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2-3 Day Beginner Backpacking Routes in Texas?

Got any ideas for beginning backpacking trips (2-3 day hikes) in Texas? 

6 Replies

Check out the Lone Star Hiking Trail north of Houston


Texas is a big state and beginner can mean a lot of different things, so please tell us a little bit more!  Have you ever gone backpacking before? How much of a beginner are you? What kind of experience are you looking for? How many miles? What part of the state do you want to explore?


Hello! I have a good bit of experience hiking, but I have never hiked then camped overnight. I would really like to get up to being able to take longer trips of thru-hiking that are longer than a week, but right now I want to start out with shorter trips that are about 3 days, and I can go about 15 miles/day. I’m open to exploring all parts of the state, but I am based in San Antonio 🙂 


We share the same home base!

The best hikes in Texas that can provide you with a 2-3 day, 10-15mi/day experience are also the ones that require more experience, more planning, and present the backpacker with less margin for error. Examples of this type of hike would be the Outer Mountain Loop in Big Bend or Tejas > McKittrick Trail in Guadalupe Mtns. Even one-nighters in our state’s national parks can be a little dangerous if you are inexperienced.

Do you have your gear sorted out and dialed-in? If you don’t, then may I recommend doing a couple of shorter, overnight trips?

  • Hill Country State Natural Area outside of Bandera can provide a scenic, primitive camping experience with a 12mi round trip. Because there is no water source anywhere, you are forced to carry all your water. You will learn what water carry/use strategies work best for you, and this is *very* useful knowledge to apply in Big Bend and GMNP.
  • Pedernales Falls State Park has decent primitive camping with an extensive trail system that will allow you to choose your hiking distance in and out. Water is usually plentiful, but you will need to filter/boil it—more useful knowledge.

I don’t know if these starter trips are what you’re looking for, but either should be great for gear testing, getting more comfortable managing your food/water/load-out weight, and learning what you need (or don’t) when backpacking.



Thanks so much! That’s very helpful! 

Pedernales Falls State Park is definitely a great one. There are some great ones out in Big Bend that you can do, even if they are broken up in pieces and you driving to another section. 

Lastly, I really like Palo Duro Canyon for 2 days of hiking.

Texas Wanderer