Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Texas

Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas is one of the newer parks in the country. It’s home to Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in all of Texas at 8,749 feet. The park also has the ruins of an old stagecoach station, and the restored Frijole Ranch which hosts a museum of ranching history. The park is in the same mountain range as Carlsbad Caverns, 25 miles to the north.

In part because the park is newer, there are fewer amenities than other national parks. Plan on filling your gas tank before arriving, and bring your own food to eat as there are no restaurants. Cell phone service is also very unreliable. However, all of this also means you’re guaranteed more solitude and fewer crowds than if you headed to a park with more conveniences.

As with many mountain areas, weather can change quickly. During the spring and summer months, temperatures during the day are often between 70-80 ° F, and evening lows are between 40-60 ° F. In fall and winter, highs are in the 50’s-60’s and dip at night to 30-50 ° F.

Towns around the Guadalupe Mountains are few and far between, but there are some fun and unique places to visit. The park is near the border of Texas and New Mexico and you can take side trips to learn more about everything from green chiles to UFO activity.

There are plenty of activities to do inside the park as well. From hiking and backpacking to horseback riding to stargazing, you’ll find plenty of ways to appreciate the natural beauty of west Texas. Along with self-led activities, there are planned events at the park as well. You can find a full calendar of park activities here.

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Weather
Spring 70-80 F
Summer 70-80 F
Fall 50-60s F
Winter 30-60s F
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Nearby Cities
Dell City, TX
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

There are two campgrounds within the park that offer RV camping, but neither one has hookups or dump stations. There are also more options for camping in the towns nearby on either side of the park.

RV Rentals Near Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Nearby RV Rentals

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Hit the Trails

There are a variety of trails in the park. Choose to wander next to a cool stream or find an outlook with a spectacular view of the desert. You can also find trails for every ability, from short paved trails to rocky scrambles up mountain peaks.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Pine Springs Trails

Frijole/Foothills

Distance: 8.4 miles

Terrain: The Frijole and Foothills trails connect between Pine Springs Campground and Frijole Ranch. You can begin at either end and get a nice look at Chihuahuan desert vegetation and views over the desert. The trail is less popular and a good bit of solitude in the park.

Devil’s Hall

Distance: 4.2 miles round trip

Terrain: Parts of the trail are not maintained, but simply follow the canyon bottom, climbing back up at the Hiker’s Staircase and ending at the narrow canyon of Devil’s Hall. The route does involve some boulder scrambling.

Guadalupe Peak

Distance: 8.5 miles round trip with 3,000 foot elevation gain

Terrain: Steep switchbacks over rocky terrain lead to the top of Guadalupe Peak with sweeping views. Be sure to sign the register at the top!

The Bowl

Distance: 9.1 miles round trip with 2,500 foot elevation gain

Terrain: Hike out of the Chihuahuan desert to a coniferous forest of pine and Douglas fir on this strenuous but rewarding hike.

El Capitan/Salt Basin Overlook

Distance: 11.3 miles round trip

Terrain: The trail leads through the desert to the base of El Capitan and the Salt Basin Overlook.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park McKittrick Canyon Trails

McKittrick Canyon Nature

Distance: 0.9 miles round trip

Terrain: Junipers, shrubs, and grasses are fed by an intermittent seep, exhibits along the trail share information on common plants and explain Permian Reef geology.

McKittrick Canyon

Distance: 4.8 miles round trip

Terrain: Follow a stream through desert and canyon woods to the historic Pratt lodge and adjoining Grotto picnic area and Hunter Cabin.

Permian Reef

Distance: 8.4 miles round trip with 2,000 foot elevation gain

Terrain: The trail has stop markers that can be used with a geology guide available at the Visitor Center. Excellent views of McKittrick Canyon from the top of Wilderness Ridge.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Frijole Ranch Trails

Manzanita Spring

Distance: 0.5 mile round trip

Terrain: A short, paved trail leads from the ranch house to Manzanita Spring. The trail is wheelchair accessible.

