Guadalupe Mountains National Park Things to Do

  • Jet Trails Over Guadalupe Mountains NP
    Jet Trails Over Guadalupe Mountains NP
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  • Frijole Ranch Main House
    Frijole Ranch Main House
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  • Inside the Home and Visitor Center
    Inside the Home and Visitor Center
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Most Recent Things to Do in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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    Smith Spring

    by Basaic Written May 18, 2010

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    The second spring near the ranch is Smith Spring. Like Manzanita Spring, this spring is fed by water from the mountains to the northwest where the rainfall is greater. The water then finds its way along the gaps and joints in the limestone and sandstone layers until it flows through the permeable sandstone to the surface. These springs provided water for the Mescalero Apache, the US Cavalry and the settlers in the area. Today it provides needed water for the animals and plants living in these mountains.

    Smith Spring Smith Spring Smith Spring Smith Spring
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    Old Schoolhouse

    by Basaic Written May 17, 2010

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    This school was built in 1925 by the Smith Family latter residents of the ranch. The school served up to 8 local children until the 1930s. The Smiths hired a teacher for the school for $30 a month plus room, board and a horse.

    Frijole School
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    Frijole Ranch

    by Basaic Written May 17, 2010

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    A short distance northeast of the turnoff for the Headquarters Visitors Center is the turnoff for the Historic Frijole Ranch. The ranch is the most complete remnant of early ranching and farming enterprises in the Guadalupe Mountains and is one of the oldest substantial buildings in West Texas. It was built in the 1870s by two early pioneers, the Rader Brothers. Ranch buildings included the main house, a spring-house, a milk house, a school, a bunkhouse and a barn.

    Frijole Ranch and Museum Ranch Building Barn Mules
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    Butterfield Stage Stop Ruins

    by Basaic Written May 15, 2010

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    “The Pinery” is the remains of the Butterfield Stage Station that served the area in the mid-1800s. You can access this site directly from the highways or by a .7 mile, wheel-chair accessible trail from the Headquarters Visitors Center.

    Markers for The Pinery Ruins Ruins View From The Pinery View From the Pinery
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    Headquarters Visitors Center

    by Basaic Written May 15, 2010

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    Your first stop should be the Headquarters Visitors Center located just off US Highways 62 and 180, 19 miles southwest of New Mexico. Here you can get a brochure and map of the area, obtain information to enhance your enjoyment of the park, and pay your entrance fee and fees for campsites at Pine Springs or Dog Canyon. There is also a Ranger Station at Dog Canyon. There are also free permits available for backcountry camping at one of the 10 sites. Hours are 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

    Visitors Center
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    Frijole Ranch

    by sswagner Written Jun 16, 2008

    This is another easily accessible area in the Guadalupe Mountains. A road leads to the parking lot for the homestead, which is a museum. The exhibits explain a good deal of the area's history including the Apaches and the Buffalo Soldiers. This is also a good place to get an idea of raching was like in this area. A ranger was available to give information about the area and the exhibits. There was even some livestock in the pens. This might also be a good place for a picnic. A picnic table in the shade was available. Not many people visit compared to the main visitor center, however it is worth the effort. Some trails also lead from here.

    Homestead at the Frijole Ranch
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    The Pinery

    by sswagner Written Jun 16, 2008

    Guadalupe Mountains National Park has some history to go along with that beauty. This area was once a stagecoach station on the Butterfield Route, which ran from St. Louis to San Francisco. Here, a rest stop would be made, and horses would be changed. It was called the Pinery due to the trees nearby. The remains of the station are very accessible as a parking lot is adjacent. A fairly short hike can also be made from the main visitor center. The scenery is also nice with the mountains looming above.

    Ruins of the Pinery station
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    Devil's Hall trail

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Jun 3, 2006

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    Devil's hall trail follows a canyon that runs by Guadalupe peak. It provides a 4 mile hike with plenty of great vistas but without the exertion of trying to climb the peak itself. The trail starts from campground next to the visitor center.

    Guadalupe Mountains Guadalupe Mountains Guadalupe Mountains Guadalupe Mountains Guadalupe Mountains
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    Devil's Hall Trail- Hikers Staircase

    by Shihar Updated Mar 20, 2006

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    This is a very rocky trail with a great payoff at the end. Make sure you have good hiking attire and sturdy ankles. There is a beautiful Hikers Staircase of natural rock to the Devil's Hall in Pine Springs Canyon. Follow The Guadalupe Peak Trail to the Devil's Hall turnoff. The trail is marked by rock cairns. When the trail meets the wash (this is where the sturdy ankles comes in), turn left and continue to the "End of Trail" sign.
    4.2 miles round-trip
    Moderate strenous- but very rocky

    Beginning of trail.. Wash trail Hikers Staircase Devil's Hall End of trail
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    El Capitan trail

    by Shihar Updated Mar 18, 2006

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    This trail leads through the Chihuahuan Desert to the base of the El Capitan at the southern end of the Guadalupe Mountains range. There are several recommended routes to get to El Capitan, check with Visitor center for the best regarding your visit. Trail is about 11.3 miles round-trip and rated moderate.

    (Those of you that have been to Yosemite, will recall that there is an El Cap there too..... )

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    The Bowl trail

    by Shihar Written Mar 18, 2006

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    This is a high country hike through a forest, which you don't expect to see in the desert. You will also observe evidence of the fire from 1990. This is a strenuous trail about 9.1 miles round-trip that gain about 2500 ft elevation

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    Guadalupe Peak Trail

    by Shihar Written Mar 18, 2006

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    If you are lucky enough to visit during a clear day this trail's"top of texas" views are wonderful. We did not get a chance to hike but many people I spoke with say this trail is worth the energy. The trail is well established and does not require rock climbing skills. 8.4 miles round-trip rated strenuous with a 3000 ft of elevation gain

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    Lost Peak Trail

    by Shihar Written Mar 18, 2006

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    Climb out of Dog Canyon on the Tejas Trail to visit the conifer forest above. Outstanding views from Lost Peak. There is no trail the last 1/4 mile to the peak. Stenuous 6.4 mile round-trip with 1500 ft elevation.

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    Permian Reef Trail

    by Shihar Written Mar 17, 2006

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    For geology lovers,this trail has stop markers that can be used with a geology guide book from the visitor center.There are great views into McKittrick Canyon. Strenous 8.4 mile round trip hike 2,ooo ft of elevation gain.

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    Smith Springs Loop Trail

    by Shihar Written Mar 17, 2006

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    This is a great trail to look for birds,deer, elk as you pass Manzanita Springs on the way to the shady oasis of Smith Springs. Evidence of the fires of 1990 and 1993 are seen throughout the trail.

    2.3 miles round- trip. Rated easy until until Manazanita Springs, then the trail becomes rocky and rated moderate

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Things to Do

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