Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: April 8, 2020

The principal peaks and mountain ranges of Texas are in the Trans-Pecos region, although sharp hills and small promontories are found in the Burnet-Llano region and along parts of the Balcones Escarpment, while the east-facing Caprock of the Llano Estacado and its outliers, rising in places as much as 1,000 feet, are impressive sights on the North Central Plains. The eastern ranges of the Rocky Mountain system cross Texas in a general northwest-southeast direction in the Trans-Pecos region. The highest, the Guadalupe Mountains, projects into Culberson County from New Mexico and rises to a maximum elevation of 8,749 feet at Guadalupe Peak. Probably the most familiar Texas Mountains are the Davis Mountains in Jeff Davis County, whose highest peak is Mount Livermore (8,206). Other well-known peaks of this range are Sawtooth Mountain (7,748), Blue Mountain (7,835), and Mount Locke (6,781) on which is located the at the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory. The Chisos Mountains, capped by Emory Peak (7,825) and Lost Mine Peak (7,550) in the Big Bend National Park, are the third most prominent Texas range. The Chinati Mountains in Presidio County, Eagle Mountain in Hudspeth County, and the Franklin Mountains in El Paso County are other notable Trans-Pecos eminences. In general the mountains of the Trans-Pecos region, both igneous and sedimentary, and the peaks of the Balcones Escarpment were uplifted. Those along the Balcones Escarpment reflect extraordinary crustal movement, while the promontories of the North Central Plains are plateau remnants, the result of the erosion of the surrounding terrain.

W. Keene Ferguson, The Basins and Ranges: The Mountains of Far Western Texas (Map, Austin: Texas Mosaics, 1986). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Mountains,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 03, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 8, 2020