Guadalupe Mountains National Park Travel Guide

  • Higher Canyon Lands Along McKittrick Canyon Trail
    Higher Canyon Lands Along McKittrick...
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Jet Trails Over Guadalupe Mountains NP
    Jet Trails Over Guadalupe Mountains NP
    by TooTallFinn24

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Highlights

  • Pro
    mrclay2000 profile photo

    mrclay2000 says…

     Boasts the highest point in Texas (Guadalupe Peak, 8,749 ft) 

  • Con
    mtncorg profile photo

    mtncorg says…

     In the middle of Nowhere? 

  • In a nutshell
    Shihar profile photo

    Shihar says…

     We loved the seclusion the park offers 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Things to Do

  • Underneath A Great Fly Over Zone

    While hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park it can be extremely quiet. However the closer you get to the Visitor Center and Frijole Ranch you will notice some loud roars above you. What you are hearing is the sound of commercial jets, mostly six miles or more above, flying through one of the busiest air traffic zones in the Southwest. At...

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  • Mc Kitrick Canyon Visitor Center

    The Visitor Center is unmanned but has restroom facilities. It is located about four miles off of State Highways 62 and 180. There is a short video program at the center from Wallace Pratt a geologist and his love of Mc Kitrick Canyon. A very well done video interviewing the man who gave 5,632 acres to the National Park Service in 1957 to be...

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  • El Capitan

    El Capitan rises abruptly out of the Chihuahuan Desert as you drive from El Paso east towards Carlsbad. It is visible long before the other peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains. For travelers it represents a signature peak that begins the entrance into the highest mountain range in Texas. The peak also represents the southern end of the huge ancient...

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  • McKitrick Canyon Trail

    Just a couple miles east of the Piney Springs Visitor Center you will see a turn off for McKittrick Canyon. About three or four miles down a paved road you will find the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center and trail head for three trails.The Visitor Center is unmanned but has restroom facilities. There is a short video program at the center from...

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  • Salt Basin Dunes

    Located in one of the most remote sections of the park is Salt Basin Dunes. The Salt Basin Dunes are the result of the erosion of gypsum much similar to what occurred, but on a smaller scale than White Sands. The experience of seeing these dunes however is worth it. There was however no wildlife just the infrequent sounds of jets flying overhead...

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  • Pinery Trail

    Pinery Trail is a basic nature trail that takes off from the NP Visitor Center and winds it way down to the ruins of the Pinery Station.The trail is just one of two trails in the NP that is wheel chair accessible. In its short 0.7 of a mile length it provides for a good identification of many of the common plants and shrubs found in the desert...

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  • Manzanita Springs Trail

    This is a short trail that takes off from the Frijole Ranch complex. It is also one of just two trails within the NP that are wheelchair accessible. It is a mere .4 tenths of a mile.Manzanita Spring is a natural spring that was used in part to supply fresh water to the orchards and fields of the Frijole Ranch. John Smith used it extensively to...

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  • Butterfield Overland Mail Station Ruins

    A very short walk from the visitor station down the Pinery Trail lays the ruins of the Pinery Station Ruins, also known as the Buttefield Overland Mail Station Ruins. There is not much to see only a few reconstructed blocks. However the story of how it came to be is worthy of telling.Pinery Station was literally one of more than one hundred...

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  • Guadalupe NP Visitor Center

    Visitor centers are pretty standard at NP's. The one at Guadalupe NP is very small by NP standards. While it is small in size it had some interesting exhibits and the ranger on duty was willing to spend a lot of time answering questions our questions about wildlife in the area and the trails from different parts of the park.The center has a...

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  • Frijole Ranch Cultural Center

    Sitting just a little over a mile east of the NP Visitor Center is the historic Frijole Ranch.To understand the significance of the Frijole Ranch it is important to understand how difficult a fresh supply of water was in the area. The area was chosen as a home site because of the existence of a natural spring. In the 1870's the Rader Brothers...

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  • GUADALUPE PEAK TRAIL

    From the Pine Springs Visitor Center, one of the Park's busiest trails takes off to the top of Texas - 8749 ft/2667 m Guadalupe Peak. There is no water en route so fill up before moving out. The roundtrip is 9.3 miles and you gain 3000 feet. For the first part of the trail, there is no shade and not even that much up higher even when passing...

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  • TOP OF TEXAS

    This is the highest spot in the largest state in the lower 48 States - 8749 feet/2667 meters. A small monument is placed atop the peak, sitting somewhat incongruously. You can read or sign the summit register or simply gaze off into the far distance as the Texas landscape flattens out quickly into dessicated plains.

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  • THE BOWL

    Reached from Pine Springs Visitor Center by way of the Tejas or Bear Canyon trails, the Bowl is a high forested ... bowl. The Bowl is 2500 feet above the desert floor. Douglas Fir is not a tree commonly found in Texas but you can find it up here along with pine.The picture shows the edge of the Bowl at the right, high above the Pine Springs Canyon.

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  • Visitors Center Displays

    There are some well done, interesting displays about the area and the wildlife in the visitors center. These include a hands-on display for kids of all ages.

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  • McKittrick Canyon Views

    McKittrick Canyon is called “the most beautiful spot in Texas”. The views I saw along the trail make it hard to argue this point.

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hotels

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Transportation

  • annk's Profile Photo
    you need wheels!

    by annk Updated Mar 9, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A car is essential to explore this remote area. Here are the distances to local towns/cities.

