Christmas Mountain

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5/5 (11 reviews)
Terlingua, Texas (Brewster County)
Last Updated: 11/24/2021
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Trail Information

Highlights

For those Big Bend visitors looking for ‘exclusivity’ in trail access along with the most stunning views at elevation, a trip up Christmas Mountain is a must. Limited to only two small groups up the mountain per day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – access to the most scenic views in the region are managed through Terlingua Ranch Lodge. Plan accordingly though as space atop Christmas Mountain is very limited – large enough for only a few vehicles.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Check out our Black Gap Road (24.59 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

5/5 (11)
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/30/2023

Super fun and easy trail. There are a few places where the trail is narrow and on a ledge. The view at the top is AMAZING!
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/11/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Made the morning trip up the mountain. Checked in at Terlingua Ranch to pick up the key and headed out. Actually made the trip in my 3/4 ton pickup this time, which added a little bit of difficulty compared to the usual jeep trip we make. There were two switch backs that I needed to backup and reposition to make the sharp turns, but other than that went right up the mountain. Weather was perfect, morning clouds lifted as we made it about half way up providing excellent views of the valley. We spent about an hour up top before making the trek back down. Always be respectful of the next groups time or the lodges time to make sure you are back within your reservation window. Happy Trails!
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/23/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This was a great trail with outstanding views. It took us about three hours to complete and the cliffs definitely added the pucker factor :).
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100
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/17/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

I would argue this is an easy trail with gorgeous views and some slight pucker factor due to the sheer dropoffs to the side of the trail. The path is plenty wide so there's never any danger but it's a great drive overall. You must have a (free) reservation to do this trail since it's one way and only one group is allowed on the mountain at a time. There's also a good bit of form filling-outage that must be done before they will hand you the key so be sure to arrive about 20 minutes early before your time window for the mountain. If you go solidly up and back down, it will take a full 2.5 hours. You get 4 hours for your timeslot so take your time, enjoy the view. Do some hiking at the top, it's a lot of fun up there. Also keep in mind there have been bears spotted up there before so you don't want to go too wild away from your vehicle. Overall this is one of my favorite things to do down near Big Bend.
Trail Review: Christmas Mountain - Jeremy
Trail Review: Christmas Mountain - Jeremy
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6350
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/24/2021

We made the trek up Christmas Mountain (again) for Thanksgiving 2021. The heavy rains of 2021 had washed away much of the dirt off the trail, leaving a bit more rock exposed, ultimately making the trail a bit more bumpy. Overall however, I wouldn't say they trail had become more "difficult". The first time we came here, there was no "rock pile". Now however, it's become a tradition that each visitor add to the new rock pile (formed roughly in 2019).
Trail Review: Christmas Mountain - John-Paul Clark

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