Hike and backpack year-round in the wilderness of Guadalupe National Park. Here you’ll find mountains, fossils, sand dunes and hummingbirds.
Travel along 80 miles (130 kilometers) of hiking trails. Since the park has no paved driving tours, hiking is the best way to access the park’s interior. Trails start from northern Dog Canyon and McKittrick Canyon entrances and Frijole Ranch History Museum and Pine Springs Visitor Center in the south.
Smith Spring Trail is great for spotting wildlife, including elk and mule deer. Leave from the Frijole Ranch on this 2.3-mile (3.7-kilometer) round-trip hike. The shorter Manzanita Spring nature trail in the same area is wheelchair accessible.
McKittrick Canyon trail, less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) round-trip, offers views of brilliant fall scenery as maple, ash and walnut leaves turn color. Follow the Permian Reef Geology Trail here to learn about the ancient reef and fossils once underwater in the Delaware Sea.
Plan a challenging day hike up Guadalupe Peak, with an elevation gain of 3,000 feet (900 meters) and round-trip distance of 8.4 miles (13.5 kilometers). Sign the “Top of Texas” registry here for your accomplishment of reaching the highest point in the state. Along the hike, look for hummingbirds, horned lizards and Texas Madrone, a tree with distinctive red bark.
At the Salt Basin Dunes, see white gypsum and red quartz hills created by winds passing over a dry lake. Dunes rise up to 60 feet (18 meters) in height and cover about 2,000 acres (800 hectares).
Leave your car in a parking lot at one of the park’s entrances. Pay the fee to camp or access trails by dropping your payment in boxes at the trailheads and campgrounds.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is about 110 miles (177 kilometers) from El Paso, Texas. Combine your visit here with a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 42 miles from Guadalupe’s park headquarters in Pine Springs.
Visit U.S. national parks across the nation for affordable adventure for the whole family. Enjoy your southwestern U.S. trip to view the peaks and fossils of Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
This vacation home is situated in a rural location.