One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Perfect One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Perfect One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Short on time during your trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park? Luckily, this rugged, mountainous, and highly under-rated National Park has a handful of adventures that will make even just a single day unforgettable! Take the guesswork out and make the most of your time with this guide to one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park!

This guide to one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park includes:

  • What to Know Before You Go
  • Location of Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Tips for Spending One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Suggested Guadalupe Mountains National Park 1 Day Itineraries and Maps
  • Modifications and Alternatives
  • Accommodations for Your One Day Guadalupe Mountains National Park Itinerary
  • Gear Recommendations for One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Other Nearby Attractions

*Make sure not to miss out on the bonus maps and itineraries for one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in this post!

 

Disclosure: Below are some affiliate links-these are all products I highly recommend. I wont make any recommendations on this page that I havent tested or personally used! Enjoy this one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park itinerary!

 

 

The Perfect One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

There are plenty of exciting opportunities in this park, and while it is hard to narrow it down to just one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, these top choices will make the most of your single day itinerary, without compromising or sacrificing on any of these must see and must do experiences! Take it from a local Texan who calls this park one of my favorites in the entire country – these are the perfect suggestions for spending one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park!

Heres what you can expect to see on the sample one day itineraries provided below:

  • The Guadalupe Peak Trail
  • The Devils Hall Trail
  • The Pinery Nature Trail
  • The McKittrick Canyon Trail
  • The Pine Springs Visitor Center
  • The Pine Springs Campground
  • The McKittrick Canyon Trail
  • The McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center

 

One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

But before you do, be sure to know the details about this park, so you dont have to waste any precious time upon arrival!

 

 

Is One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Right For You?

 

Before you plan your one day itinerary, make sure that a visit to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is right for you. Hiking trails are the main attraction at this park, and if you are not as into hiking, there will be significantly less to do. This is not one of those parks that contain a plethora of non-hiking options, though there is a small handful.

 

So before you visit, ask yourself if hiking appeals to you, or check out the modifications and alternatives section at the end of this post for additional suggestions for non-hiking ways to enjoy one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

The best hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

What to Know Before You Go

 

Google Map Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Entrance Fees: $10 per person

Hours: Guadalupe Mountains National Park is open daily

Permits/Reservations: backcountry permits are required for backcountry camping

Camping: there are 2 developed campgrounds in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Both are reservable online HERE.

Pet Policy: pets are NOT allowed on trails, except for the Pinery Nature Trail

Best Time of Year to Visit: spring and fall (summer can be dangerous hot, and winter sees strong winds, cold temperatures, and some snow and ice storms)

Closest Town(s):

  • Carlsbad, NM: 50 minutes
  • Dell City, TX: 40 minutes
  • Whites City, NM: 30 minutes

 

Closest Airport(s):

  • El Paso International: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Roswell International: 2 hours
  • Midland Odessa International: 3 hours

 

 

Location of Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in far west Texas, only a short distance from the border with neighboring New Mexico. In fact, it straddles the timezone change between central and mountain time, and certain parts of the park are in one or the other.

Time zone change in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The time zone change in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

Tips for Spending One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

  • Hiking is a major draw here – determine your hiking preferences, desired lengths, and physical readiness ahead of time. There are several outstanding full day hike options, as well as a handful of shorter day hikes that can be done in conjunction. Some recommended combinations are presented below in my suggested one day itineraries.

 

  • You can pay the entrance fee at the Pine Springs Visitor Center upon arrival, or bring cash to deposit the $10 per person entrance fee at any trailhead box.

 

  • Have a full tank – the closest gas stations are in Carlsbad and Dell City, so be sure to fill up before departing for Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

  • Bring a picnic lunch – food options are limited in the park and in the immediate surrounding area, so bringing your own food is not only easier and more time efficient, but it will allow you to enjoy more of the park itself.

 

  • Leave No Trace – pack it in, pack it out

 

  • Stay on designated trails at all times

 

  • Dont approach or feed wildlife – maintain a respectful distance at all times

 

  • Be prepared for weather – Texas weather is notorious for its rapid changes. In shoulder seasons, be prepared for temperature swings, and always be sure to check the weather ahead of time. For higher altitude specific forecasts, check mountain-forecast.com prior. Weather on mountain summits, like Guadalupe Peak for example, the highest point in Texas, can be drastically different from weather at the base.

