North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Outlook and return

One of the few Cactus Blooms
Prickly pear cactus are starting to bloom and this one is the best example. In a few weeks there should be many, many more!
User: MikeHikes - 5/3/2014

Location: San Angelo State Park

Rating: 5stars
Difficulty: 2stars  Solitude: 4point5stars
Miles Hiked: 7.40 Miles  Elapsed Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes


Out        Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > Service Road > Scenic Loop > South Slick Rock Trail > Service Road > Cougar Outlook      3.2 miles
Return  Cougar Outlook > Service Road > River Bend Trail > Badlands Trail > Big Hill Road > Rocky Creek Trail > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead    4.2 miles  

This hike wanders through the North Shore portion of the park. The service roads used as a trail, or as a connector to a trail, are hard packed dirt and easy to traverse.  There are only a few areas of difficulty and those are at the Big Hill Road on the return portion and a small piece of the South Slick Rock trail on the outbound portion.  Otherwise, an easy hike!

At the time of the hike, some prickly pear cactus have blooms but the vast majority of cactus do not yet have their flowers.  Birds are active, many lizards were spotted and other flowers are blooming.


An info kiosk, shaded tables, dry toilet and water are available at the Upper Ghost Camp (River Bend campground).  The turn around point (Cougar Outlook) has an info kiosk and a shaded pavillion but no water - plan accordingly.

Log Photos
One of the few Cactus Blooms
Area around San Angelo State Park
Recommended Item
Recommended Item Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites: New Edition
Laurence Parent
List Price: $27.95 Your price: $18.81 Buy Now
Since it was first published in 1996, Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites has become Texans’ one-stop source for information on great places to camp, fish, hike, backpack, swim, ride horseback, go rock climbing, view scenic landscapes, tour historical sites, and enjoy almost any other outdoor recreation.