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Skyline Drive Trail

Davis Mountains State Park


The Davis Mountains Skyline Drive Trail offers hikers a mile-high view of Texas. Early park planners always had their eye on the mountain range as a prime place for a park, and Davis Mountains State Park was established in 1933. The higher elevations (the highest point in the park is 5,600 feet above sea level) keep the park cooler than other parts of the state.

The payoffs of the Skyline Drive Trail are the views, with multiple overlooks along the way, culminating in the Civilian Conservation Corps-built overlook shelter framing the view of the town of Fort Davis below. The trail, passing mostly through desert mountain grasslands, gives hikers the sense of walking across the top of Texas.

The trail begins behind the interpretive center and follows along the bottom of a canyon, passing an amphitheater, before ascending the side of the canyon to the upper elevations above. This is the steepest part, with switchbacks leading up the hillside. The high point of the trail is gained at the Keesey Canyon overlook, which provides elevated views of the state park and Indian Lodge. It’s a good place to stop and catch your breath.

The trail follows along the top of the ridge and Skyline Drive for most of the rest of its length and crosses the road (also built by the CCC) a couple of times. Don’t think it’s all easy hiking ahead — there are still several ups and downs. Near the end, the trail takes you by boulders and cliffs below the CCC shelter. In addition to spending time at the CCC overlook, make an effort to find the King’s Table, a CCC-built picnic table tucked away in an enclave with a view of Limpia Creek.

Getting back: At the end of the trail, take the Old CCC Trail (1.6 miles) back to the starting point, or arrange for someone to drive Skyline Drive to pick you up.

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