I’ve been living in the Bay Area for a little over a year now, and in that time I’ve made it my mission to explore as much of the area as possible. There are so many amazing hikes within driving distance of the city, and I’ve slowly been ticking them off my list. Recently, I tackled Mount Livermore, and it did not disappoint.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike with stunning views, Mt Livermore is worth a visit. The trailhead is located in the East Bay, about an hour from San Francisco bay. I started the hike early on a Saturday morning, and there were already quite a few people on the trail.
Mount Livermore Location and History
Mount Livermore, also known as Baldy Peak, is a peak in Jeff Davis County, Texas, in Davis Mountain. It is the fourth highest and most isolated peak in Texas, reaching an elevation of 8,378 feet / 2,492 meters, about 2,400 feet higher than the Rockpile, five miles to the northwest on State Highway 166.
The peak was named after Major William Livermore, a businessman and philanthropist, who used it for observation and built a base monument on top of it.
Several springs can be found on Mount Livermore’s flanks, where aspen, limber and ponderosa pine, Gambel, Emory, net-leaf oak, and wild cherry grow in shallow, stony soils. The band-tailed pigeon, Steller’s jay, Clark’s nutcracker, silver-haired bat, and short-horned lizard are among the rare and endangered faunal species found in Texas.
Mount Livermore via Old Mountain Road to Crawford-Ridgepole Trail is an out-and-back trail near Holderness, New Hampshire that offers great views of wildlife.
Mount Livermore is a beautiful location that offers many opportunities for outdoor activities. The scenery is stunning and the air is fresh and clean. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore and the views from the top of the mountain are breathtaking. The North Ridge trail and Sunset Trail are single-track hiker-only trails that ascend from Ayala Cove to Mount Livermore.
The most popular time to hike Mount Livermore is during the summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. However, the hike can be challenging in the winter, when the temperatures are colder and the daylight is shorter.
If you’re looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Mount Livermore is the perfect spot. It’s a great place to relax and rejuvenate. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and discover new things.
Why Hike on Mount Livermore?
For the challenge? For the view? For the sense of accomplishment? Whatever your reason, make sure you’re prepared before you embark on your journey.
Here are a Few Reasons to Hike Mount Livermore:
1. To see the beautiful view of Livermore Valley.
2. Livermore Valley is a great place for a hike if you are looking for a peaceful and scenic environment.
3. There are many trails to choose from on Mount Livermore so you can find the one that is perfect for you.
4. If you are looking for a weekend getaway, Mt Livermore Summit is a great place to visit to enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest
Going up Mount Livermore: The Tallest Peak in Texas
Mt Livermore Summit, at 8378 feet, is the highest peak in West Texas’ Davis Mountain Preserve, the highest peak in Texas outside of the Guadalupe Mountains, and the state’s fifth highest peak. The Nature Conservancy owns the peak and the surrounding land, and access to the peak is available to the public (free and without reservation) only on certain days and weekends.
Mt. Livermore tops off this range with a 300-foot rocky dome called “Baldy Peak,” from which the views of the surrounding region are spectacular. The best part is that getting to the summit only requires a little scrambling, and the rest is a simple hike (although steep in places).
Direction – By Car
To get there, take Highway 118 North 23 miles north of Fort Davis. The Nature Conservancy gate is located 10 miles north of the McDonald Observatory cutoff on the left side of the road. The road begins a sharp right turn 1/4 mile north of the Lawrence E. Wood picnic area. The visitor center is about a quarter mile from the park.
You will drive to the gated trailhead after registering. The distance is approximately 4 or 5 miles, and you will require some clearance (pickup, Subaru, Jeep Cherokee, etc). As long as there hasn’t been any recent rain, a 2-wheel drive (with clearance like a pickup or some small SUVs) should be fine. There isn’t much parking, but it’s usually not an issue. You are permitted to park alongside the road if you do not obstruct it.
The first 1.8 miles is on a Jeep trail and you will gain about 1200 ft. The gate is locked, so you can’t drive this section, which was allowed previously. The road is in places steep and can be slippery on the way down (loose granite and sand).
