Upper Purgatory Creek Natural Area, San Marcos, TX – 2/6/2016


Saturday, February 6, 2016


Hike: Upper Purgatory Creek Natural Area – San Marcos, TX

Weather: clear, cool, mid-50s

Hikers: Ian

Length: 2.83 miles


After over a month of no hiking due to scheduling conflicts, I was beginning to have withdrawals so I woke up early Saturday and drove down to San Marcos for a trail I had never done before.  I knew because of the flooding last October that some of the park was closed, but the upper part was supposed to be open.  This was true, but it did end a bit shorter than the website claimed.  About a mile was cut off that I was really looking forward to, but it was still good to get outside and hike a bit.


There were several cars in the parking lot, but I only saw two other hikers while I was out there.  I started off on Dante’s Trail, which is pretty rocky; the typical fare for Texas Hill Country hiking.  No water was running in Pandemonium Creek.  The trail was blocked before I could get to Purgatory Creek, but I assume it is dry too.

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moss on a log
moss on a log


dry Pandemonium Creek
dry Pandemonium Creek


I hit the end of the trail just after the intersection of the Paraiso Trail with Dante’s Trail, so I headed back via the Paraiso Trail to complete the loop.

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rocky trail
rocky trail

There were a couple of notable features, such as Grandma’s Oak with moss strands streaming from the branches.  The low winter sun was a bit harsh, but bearable.  I won’t be able to come back to this trail until summer, as it is closed from March thru May for Golden-Cheeked Warbler Nesting Season, but maybe by then it will be repaired and the full length will be open.

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On one last note, my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors are working out great.  The rubber on the soles must have just taken a little time to work in because they grip really well now.  They are very light too.  I haven’t gotten them wet yet, so not sure on the breatheability, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to test that soon.

map elevation profile

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