 

  • Use a Hiking Safety Contact Form – Guadalupe Mountains National Park is remote and rugged wilderness, and it is one of the least visited National Parks in the U.S. That means more secluded hiking trails. Be sure to leave some form of contact in your console or glove compartment in case of an emergency, like this Hiking Safety Contact Form, to help expedite emergency services in a worst case scenario.

 

  • Start Early – especially in the warmer months, when it is necessary to finish earlier in the day and avoid the hottest part of the day.

 

 

Map of Guadalupe Mountains 1 Day Itinerary Highlights

 

Here’s the locations of all main attractions in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. You can see how these highlights are grouped together in the recommended 1 day itineraries that follow.

 

Options for one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

Suggested 1 Day Guadalupe Mountains National Park Itineraries

 

Below are 3 different suggested itineraries for one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, to suit multiple preferences of visitors.

 

 

#1: The Ultimate 1 Day Hardcore Hiking Itinerary

 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains some of the best hikes in all of Texas. This itinerary is for the hardcore hiker that wants to sample the best trails in Guadalupe Mountains, all in one day. You might be looking at a sun up to sun down itinerary, so be ready! But it will be worth it.

 

Map of Hardcore Hiking Itinerary

 

One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park itinerary
One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Itinerary #1

 

 

Stop #1: Pine Springs Visitor Center

Timeframe: 10 – 15 minutes

Estimated Start: 7 AM

Because the Pine Springs Visitor Center does not open until 8 AM, you may want to bring cash to pay the $10 per person entrance fee at the trailhead box. Toilets are located outside of the Visitor Center so you can still use the restroom and take care of any other personal business before heading out on the first hike of the day – the Guadalupe Peak Trail!

 

Stop #2: The Guadalupe Peak Trail

Timeframe: 6 – 8 hours

Estimated Start: 7: 15 AM

 

Quick Facts on the Guadalupe Peak Trail

  • Trailhead Location
  • Length: 8.4 mile out and back roundtrip
  • Rating: Hard this state high point hike is one of the few opportunities in Texas to hike at high altitude, since this peak stands over 8,000 feet tall! This requires a elevation gain of just short of 3,000 feet, so it is a substantial climb. The first 2 miles are arguably the hardest, and require traversing multiple switchbacks.
  • Elevation Gain: 2,949 feet
Guadalupe Peak Trail Elevation Chart
Guadalupe Peak Trail Elevation Chart
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 6 – 8 hours
  • Facilities: Parking, restrooms, and water refill station located adjacent to trailhead (Google Maps refers to the Guadalupe Peak Trailhead as the “Pine Springs Trailhead”)

 

If hiking is your top reason for spending one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, this is THE top hike in the park. It doesnt come easy, but the payoff is worth it, because it is the highest point in all of Texas!

 

This is a sizeable day hike that takes on average between 6 – 8 hours. As you only have one day to spend in the park, I would recommend starting early to possibly have a little time after for one additional activity.

 

The Guadalupe Peak Trail is not only memorable for its status as the tallest mountain in Texas, but it also traverses a diverse amount of ecosystems and sights along the way. The trail starts out adjacent to the Pine Springs Visitor Center and Pine Springs Campground, surrounded by the shrubbery of the Chihuahuan Desert. After climbing a series of steep and exposed switchbacks, the trail rounds the face of the mountain to encounter towering ponderosa pines. Below the summit, the trees gradually disappear and the open face of the peak emerges, along with stunning views! Also just below the summit is the backcountry campsite for those that wish to stay overnight on Guadalupe Peak (with the required backcountry camping permit). Once on the rocky summit, youll be treated to 360 degree panoramas over the Guadalupe Mountains, including neighboring El Capitan and the salt dunes in the distance.

 

I would highly recommend not only bringing enough hiking snacks to last throughout this hike, but a picnic lunch of a sandwich or something similar that you can enjoy after summiting Guadalupe Peak!