Another 1000 feet will be gained over the next 1.8 miles on a pleasant trail. It’s a bit steep at times, just like the road. Scrambling up very steep rock takes up the last 50 yards. The majority of people won’t have any problems because it’s simple, but those who are afraid of heights might not like it.
What to Expect on Mount Livermore
If you’re planning on summiting Mount Livermore, there are a few things you should expect. The mountain is notoriously difficult to climb, and the weather conditions can be treacherous. Make sure you’re properly prepared before attempting the summit, and be aware of the risks involved.
Also, since there is no cell service, you won’t be able to call for assistance if you get into trouble. Take a buddy with you. Remember to pack warm clothing and windbreakers. Although hot, summer would be manageable. Water is essential in the summer.
Finally, the views from the top are stunning and well worth the effort, be sure to take plenty of photos to capture the memories.
Other Trails and Parks Near Livermore.
1. Indian Lodge Loop Trail: This trail is located in Davis Mountains State Park, behind the Indian Lodge.
2. Sycamore Grove Park: Sycamore Grove Park is a fun mountain bike park in Livermore that is popular with both cyclists and hikers.
3. Prescott Trail: The Crawford-Ridgepole Trail and the Old Mountain Highway Trail are connected by the Prescott Trail. At the bottom, there is a pleasant hike through an open forest with a few avoidable wet spots.
4. Cotton Mountain Trail: The average time to complete the moderately difficult Cotton Mt route is 2 hours and 35 minutes. Despite being a popular hiking trail, you can still find some peace and quiet during the day.
5. Limpia Chute Trail: The Limpia Chute Trail is simple to follow. To reach Mount Livermore’s summit, the trail splits off and meets up with the Bridge Gap Road.
6. Madera Canyon Trail: The Madera Canyon Trail is located on Madera Canyon Road and is OPEN to the public all year round and is separate from The Davis Mountain Preserve. After crossing Madera Creek, the trail winds through pinyin oak-juniper woodlands to an 8378-foot scenic overlook.
7. The Crawford Ridgepole Trail: A lengthy ridge hike that offers spectacular vistas. It is probably best to park a vehicle at one end of the trail if you plan to hike the entire length of it. On hot days, bring plenty of water because there aren’t many water sources along this stretch.
8. Brushy Peak Regional Preserve: Brushy Peak Regional Preserve’s diverse wildlife species are supported by a diverse range of plant communities, the most prominent of which is California’s annual grassland. These and other non-native wildflowers provide food for a variety of insects, making them an important link in the food chain.
Tips for Hiking on Mount Livermore
Here are a few things to keep in mind when hiking Mount Livermore:
- Make sure you have the proper equipment. A good pair of boots, a jacket, and a hat are essential. The trails can be slippery and muddy, so hiking boots or shoes with good traction are necessary.
- Check the weather forecast. You don’t want to be caught in a storm on the mountain.
- In warm weather, lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended.
- Be aware of your physical fitness level. Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, so make sure you’re up for the challenge.
- Plan your route. There are many different ways to summit Mount Livermore, so do your research before you take up the challenge.
- Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, and take breaks often to rest and rehydrate.
Perles Beach and Quarry Beach are two hidden beaches on the island that add a few miles to this hike. Both beaches are accessible via Perimeter Road. They aren’t well-signed, but with a little detective work, you can find them. Take the Ida Trail down to the Perimeter Road in the direction of the beach you want to visit from the North Ridge-Sunset Trail Loop.
There’s nothing like hiking on Mount Livermore to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping. The fresh air and the exercise are refreshing, and the views from the top are simply breathtaking.
Hiking Mount Livermore is a great way to get outside and explore nature. The Livermore trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow, and there are plenty of places to stop and rest along the way, making it a great option for hikers of all skill levels. And, because the trailhead is just a short drive from downtown San Francisco bay area, it’s the perfect option for a quick day hike.
The views from the top of Mt. Livermore are breathtaking, and the sense of accomplishment you feel after completing the hike is unmatched. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a stroll, Mt Livermore is sure to please you. So, grab your hiking shoes and hit the trail!