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Guadalupe Mountains National Park — What to Know 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park — What to Know

Calling all adventurers and hikers in the Houston area: this is one national park that should be on your list of places to check out with friends or family. 

Although outside of Houston, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is close by and definitely worth the visit. Here is why you should go there, along with everything you need to know about visiting this national park. 

What is Guadalupe Mountains National Park known for?  

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is best known for its famous Guadalupe Peak and the trail you take to get there.  

Guadalupe Peak, along with its 4-mile trail, offers breathtaking views. So, it is not unusual to see fighter jets flying at eye level over nearby Fort Bliss. 

In the park, you can wish upon the stars in the sky while camping and enjoying the abundant wildlife. Despite this, the small park is not without challenges: geographical and technical.

How to get to Guadalupe Mountains National Park? 

WebsiteGuadalupe Mountains National Park 
Address400 Pine Canyon Salt Flat, TX 79847
Operating Hours Open twenty-four hours 
Contact Info 912-828-3251
Entrance Fees• $10 entrance fee per person
• $35 annual pass 

There are two ways to get to Guadalupe Mountains National Park: driving and by plane. 

Driving to the Guadalupe Mountains 

Driving to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is not easy or perfect for scenic photography

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located on Interstate Highway 180 near the US Highway 62 intersection in far-west Texas. 

In terms of driving distance, it is 110 miles east of El Paso, Texas, 56 miles southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico, or 62 miles north of Van Horn along Highway 54.

It takes you ten hours to reach Fort Stockton and Pecos, two oil towns through the never-ending desert. If you get hungry on long drives, pack a snack—there are no taco trucks or Italian restaurants for miles. 

Translation: the last two hours of the drive are like watching paint dry or waiting at the dentist. Boring. 

Fortunately, as you enter the national park, you realize why you endured the twelve-hour drive.  The peak—it’s magnificent.  

Traveling by Plane to the Guadalupe Mountains 

If you prefer to not be in a car for hours, it is possible to travel to the national park by plane. However, the closest commercial airline that will take you to the park is in El Paso, Texas.

What is the Guadalupe Peak trail? 

What is the Guadalupe Peak trail

The Guadalupe Peak trail is a hiking trail that takes you to the top of Guadalupe Peak. With an elevation gain of 3,000 feet, this isn’t a hike for mere beginners.

Taking on Guadalupe Peak Trail will push you to your limits. Depending on how fast you can hike, it may take six to eight hours. 

Although the climb is difficult, the views are absolutely worth it.

Hiking the Guadalupe Peak Trail 

As soon as you depart the safety of the trailhead, the plateau does not exist. There is no respite or end in sight on this four-mile path from the parking lot to the peak. 

In fact, you won’t actually see the peak until you’re almost at the top. 

Yet, once you reach three miles, get ready to break out your cameras for astonishing views excellent for panoramic videography. It seems as though the horizon never ends, despite the fact that you are already halfway up the mountain. 

The majestic horizon views leave some visitors breathless—or that could just be from underestimating the hike. 

There is a gradual transition from a well-defined trail flanked on both sides by trees and plant life, to climbing massive boulders in order to reach the top of the peak.

 A steep drop-off is to your left and a rock wall is on your right as you ascend. The journey to the peak, while magnificent, can be bittersweet as well.

However, once you stop moving and collapse for a break, you are forced to face the daunting reality that, soon, you will have to turn back.

Don’t worry, as you descend the four miles of endless staircases and switchbacks, it becomes easier and easier. 

One of Guadalupe Mountains’ greatest assets is also one of its greatest disadvantages. In spite of how meager the accomplishment might appear to more experienced alpinists, summiting the peak is an extraordinary feat. 

As far as mountaineering feats are concerned, this one takes place in a state that does not have any. So if you’re taking an adventure to the Guadalupe Mountains, come prepared. 

Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, wear sturdy shoes, and eat as you go. Be mindful of the weather, for windy conditions at the trailhead can lead to deadly gusts at the peak. 

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