 

The trailhead for Guadalupe Peak
The trailhead for Guadalupe Peak

 

The Guadalupe Peak Trail
Ascending switchbacks on the first couple miles of the Guadalupe Peak Trail

 

The Guadalupe Peak Trail
Continuing up the initial switchbacks

 

Cliff edges on the Guadalupe Peak Trail
Cliff edges on the Guadalupe Peak Trail before rounding the face of the mountain

 

Ponderosa forests on the Guadalupe Peak Trail
Ponderosa forests on the Guadalupe Peak Trail

 

The Guadalupe Peak Trail
Section of railing approaching the summit

 

The summit of El Capitan in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Looking down on the top of El Capitan from the Guadalupe Peak Trail

 

The summit of Guadalupe Peak
The summit of Guadalupe Peak

 

 

Stop #3: Pine Springs Visitor Center

Timeframe: 30 minutes – 1 hour

After descending Guadalupe Peak, refresh and take a breather at the Pine Springs Visitor Center. Maybe peruse some of the exhibits or find a spot to snack and refuel.

 

Stop #4: The Pinery Nature Trail

Timeframe: 30 – 45 minutes

 

Quick Facts on the Pinery Nature Trail:

Trailhead Location

Length: 1 mile roundtrip out and back

Rating: Easy

Elevation Gain: 82 feet

The Pinery Nature Trail Elevation Chart
The Pinery Nature Trail Elevation Chart

 

Estimated Time to Complete: 30 – 45 minutes

Facilities: there is parking and bathrooms located in the Pine Springs Visitor Center, which is adjacent to the Pinery Nature Trailhead

 

You will no doubt be tired after Guadalupe Peak, but I would recommend using the remaining afternoon hours to check out one other activity in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The Pinery Nature Trail is the perfect blend of leisurely stroll mixed with a little history. Along this short and easy nature trail you can find informational signage about the park and its wildlife, as well as the remains of the iconic Butterfield Stagecoach Station.

 

Stop #5: Overnight Lodging or Depart

If you are planning to camp overnight, I would recommend a site at the Pine Springs Campground, as it is centrally located. Outside of the park, the closest lodging is in Whites City, NM, Carlsbad, NM, or Dell City, TX. You can find hotels and vacation rentals in these locations.

 

Check Availability for Your Trip Here!

 

 

#2: The Intermediate 1 Day Hiking Itinerary

 

As the hiking trails are the main attraction in these mountains, it goes without saying that this suggested itinerary takes advantage of the top hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, but at a less intense level. This suggested itinerary will check out several of the easy and moderate hikes in the park, each providing a unique glimpse of the tapestry of ecosystems existing here.

 

While this itinerary is not rated as difficult, it is still important to always have all necessary day hiking essentials regardless of which wilderness trails you are planning to explore.

 

Map of Intermediate Hiking Itinerary

 

One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Itinerary #2

 

 

Stop #1: Pine Springs Visitor Center

Timeframe: 10 – 15 minutes

Estimated Start: 7:30 AM

Pay your entrance fee (or bring cash to pay at the trailhead), use the restroom, and take care of any other personal business before heading out on the first hike of the day – the Devils Hall Trail!

 

 

Stop #2: The Devils Hall Trail

Timeframe: 2 hours

Estimated Start: 7:45 AM

 

Quick Facts on the Devils Hall Trail:

Trailhead Location

Length: 3.8 miles roundtrip out and back

Rating: Moderate Difficult

Elevation Gain: 600 feet

Devils Hall Elevation Chart
Devils Hall Trail Elevation Chart

 

Estimated Time to Complete: 1.5 – 2 hours

Facilities: there is parking and bathrooms adjacent to the trailhead

 

The Devils Hall Trail is a park favorite because it contains natural rock hallways and stairs, which make it engaging to hike, as well as add to the moderate rating. There is some minor scrambling and bouldering to undertake, but it is all non technical and manageable with pacing and attention to foot placement.

 

In a park filled with towering mountains and open desert expanses, the experience of being closed in between the walls of this trail are a one of a kind sight in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

 

The Devils Hall Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The Devils Hall Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

Stop #3: The Pinery Nature Trail

Timeframe: 30 – 45 minutes

 

Quick Facts on the Pinery Nature Trail:

Trailhead Location

Length: 1 mile roundtrip out and back

Rating: Easy

Elevation Gain: 82 feet

The Pinery Nature Trail Elevation Chart
The Pinery Nature Trail Elevation Chart

 

Estimated Time to Complete: 30 – 45 minutes

Facilities: there is parking and bathrooms located in the Pine Springs Visitor Center, which is adjacent to the Pinery Nature Trailhead

 

Once again, this little dose of natural beauty along with Texas frontier history shouldnt be missed. This short, easy trail is the perfect way to break up other more moderate hikes that bookend the beginning and end of this suggested one day itinerary. It is also located immediately adjacent to the Devils Hall Trailhead and the Pine Springs vicinity, which makes for easy access. Enjoy the leisurely stroll to the Butterfield Stagecoach Station ruins, and keep an eye out for local flora, fauna, and wildlife along the way.

