the Franklin Mountains: 
  • Take a moderately easy three-mile hike out to an abandoned tin mine
  • Join park rangers and astronomers for a star party at the Tom Mays Visitor Center. 
  • Explore the ancient history of the Chihuahuan Desert at El Paso’s
    Museum of Archaeology

Chinati Mountains 

Location: West Texas near Presidio
Highest peak: Chinati Peak (7,278 feet) 
These volcanic mountains in far West Texas haven’t been open to the public for very long, so they’re an obvious destination for anyone who wants to take the path less traveled. But they’re not without signs of human presence, from ancient pictographs to the Presidio silver mine
The long-awaited Chinati Mountains State Natural Area is still under development, but there are already a few ways to visit the mountains: 
  • Book a tour with a company like
    Angell Expeditions
    , or even volunteer with Texas State Parks to help survey the area! 
  • Take a drive from Marfa, Texas down Pinto Canyon Road for a view of Chinati Peak and the surrounding range. 
  • Stay for the night at
    Cibolo Creek Ranch
    Chinati Hot Springs
    , both of which enjoy striking views of the mountains

Chisos Mountains 

Location: Big Bend
Highest peak: Emory Peak (7,825 feet) 
Where to visit:
Big Bend National Park
The Chisos Mountains are the only mountain range in the United States fully contained within a national park—Big Bend National Park, to be exact! They’re also the southernmost range in the continental US, making them doubly unique. 
You can explore the mountains
by foot
by car
, or even
on horseback
. Be sure to check out these key sites in the area: 

Christmas Mountains

Location: Brewster County
Highest peak: Unnamed (5,728 feet) 
Unlike most of the mountains on this list, the Christmas Mountains aren’t a major tourist site—in fact, you have to
apply for a pass
from the Texas State University System in order to visit! 
While you’re exploring Texas’s largest outdoor classroom, you can: 

How to find affordable car insurance in Texas

Knowing how to visit Texas’s many mountain ranges requires help from an expert navigator. While you’re getting ready to set out for the hills, make sure you’re prepared with the best car insurance policy. 
You can get expert help with that, too—and with
, it only takes 45 seconds. That’s right: just download the app, enter your information, and Jerry will find you personalized insurance quotes in under a minute. 
If you’re planning a trip to one of Texas’s most remote mountain ranges,
towing and labor coverage
might be a good idea. On the other hand, if you’re headed to Big Bend or another busy destination,
collision coverage
can cut down on the costs associated with a potential accident. 
No matter what coverage you choose, shopping with
is the easiest way to save money on your premiums! On average, Jerry users save $887 a year on car insurance. 
Compare insurance quotes from 50+ carriers with Jerry in under 45 seconds
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