    El Paso, TX - 110 miles
    Carlsbad Caverns/Whites City - 35 miles
    Carlsbad - 55 miles

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Local Customs

  • Visitor Center

    The Visitor Center has a nice small exhibit of all the animals that are inhabitant within the park. Also, you can buy trail books and park souveiners. We bought 2 T-shirts, mug and postcards. There are no food items to purchase. Bring lunch with you!

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  • Insects

    Find out more about insects from this region. An exhibit with write-up can be found at the Visitor Center.

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  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hotels

    1 Hotels in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Watch for Snakes, Cacti, and Careful...

    There are several signs as well as park brochures that warn visitors to the park to be careful where they put there hands and feet when hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, centipedes, and cacti can cause bites and infections should you run into one and invite trouble. It is also to remember that because of the very...

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  • Sudden Weather Changes

    At one of the highest points in Texas a sudden change of weather can present problems, particularly when hiking. While we were there in February we noticed how quickly the temperature can drop late in the day. Fortunately there was no rain or snow while we were there. It is always smart to check the weather forecast before starting off even on a...

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  • Obey All Warning Signs

    Obey all warning signs, they are there for your safety and to protect the park for future visitors. Carry plenty of water, about one gallon per person per day. Beware of sudden changes in weather especially thunderstorms in the summer and sudden snows in the winter. Climbing on the cliffs can be dangerous because of loose surfaces. Get a permit...

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park What to Pack

  • Don't forget sunscreen!

    The trails conditions can be very rocky so wear sturdy footattire. Dress in layers as weather can change quickly. Because I'm not always the brightest bulb on the tree, I forgot to apply sunscreen to my neck and chest. I paid for it dearly the next day! Bring along aloe also to smooth the burn, but don't pluck the precious desert aloe...Plan to...

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  • Dry, dry, dry...

    If you intend to hike, all the mountain gears. Walking shoes, etc... Lots of refreshments & food. We didn't see any eating establishments around. Not even the big M! Official Website: GuadalupeMountainsNationalPark.com.

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park

    Less than an 1/2 hour away, many people visit the Caverns and Guadalupe MNP on the same trip.Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM

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  • Not much out there

    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.

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  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park

    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...

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Trail Sign

    The McKittrick Canyon Trail had signs along the way to help ensure you stayed on the right trail and to give you an idea how far along the trail you had gone.

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  • Trailheads

    It is always good to thoroughly read the information at the trailhead. It will give you an idea how long and hard the trail is. It helps orient you to the area and other trails so you don’t make a wrong turn, and it provides warnings if any dangerous wildlife has been spotted in the area. Good walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water

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  • McKittrick Canyon Trail

    The McKittrick Canyon Trail connects to other trails and leads to some backcountry camping areas. The part of the trail I took leads 2.3 miles to Pratt Cabin and back. The trail is not overly steep and leads through some spectacular scenery. Good walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, plenty of water

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park Favorites

  • A Beautiful Spot in Barren West Texas

    The Guadalupe Mountains are part of a marine fossil reef named the Capitan Reef. The Capitan Reef was formed some 260 to 270 million years ago when the area was covered by a vast tropical ocean. Geologists come from all around the world to study the fossil rich remains of this reef that was formed of calcareous sponges, algae, and lime seeping from...

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  • Frijole Ranch Home

    Occupants of the Frijole Ranch Home:- Walcott Family - They constructed a 4-room dugout in the 1860's.- Radar Brothers - In 1876 the bachelors operated a small cattle ranch.- Smith Family - This large family (10 children) lived on the property from 1906-1942 and expanded and added various other buildings. They had a 15 acre orchard of apples,...

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  • Ranch Museum

    The Museum is small but includes old artifacts and photographs of previous inhabitants and day-to-day activities of the ranch.No admission is charged.

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Explore Deeper into Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Smith Spring Trail
Sports & Outdoors
McKittrick Canyon Creek
Things to Do
McKittrick Canyon Visitors Center
Things to Do
Smith Spring
Things to Do
Manzanita Springs and Trail
Things to Do
Old Schoolhouse
Things to Do
Frijole Spring
Things to Do
Frijole Ranch Museum
Things to Do
Frijole Ranch
Things to Do
Butterfield Stage Stop Ruins
Things to Do
Headquarters Visitors Center
Things to Do
Wildlife
Things to Do
Frijole Ranch
Things to Do
The Pinery
Things to Do
Devil's Hall trail
Things to Do
Devil's Hall Trail- Hikers Staircase
Things to Do
Thunderstorm Risk...
Warnings and Dangers
El Capitan trail
Things to Do
The Bowl trail
Things to Do
Guadalupe Peak Trail
Things to Do
Lost Peak Trail
Things to Do
Indian Meadow Nature Loop- Dog Canyon
Things to Do
Permian Reef Trail
Things to Do
McKittrick Canyon Nature Loop
Things to Do
Frijole-Foothills Trail
Things to Do
Smith Springs Loop Trail
Things to Do
Visitor Center- Pinery Trail
Things to Do
Protect the Park...
Warnings and Dangers
McKittrick Canyon
Things to Do
Frijole Ranch Entrance Sign
Favorites
From the Visitor's Center & Fauna
Things to Do
Visitors Centers
Things to Do
Mountain Scenery and a little background
Things to Do
Noteworthy precautions
Warnings and Dangers
Guadalupe Peak Climb
Things to Do
The Whole Park
Off The Beaten Path
Hiking
Things to Do
Visitor's Center
Favorites
Information Centers
Favorites
CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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