 

The Pinery Nature Trail is some of the best hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Butterfield stagecoach station ruins on the Pinery Nature Trail

 

 

Stop #4: Picnic Lunch

Timeframe: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Pine Springs vicinity, before heading out on more explorations!

 

 

Stop #5: The McKittrick Canyon Trail

Timeframe: 2 – 3 hours

 

Quick Facts on the McKittrick Canyon Trail (shortened version):

Trailhead Location

Length: 7 miles roundtrip out and back

Rating: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 456 feet

McKittrick Canyon Trail to the Grotto Elevation Chart
McKittrick Canyon Trail to the Grotto Elevation Chart

 

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 – 3 hours

Facilities: there is parking and restrooms at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center adjacent to the trailhead

 

Leave yourself the afternoon hours to enjoy as much of the McKittrick Canyon Trail as you wish. While the McKittrick Canyon Trail tops out at over 21 miles in total roundtrip length, it is a popular option for shorter day hikes as there are several ideal landmarks that make for perfect turnaround spots.

 

The McKittrick Canyon Trail is another one of Guadalupes trails that combine rugged beauty with Texas history. McKittrick Canyon is always on the list for most beautiful fall foliage in Texas, due to the surprising riparian environment present in the canyon. Expect to see Texas madrone trees with their vibrant maroon bark on full display in the autumn months. Theres also the intriguing Grotto formation and its limestone stalagmites and stalactites, and the ever present backdrop of the looming Guadalupe range.

 

Then theres the history along the trail. The century old Pratt Cabin and Hunter Line Cabin are both prime examples of early frontier life in the park.

 

All 3 of these landmarks – the Pratt Cabin, Hunter Line Cabin, and the Grotto, are all popular turnaround spots on a shorter day hike of McKittrick Canyon. The Hunter Line Cabin and Grotto are located together, at around 3.5 miles in. Turning around at this point creates a 7 mile roundtrip hike, estimated to take between 2 – 3 hours. This portion of the trail is also rated moderate, which makes hiking this specific chunk of the McKittrick Canyon Trail perfect for the afternoon of a one day itinerary in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

 

Of course, you can always hike the entire 21.3 miles, or even camp in the backcountry campsite at McKittrick Ridge. Just note that this is considered a full day hike or overnight hike, and the steepness, elevation gain, and rating of this trail increases past the Grotto and Hunter Line Cabins, so it is not recommended to do this entire trail if starting in the afternoon.

 

The beginning of the McKittrick Canyon Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Dry washes at the beginning of the McKittrick Canyon Trail

 

The beginning of the McKittrick Canyon Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

Views in the heart of McKittrick Canyon
Washes and mountains in McKittrick Canyon

 

McKittrick Canyon in fall
Some of the best fall foliage in the state!

 

Views along the McKittrick Canyon Trail

 

The historic Pratt Cabin in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The historic Pratt Cabin on the McKittrick Canyon Trail

 

The Grotto on the McKittrick Canyon Trail
The enclave of “the Grotto”

 

The Hunter Line Cabin in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The Hunter Line Cabin on the McKittrick Canyon Trail

 

 

Stop #6: Overnight Lodging or Depart

If you are planning to camp overnight, I would recommend a site at the Pine Springs Campground, as it is centrally located. Outside of the park, the closest lodging is in Whites City, NM, Carlsbad, NM, or Dell City, TX. You can find hotels and vacation rentals in these locations.

Check Availability for Your Trip Here!

 

 

 

#3: The History Buff 1 Day Itinerary

 

While hiking reigns king in Guadalupe, a close second is history, specifically early Texas frontier history. If you want to sample the historical evidence during your one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, this itinerary is for you. Dont worry, it combines some hiking too!

