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Awe-Inspiring Guadalupe Mountains National Park… I Would Surely Want to Be Back Here Again!

Last updated on August 25th, 2016 at 08:38 pm

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. Not many people have heard of it or even visited it, but it would surely be worth the trip.

guadalupe-mountains-national park view

The Guadalupe Mountains is the true example of the American West with its rugged and remote wilderness. As you go up the peaks, one could not help but appreciate the awe‐inspiring views that are unobstructed by tall trees. Along the trails, you would also notice the transition from desert terrain to mountain terrain. You would surely be making frequent stops along the way to take in the vistas.

Facts on some of the popular trails:

    • Guadalupe Peak Trail is about 8.4 miles round trip and hiking time is 6 to 8 hours.
    • The Guadalupe Peak was once a reef that grew beneath the waters is now the highest point in all of Texas.
    • El Capitan Trail is 11.3 miles and the hike is 6 to 8 hours.
    • The Bowl is 9.1 miles round trip and hike time is 9 to 10 hours.
    • Devil Hall’s Trail is the shortest at 4.2 miles round trip and hiking time is 3 to 5 hours.

Things to Do


Climb the highest mountain peak in Texas at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Guadalupe Peak is about 8,751 feet high above sea level. It stands tall with another peak, El Capitan, along the Guadalupe Mountains range, which covers the southeastern part of New Mexico and the western part of Texas.

guadalupe national park hiking

Hiking Tips

    • Climbing the Guadalupe Peak and El Capitan is best in the early morning, before sunrise, because it will be the most breathtaking view you’ll ever see. As you reach the peak, you’ll be in awe of the vast open spaces surrounding the park.
    • When going hiking, you have to check in at the visitor’s center. It’s where your adventure begins. The visitor’s center provides you with maps and valuable information from park rangers.
    • Before leaving, ensure you have a lot of water with you because you would need a lot of it along the way. You wouldn’t want to be dehydrated when you break out in sweat as you go up the peaks with its hard elevation climb.

Horseback Riding

Horses are not available for hire in or near the park but park visitors who wanted to explore the park on a horseback can bring their own. Horse camping and corrals are also available in the park and by reservation at Pine Springs and Dog Canyon.

guadalupe horseback riding


Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the best places in the country to experience wilderness camping and see the night sky. Lie awake for hours, stargaze on a cloudless night and see more than 11,000 stars of the Milky Way which are visible from the dark desert floor. Bring your telescope and enjoy the stargazing experience.

guadalupe national park stargazing


There are two small campgrounds in Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Pine Springs and Dog Canyon. Both of which are developed campgrounds and offers tent and RV sites.

guadalupe national park camping

Things to be considered when preparing for a camping trip


Pine Springs Campground

Availability : Open all year, first-come, first-served basis, 20 tent sites and 19 RV sites
Location: 1/3 mile from the Headquarters Visitor Center
Amenities : Drinking water, restroom facilities, deep sink, picnic tables
Advantage: Strategically located at the park’s main trailhead going to Guadalupe Peak, El Capitan or The Bowl
Disadvantage : No shower or hook up for RV
Group camping : Two group campsites (min. of 10 and up to 20 people per site)

Tip: Arrive early to secure a spot especially during summer weekends, holidays and fall foliage (late October) as these are the most busy times of the year in the park.

Dog Canyon Campground

Availability : Open all year, 9 tent sites and 4 RV sites
Location: The north side of the park
Amenities: Drinking water, picnic tables, restrooms with flush toilets and sinks
Advantages: Less crowded, secluded area
Disadvantages: No hookups, no dump station, no showers
Group camping : One group campsite (min. of 10 and up to 20 people per site)

Backcountry Campgrounds

Availability : Open all year, first-come, first-served basis, 10 primitive backcountry campgrounds Advantage : For multi-day hiking.
Disadvantages : No available water sources, backcountry campgrounds are only accessible by foot

Weather and Terrain

The terrain of the peaks and the weather are two of the factors that could influence the hiking time on the trails. Some are rugged and strenuous, and full of dangerous cliffs, while others are rocky, moderate, inaccessible or not frequently traveled. Winds in Guadalupe Peak could also reach up to 40 miles an hour and could get chilly.
weather and terrain guadalupe national park


Pets are allowed in the campgrounds but must be on a leash. Pets are limited to the trail directly behind the Visitor’s Center which is Pinery Trail.


Cell phone service in most places within Guadalupe Mountains National Park is limited. Pay phones are available at Pine spring campground.

Tips for Planning your camping trip

    • Upon arrival in the park, choose a campsite and pay at the self-registration station. Camping fee is $8.00 per night per site.
    • For group camping, group sites are available for reservation up to 60 days in advance. Call (915) 828-3251 between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM daily to reserve a spot.
    • A permit is required for backcountry camping. Get your permit at the Headquarters Visitor Center or the Dog Canyon Ranger Station. Permits can only be obtained before or the day itself of your planned trip.
    • Though drinking water is available in the campgrounds, food, and other supplies must be included in your list of things to bring in the park. There are no restaurants, service stations and convenience stores available in the park.
    • There are no potable water sources on any of the hiking trails. Pack accordingly and bring enough supply of water to stay hydrated.


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