The highly remote Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of America's least-visited national parks. The park is located in western Texas and boasts mesmerizing rugged desert terrain with mountain wilderness. It's literally a breathtaking Southwest getaway. Perhaps, the park is not frequented much because it's not easy to reach it. However, it's worth taking this unique journey and enjoying the panoramic views, spacious hiking trails, and the night sky lit up by twinkling stars.


There are many things to do in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, many places to hike, various camping sites, and plenty of attractions to witness. Here's a guide unveiling all the secrets behind this uniquely stupefying park, providing all the information needed to visit it and enjoy all of its fun and special activities.

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Here Are The Best Things To Do When Visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park

People visiting the Guadalupe Mountains National Park find time to disconnect and enjoy the outdoors, thanks to the park's remoteness. Visitors must expect to hike since no roads pass through the park.

  • Recommended: To spot the park's wildlife, people are advised to stay the night at a campsite at Guadalupe Mountains National Park because most of the animals are nocturnal. People will have the chance to spot mountain lions, elk, and wild boars. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to stargaze and spot the Milky Way.

During the day, birdwatchers will have the chance to spot more than 300 different species of local avians. While birds can be spotted throughout the year in the park, their types vary from season to season.

The park puts in a spectacular display of fiery yellows, reds, and oranges during the fall season.

  • Recommended: People who love to watch the beautiful fall foliage must visit the Guadalupe Mountains National Park between mid-October and mid-November. It is also recommended that they follow the annual report to learn exactly when to visit. Moreover, they are advised to stay on weekdays because fall weekends tend to fill up in capacity.

The park is a hiker's paradise, with more than 80 miles of trails, cactus-covered flatlands, thick coniferous forests, lush backcountry meadows, and an abundance of birds and wildlife. Trails range in difficulty from easy to strenuous.

  • Recommended: People visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park are advised to hike the Smith Spring Loop, Devil's Hall, Mckittrick Canyon, Guadalupe Peak, and The Bowl. Note that Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet.

Here's How To Plan For Backpacking In Guadalupe Mountains National Park And Where To Camp

All the Guadalupe Mountains National Park wilderness camps are located at a minimum elevation gain of 2000 feet. This is why anyone willing to camp there needs to prepare well for the journey before departing.

  • Recommended: Novice backpackers are advised to adopt the popular itinerary option of the Bush Mountain/ Blue Ridge Loop. They depart on the Tejas Trail from the Pine Springs Visitor Center, continuing along the Bush Mountain and Blue Ridge Trails. This trip needs between two and three days to complete and is 17 miles long.

As for camping in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, it is on a first-come, first-served basis. Only group campgrounds are reserved ahead of time. The devoted campgrounds in the park are Pine Springs and Dog Canyon. However, the park boasts ten backcountry campgrounds. Moreover, people must know that due to occasional high winds and dry weather conditions, fires are banned anywhere in the park and at the campgrounds.

People who don't want to camp can stay in a nearby city because there are no other lodging options than camping in the park. Dell City in Texas and Whites City in New Mexico are the closest to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Other options include Carlsbad in New Mexico and El Paso in Texas, a tourist-friendly destination.

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How To Get To Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Located on US Highway 62/180 in Far West Texas, it is not easy to reach Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The closest city to the park boasting an international airport is El Paso in Texas. The latter is around two hours away from the park. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located just across the border with New Mexico. Many people decide to visit both parks together since they are close to each other and they are both remote from everywhere else.

Visitors with mobility challenges will find it difficult to reach the Guadalupe Mountains National Park because there are no paved roads inside. As a result, they will be limited to what they can see. There are visitor centers at Dog Canyon, McKittrick Canyon, and Pine Springs, all accessible, boasting restrooms, designated parking spaces, and drinking fountains.

Visitors on strollers or wheelchairs have the option to try the paved and accessible two short trails, the Pinery Trail and the trek to Manzanita Spring. Each of those trails is about half a mile long.

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