 

Map of History Buff Itinerary

 

One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park itinerary
One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Itinerary #3

 

 

Stop #1: McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center

Timeframe: 10 – 15 minutes

Estimated Start: 8 AM

Peruse the museum, talk to rangers, pay the entrance fee, and take care of personal business at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center, before heading out to explore the historical structures on the McKittrick Canyon Trail.

 

 

Stop #2: The McKittrick Canyon Trail

Timeframe: 2 – 3 hours

Estimated Start: 8:15 AM

 

Quick Facts on the McKittrick Canyon Trail (shortened version):

Trailhead Location

Length: 7 miles roundtrip out and back

Rating: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 456 feet

McKittrick Canyon Trail to the Grotto Elevation Chart
McKittrick Canyon Trail to the Grotto Elevation Chart

 

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 – 3 hours

Facilities: there is parking and restrooms at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center adjacent to the trailhead

 

The McKittrick Canyon Trail is not only a favorite because of its mountainous beauty, but because of the two standing historical structures still present on the trail – the stone and wood Pratt Cabin and Hunter Line Cabin. To reach both, plan on hiking in about 3.5 miles on this moderate trail, or 7 miles roundtrip. This should take about 2 – 3 hours, depending on pace and breaks.

 

The first cabin on the trail is the Pratt Cabin, and the second one is the Hunter Line Cabin. Both are fantastic examples of both early architecture and history, and are in excellent condition for being about a century old. While viewing the Hunter Line Cabin, dont miss the nearby Grotto formation as well!

 

McKittrick Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The McKittrick Canyon Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

The mountains of Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

Stop #3: Picnic Lunch

Timeframe: 30 minutes – 1 hour

As the remainder of the days itinerary centers on the Pine Spring vicinity, you can opt to enjoy a picnic lunch at either the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center vicinity immediately following the completion of the hike, or travel approximately 15 minutes south to the Pine Springs vicinity and take a lunch break there, in preparation for the remainder of the days activities.

 

 

Stop #4: The Pinery Nature Trail

Timeframe: 30 – 45 minutes

 

Quick Facts on the Pinery Nature Trail:

Trailhead Location

Length: 1 mile roundtrip out and back

Rating: Easy

Elevation Gain: 82 feet

The Pinery Nature Trail Elevation Chart
The Pinery Nature Trail Elevation Chart

 

Estimated Time to Complete: 30 – 45 minutes

Facilities: there is parking and bathrooms located in the Pine Springs Visitor Center, which is adjacent to the Pinery Nature Trailhead

 

For history buffs, the Pinery Nature Trail is a must, as it provides a glimpse of the iconic Butterfield Stagecoach Station remains, whose route used to run through the Guadalupe Mountains.

 

 

Stop #5: The Frijole Ranch Museum

Timeframe: 2 hours

Spend the remaining time of your afternoon learning more about the area and its history at the Frijole Ranch Museum, located just over a mile from the Pine Springs Visitor Center. View the museum exhibits, as well as the one room school house and spring house outside. There are also picnic benches and facilities at the museum.

 

 

Stop #6: Overnight Lodging or Depart

If you are planning to camp overnight, I would recommend a site at the Pine Springs Campground, as it is centrally located. Outside of the park, the closest lodging is in Whites City, NM, Carlsbad, NM, or Dell City, TX. You can find hotels and vacation rentals in these locations.

Check Availability for Your Trip Here!

 

 

Modifications and Alternatives

 

It should be clear by now that hiking is the main attraction in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. If you dont feel up for a lot of hiking, heres some additional modifications and alternatives for spending one day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

  • Check out the full list of the top 8 hikes in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and opt for shorter / easier trails
  • Visit one or both Visitor Centers located at Pine Springs and McKittrick Canyon (approximately 15 minutes apart)
  • Do a brief hike at McKittrick Canyon specifically in fall to enjoy some of the best foliage in the state
  • View the Butterfield Stagecoach Station Ruins along the short Pinery Nature Trail
  • Enjoy a picnic in the Pine Springs vicinity
  • Watch for Wildlife – mule deer, javelinas, jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, lizards, tarantulas, ringtails, skunks, porcupines, bobcats, mountain lions, black bears, and elk
  • Enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains (and enjoy scenic views of iconic El Capitan from Highway 62)
  • Camp in the Pine Springs Campground
  • Check out opportunities for horseback riding in the park
  • Visit the Frijole Ranch Museum

 

Iconic El Capitan from Highway 62
Iconic El Capitan from Highway 62

 

 

Accommodations for Your One Day Guadalupe Mountains National Park Itinerary

 

As mentioned before, there are lodging options both within and outside the park borders.

