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Outdoors & Recreation

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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400 Pine Canyon Road, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas 79847 USA (915) 828-3251

  • National Park
  • Nature Reserve
  • Hiking Area
  • Native Culture

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May 31, 2014 Top Review!

This was the first stop on our honeymoon trip. We climbed to 2,000 ft to the back country camp near the summit and thoroughly enjoyed. Really nice trip for the self sufficient camper.

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park

400 Pine Canyon Road
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas 79847 USA

(915) 828-3251

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the world's premier example of a fossil reef from the Permian Era.  The park is known for its extensive hiking and backpacking opportunities in one of the nation's most pristine wilderness areas.  Birding, history, and many other opportunities to learn and have fun await visitors in this hidden gem of West Texas.

For over 10,000 years, the Guadalupes Mountains have witnessed a constant stream of human history, including bloody conflicts between Mescalero Apaches and Buffalo Soldiers, the passing of the Butterfield Overland Mail, the coming of ranchers and settlers, and finally, the making of a national park. Today, the history is preserved at the Frijole and Williams Ranches, and at the ruins of the Pinery Station.

No one knows exactly when the first people came to the Guadalupes, but archaeological evidence dates back over 10,000 years ago. The earliest inhabitants were hunter-gathers who followed available game and ripening vegetation, and lived in and among the many caves and alcoves common throughout the range. Scattered evidence of their existence, including projectile points, baskets, pottery, and rock art has been found throughout the park.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet (2,667 m) in elevation. It also contains El Capitan, long used as a landmark by people traveling along the old route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. Visitors can see the ruins of an old stagecoach station near the Pine Springs Visitor Center. Camping is available nearby at the Pine Springs Campground. The restored Frijole Ranch House is now a small museum of local ranching history and is the trailhead for Smith Spring. The park covers 86,367 acres and is in the same mountain range as Carlsbad Caverns National Park which is located about 25 miles (40 km) to the north in New Mexico. Numerous well-established trails exist in the park for hiking and horse-riding. The Guadalupe Peak Trail offers perhaps the most outstanding views in the park. Climbing over 3,000 feet (910 m) to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the trail winds through pinyon pine and Douglas-fir forests and offers spectacular views of El Capitan and the vast Chihuahuan Desert.

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Rated 5.0 October 5, 2014

Another highlight of our 2 week RV road trip. Only a 35 minute drive (one way) from the Carlsbad Caverns. The views are so worth it. We easily did both the caverns and the drive to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park Visitor Center, also stopping to visit McKittrick Canyon on the return trip to Carlsbad.

We did not get to do any hiking, as that would have required much more time than we had.

My only regret is that we did not spend a night at the campground (room for RV's) near the visitor center.

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Thewidmans

Thewidmans in reply to Kevin Wenrick on October 20, 2014

My husband and I are planning a Rv roadtrip for next year. When is the best time of the year to visit Guadalupe Mountains? Any advice on Rv parks?

Rated 5.0 May 5, 2015

My cousin and I are taking a road trip of the southwest United States and this was our first stop. It is about 50 minutes outside of the city of Carlsbad and 35 minutes from the Carlsbad Caverns. The Guadalupe mountains are definitely a small mountain range, but definitely worth your time. We camped out at the Guadalupe campground which is pleasant but doesn't have much when it comes to amenities (showers being the big one). We stayed for one night and hiked the Guadalupe peak trail which was pretty freakin sweet. It is the highest point in all of Texas and it had some pretty quality views. Once you hit the peak you can see for miles and miles. Overall, this park is very unknown and underrated. If you can make it out, I would suggest it.

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