Sunset on El Capitan Trail - Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The trail to El Capitan peak is very steep, but well established. Some areas are exposed to cliff edges. It is rated strenuous, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. The round trip distance is 8.4 miles, and generally takes 6-8 hours. El Capitan is the southern-most peak of the Guadalupe escarpment, an ancient limestone reef that forms the present-day Guadalupe Mountains. The 10th highest peak in Texas at 8,085 ft (2464 m), El Capitan is part of the Guadalupe Mountains, an exposed portion of a Permian-era reef uplifted and exposed by tectonic activity during the late Cretaceous period.