Christmas Mountain Trail

Total Miles
5.5

Elevation

1,641.32 ft

Duration

1 Hours

Technical Rating

3

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Fall, Winter

Trail Overview

Christmas Mountain is the premier 4x4 trail in the Big Bend area! You start at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge and traverse up the mountain with numerous switchbacks and steep drop-offs. There's nothing technical about this trail, but there are some rocky areas and steep sections with loose gravel that might require 4WD. At the top, the views are phenomenal! Christmas Mountain is owned by the Texas State University System and access to the trail is by free permit only. Two permits per day are given out--one from 8 am to 12 pm and one from 12 pm to 4 pm. If you have the permit for the day, you will be the only one on the entire mountain! You are allowed to go as a group with other vehicles in your party, though.

Photos of Christmas Mountain Trail

Christmas Mountain Trail
Christmas Mountain Trail
Christmas Mountain Trail

Difficulty

Steep, loose sections are possible on Christmas Mountain. There are a few light rocky areas and very steep drop-offs just on the edge of the road. Switchbacks abound as well.

Technical Rating

3

Status Reports

Patrick Klumpyan
May 26, 2024
2016 Toyota 4Runner
Open
Normal
Very rough/rocky trail. High clearance is a must. Great views so take your time and don’t rush. Make a slow go of it or you’ll bust a tire or worse.
Tas Moak
May 08, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Really fun trail, at first it may catch you off-guard because it is rated easy, but very rocky, and you will tilt a good amount, and if you go too far you will roll down the mountain. A lot of fun highly recommend.

Access Description

From the Terlingua Ranch Lodge website: "Terlingua Ranch serves as the gatekeeper and sole source of vehicle access, which requires a TSUS signed waiver acquired at the Terlingua Ranch Lodge office. Reservations are required and two time slots are available: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm or 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are some of the recreational activities allowed. There is no fee for access. Vehicles must be high-clearance 4WD/AWD." The Lodge can be reached at 432-371-3146 for reservations.

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