Situated between Carlsbad, NM and El Paso, TX the park is pretty much off the beaten path. You can drive for miles and only see a vast expanse of desert. It was peaceful but sort of gave me the feeling of being so small and insignificant in this large world.
Actually, if you are in Guadalupe, you are off the beaten path. But since you are there, you should take the time to drive up to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which is really on the beaten path for many travelers. Also lying in the Chihuahuan Desert of the Guadalupe Mountains, Carlsbad Caverns is one of the deepest, largest, and most ornate caverns ever found. The cave was created by water percolating drop by drop through an ancient limestone fossil reef, dissolving the limestone. Within this cave you will walk through gigantic subterranean rooms with fantastic formations. Expect lots of walking, and if you have time register ahead of your trip for some of the other tours besides the must do Big Room Route. This park is open all year with the weather underground remaining a constant 56degrees F. The most crowded time of the year to go is in the summer and on major holidays. For more information visit my Carlsbad Caverns National Park pages.
The whole park would be considered off the beaten path! The only road that runs through the park requires a 4X4, so its pure hiking and camping here! Again, this is desert, so be sure to bring items that are required for this type of adventure!
Only an hour up the road, you have this grand park with some of the more well-know caverns in the World. You walk down through the entrance of the caves and the tour is self-guided. Takes probably a half day down there, returning above ground on an elevator. Don't miss the view to the south from the Visitor Center of the reefed up mountains culminating in the Guadalupe Range.
There is an evening bat escape from the cave entrance which people come out to observe. Millions of bats roost in the cave in the summer. If you come early, like we did - in April, still a bit cool, don't be like some of the other dullards we watched booing when there weren't enough bats to come out of the cave.
With the town of Carlsbad NM roughly six miles away to the north, and the Guadalupe Mountains fifty miles away to the south in Texas, there is little in between. No place really to fill your tank or get a bite to eat within dozens of miles of Guadalupe Park. Get out and visit the emporia whenever you can. This little shopping oasis is one of the few aboveground emporia within the vicinity of the caverns.
About 50 miles north of Guadalupe Mountains National Park are the famous Carlsbad Caverns. Admission for adults is under $10. Though the surrounding area is flat and scrubby, covered with chaparrals and desert bush, the underground is rich in mineral formations. The elevator descends 750 feet into the caverns where self-guided walks take you into an underground chamber whose volume equals fourteen Astrodomes. In the right season, visitors can watch the flight of Mexican free-tail bats from the amphitheater at the mouth of the caverns.
Less than an 1/2 hour away, many people visit the Caverns and Guadalupe MNP on the same trip.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
For the more adventurous, try the desert :) but please consult the experts at the Visitor Center before venturing into the unknown! It can be exciting but lethal if not well prepared!
Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers