The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is probably one of the park systems best kept secret and a place you will not want to miss out on. GMNP averages 200k visitors a year, while a National Park like Yosemite or Grand Canyon can go as high as 5 or 6 million visitors in a year! This means that if you are looking for solitude and some of the most amazing views of Texas, you are in for a treat.
I did not know much about the Guadalupe Mountains and planned my trip around visiting the Carlsbad Caverns, its sister National Park a few miles away. During my research, I noticed that these two parks close together, but I would snag the highest Texas peak, which I could not pass up.
The park is located in West Texas on the border of New Mexico and is quite a trip from even the closest major cities. Carlsbad is around 55 miles away, and El Paso roughly 110 miles away, making this park a challenge to get to for weekend warriors.
I visited the area during Thanksgiving spending the first few nights in Carlsbad to see the caverns then coming down to GMNP early in the day since I only had one day to see the park.
My goal was to do a few hikes, but I underestimated how destroyed my legs would be after hiking to the tallest point in the state of Texas and decided to call it a day afterward.
The main attraction for most in GMNP is to hike the Guadalupe Peak Trail 8 miles out and back trail to the highest point in the state of Texas. I will go into more detail on the Guadalupe Peak Trail in a separate post, but I cannot recommend it enough. The top’s views are one of a kind, and I still cannot believe I was in Texas while at the top.
Sleeping at the park is limited first to come campsites and a few RV sites, but no official lodging options exist. If you are not comfortably lucking out with a campsite or want an actual hotel room, then Carlsbad and Artesia are most likely your best bets.
One day at Guadalupe Mountains National park is truly not enough time to see everything this park offers. I do think you can get a good idea of how unique this park is in a day, but you will want to see more on your way out. I wish I had just one extra day to see some of the other amazing hikes in the park, notably Devil’s Hall Trail, which looks like the 2nd best hike in the park.
Stay tuned for my in-depth coverage of the Guadalupe Peak Trail and why I believe it is the must-do trail in GMNP and probably the best views in Texas, even better than Big Bend South Rim Trail.
Have you been to Guadalupe Mountains National Park? What was your favorite part?
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