Smith Spring

Distance: 2.3 miles round trip

Terrain: A loop trail to the shady Smith Spring, then on to the sunny Manzanita Spring. See evidence of the 1990 and 1993 wildland fires.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Dog Canyon Trailhead

Indian Meadow Nature

Distance: 0.6 miles round trip

Terrain: A level trail across an arroyo. A free trail guide offers information and insights on the natural and cultural history of the meadow.

Marcus Overlook

Distance: 4.5 miles round trip

Terrain: This moderate-rated trail drops steeply at times, but at others levels off. Great views of West Dog Canyon and Manzanita Ridge.

Lost Peak

Distance: 6.4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1540

Terrain: The trail wanders through open meadow into a canyon bottom lined with alligator juniper, ponderosa pine, chinkapin oak, and bigtooth maple. Then begin a steep climb to Lost Peak - the trail levels out at the summit and reaches a junction with the McKittrick Ridge Trail.

Restaurants

What to Do at
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Although there is no food available in the park, you can find several places to eat in the surrounding towns. Grab a green chile burger or some delicious local Mexican food, do some shopping in Carlsbad, or take a trip to the International UFO Museum.

Restaurants

May’s Cafe

Type: Burgers

Location: Cornudas

Salt Flat Cafe

Type: Cafe

Location: Salt Flat

Queen Store & Cafe

Type: Burgers

Location: Carlsbad

Junior’s Burritos & Mexican Restaurant

Type: Mexican

Location: Carlsbad

Spanish Angels Cafe

Type: Mexican

Location: Dell City

Shopping

Rugged Trade

Location: Carlsbad

Pecos River Antique Mall

Location: Carlsbad

White’s City Gift Shop

Location: White’s City

The Artist Gallery

Location: Carlsbad

Marsha’s Vintage & Vogue Boutique

Location: Carlsbad

Museums

Sightseeing

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park
Green Chile Tour
White Sands National Monument
Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area
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How to Get to
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in far West Texas on US Highway 62/180, 110 miles east of El Paso and 56 miles southwest of Carlsbad, N.M.

By Car

If you’re driving from El Paso, head east on I-10 to US 180E/US 62E and into the park. If you’re approaching from Carlsbad, take 285S to  US 180E/US62E. If you’re headed to the Dog Canyon area on the north side of the park, take New Mexico State Road 137.


By plane

If you choose to fly to the area, the closest large airport is in El Paso. You can also fly to Albuquerque, Lubbock, or Midland, TX. Mesa Airlines also offers smaller flights between Albuquerque and Carlsbad.

By RV

You can also travel to and around the area in a rental RV. Renting an RV allows you to travel comfortably and at your own pace. Whether you rent an RV at home and drive to the park or fly into the area and rent an RV closer to your destination, there’s an option for you!

While there are only two first-come, first-serve campgrounds in the park, there are plenty of options nearby. Be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time to make sure you have a place to stay.

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Entering Guadalupe Mountains National Park

There is a small fee to enter Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Unlike most national parks, they charge a per-person fee, and children under 16 are free. There are also several free entrance days, which you can find here. You can pay with the green fee envelopes available at all trailheads or at the Pine Springs visitor center, then display your stub in your vehicle window. If you have an annual pass, a Lifetime pass, a 4th grade pass, or any other pass that allows you entry into every park, be sure to fill out an envelope and include your pass number or get a hang tag, available at the Pine Springs Visitor Center.  

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Per Person : $5.0

The fee for Guadalupe Mountains National Park is $5 per person for adults 16 years of age and older. It is good for 7 days.

A trip to the Chihuahuan desert and mountain peaks of Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a great way to experience the desert in all its beauty. We here at RVshare love helping people explore the outdoors and create memories with friends and family. RVing is a wonderful way to experience the desert - and many other places - with those you love. Whether you visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park in an RV rental from us or on your own, we’d love to hear about your trip! Be sure to send us photos at memories@rvshare.com and tag us on social media to share details and tips about your visit. Your adventures could be featured on our blog and social media channels!