 

 

Accommodations Within Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

 

 

Accommodations Outside Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

There are vacation rentals and hotels located in Dell City, TX, Carlsbad, NM, and Whites City, NM.

 

  • Carlsbad is the largest city close to the park, and will contain the most options and amenities.
  • Whites City is a small establishment with a hotel and RV park, but it is a great option for being close to both Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Park, for those interested in visiting both parks at once. It is located just outside the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns, and only about 30 minutes to Guadalupe Mountains.
  • Dell City is a small Texas town with a handful of hotels.

 

Check Availability for Your Trip HERE!

 

 

Gear Recommendations for One Day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

Given the wild and rugged terrain and surroundings of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and considering that almost every itinerary does involve some degree of hiking, it is important to have a few crucial gear items with you during your visit.

 

  • Hiking Boots or Trail Runners – if you prefer the additional support of a hiking boot for tougher trails like Guadalupe Peak, be sure to bring a traditional hiking boot. I personally have hiked Guadalupe Peak several times in HOKA One One Speedgoat trail runners, and they are my personal preference for footwear in the Guadalupe Mountains. I like the ultra cushioning and lightweight feel of trail runners versus hiking boots, and I believe that the hiking trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park are very conducive to trail runners.

 

  • Performance Socks – make sure to pair your footwear with an equally reliable performance sock. If you are blister prone, check out Hilly Twin Skin socks. The twin skin helps to prevent the friction that can cause blisters, because theres nothing that can derail a hike quicker than a blister, and you dont want to encounter one of those half way through a tough hike! I used to be extremely blister prone until I discovered these socks, and now I dont get blisters at all, even on all day grueling hikes like the Grand Canyons Rim to Rim hike!

 

 

Download Your Own Day Hiking Gear Checklist HERE!

 

  • Plenty of Water – many of the hiking trails in Guadalupe are very exposed with minimal shade. Together with the higher elevation and strong Texas sun, you need to make sure you are hiking with several liters of water. I go with this 3 liter Platypus Hydration Bladder, because it provides consistent, on the go hydration. Plus the wide mouth makes cleaning, drying, and filling easy.

 

  • Trekking Poles – if youve got Guadalupe Peak in your sights, consider trekking poles for the steep sections of uphill and downhill. My go tos are these Black Diamond poles, and I love them not only for the stability, but because the cork handles prevent slippage from sweaty hands like other rubber or plastic handled poles out there.

 

 

Other Nearby Attractions

 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park happens to be close to several other major outdoor hot spots in the Southwest!

 

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park – located only 30 minutes from Guadalupe Mountain National Park, you can check out some of the tallest mountains in Texas and then pay a visit to the subterranean wonders below ground at Carlsbad Caverns! Dont miss the park favorite at the Natural Entrance Trail.

 

  • White Sands National Park – travel 3 hour northwest to find another New Mexico neighbor, and the states second National Park – White Sands National Park! This dune filled expanse provides endless opportunities to sand sled, as well as 6 hiking trails to explore. My personal favorite is the stark and barren Alkali Flat Trail, located in the remote backcountry of White Sands.

 

  • Ruidoso, New Mexico – 3 and a half hours north lies a very different environment, one clad in deep forest canopy, but also home to mountains like Guadalupe. Check out 3 of the top local hiking trails in Ruidoso, one of New Mexicos cutest mountain towns.

 

  • Monahans Sandhills State Park – just 2 hours east finds more sand dunes in the vast desert surrounding Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This smaller version of White Sands National Park offers similarly fun sand sledding opportunities, as well as overnight camping.

 

 

  • If these nearby attractions got you daydreaming for more, be sure to check out this suggested itinerary for the ultimate Southwest National Parks Roadtrip! Not only will you visit both of Texass and New Mexicos National Parks, but other big names like Grand Canyon National Park!

 

 

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One day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

 

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Hi, I’m Steven, a Florida native, who left my career in corporate wealth management six years ago to embark on a summer of soul searching that would change the course of my life forever.

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