Frequently Asked Questions

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in the Mountain Time Zone.
Visitors trusting their electronic devices may be misled, as cell signal service for the park comes from towers located in the Central Time Zone. We strongly suggest that you set your phone or other device to Mountain time during your visit.

The scenic approach on US Highway 62/180 to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is beautiful from any direction, but there are no paved driving tours or roads in the interior of the park. Park roads provide access to the Visitor Center and Pine Springs Campground, McKittrick Canyon Contact Station, Frijole Ranch, Williams Ranch (4X4 only), and Dog Canyon.

 

Many visitors enjoy picnicking at Frijole Ranch area. Either in picnic shelters at the parking lot or with spring water (non-potable) and picnic tables under large shade trees at the historic ranchhouse. There are also near the restrooms in the Pine Springs Trailhead (limited parking), at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center (lower parking lot), and at Dog Canyon (across the road from the campground).

 

No. Open fires using wood or charcoal are prohibited anywhere within the park. You may cook with self-contained gas or propane stoves only. Propane fueled fire pits are also prohibited.

All campsites in the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds must be reserved through recreation.gov

Pine Springs Campground
Tent and RV camping near the Pine Springs Trailhead

Dog Canyon Campground
Small campground in remote north district (two hour drive from Pine Springs)

 

Pine Springs Campground has 20 tent sites with leveled tent pads and picnic tables + 13 RV sites (the RV camping area is a paved parking lot with no hookups). Campgrounds have water, flush-toilet restrooms, vault toilet, and utility sinks. There are no showers.

 

No, there is no dump station and no electrical or water hook-ups at Pine Springs or Dog Canyon. The closest full service campground (including showers) is at Whites City, New Mexico, located 35 miles east on U.S. Highway 62/180.

Campground sites can accommodate vehicles up to 40 feet. Some wider sites are available for units with tow vehicles or trailers if vehicles are disconnected. Before you book a campsite, be sure to review all information about that specific site. If you reserve a site that is not designed for your RV or Tent, you may be asked to leave, without refund.

Tent campsites are for tent campers only. If you plan to sleep in a vehicle. you must reserve an RV campsite. Camp within designated sites, place tent/s on provided tent pad only. Maximum of two tents per site.

 

Depending on the season. Campgrounds do fill quickly during spring break, busy holiday weekends, and peak color change in October and November. Alternative camping suggestions are posted at the Visitor Center when the campground fills quickly.

 

The cost is $20 per night for an individual site in the Pine Springs or Dog Canyon Campground. 

 

No. Fires are prohibited anywhere in the park.

 

Yes, but pets must be on leash in the campground area.

Pets are prohibited on most trails. Leashed pets are limited to the Pinery Trail and campground connector trail ONLY.

The Pinery trail takes you to the Butterfield Stage Ruins and lasts about 3/4 of a mile. It is the trail directly behind the Visitor Center.

 

There is no lodging in the park. The closest lodging options are Dell City, TX or Whites City, NM. Dell City is 40 miles west of the park off of US Highway 62/180. Whites City is 35 miles east of the park in New Mexico off US Highway 62/180. Lodging is also available at a further distance in Van Horn, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico. 

There are no restaurants, service stations, convenience stores, or overnight lodging (except camping) available in the park. Dell City, TX is 45 miles west of the park and offers gasoline/diesel stations, convenience stores, RV campground, bed and breakfast, and a restaurant. Whites City, NM is 35 miles east of the park and also offers gas/diesel, a convenience store, motel, RV & tent camping, showers, and restaurant. Services are also available at a further distance in Van Horn, Texas and Carlsbad, New Mexico. 

 

There is a $10.00 per person entrance fee for visitors 16 years of age and older; this fee is good for 7 days. You can self-pay at any park trailhead. Entrance fees and park passes can be purchased at the Pine Springs Visitor Center. A National Park Annual Pass, Senior Pass, Access Pass, Annual 4th Grade Pass, Annual Military Pass, or Volunteer Pass covers entrance fees and may be clearly displayed on the vehicle dashbooard to cover entrance fees. All passes allow free entrance for the passholder and three visitors 16 years and older.

 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a hiking paradise with over 80 miles of hiking trails. Trails range from short paved trails to moderate canyon trails to strenuous, all-day or overnight backcountry hikes.

 

The strenous hike to the summit of Guadalupe Peak is 8.4 miles round-trip with an elevation gain of 3000’ and generally takes 6-8 hours. If hiking this trail on a weekend, be prepared for crowds.

  • McKittrick Canyon is very popular, especially during fall colors. The hike in the canyon is 4.8 miles round-trip to Pratt Cabin or 6.8 miles round-trip to the Grotto. Plan to spend 3 to 5 hours to hike in McKittrick Canyon.
  • The hike to Devil’s Hall is also a favorite. It typically requires 3 or 4 hours and is strenuous 4.2 miles round-trip.
  • Another popular hike is the Smith Spring Trail which starts at Frijole Ranch. The hike is a 2.3 mile loop trail and generally takes less than 2 hours.

No, it is not considered safe due to the limestone composition of rock. The best place for rock climbing or bouldering in the area is at Hueco Tanks State Park just east of El Paso, Texas.

Mountain bicycles are prohibited on park trails to protect fragile habitats; many of the park trails are extremely steep with dangerous drop-offs. 

A backpacking trip in Guadalupe Mountains National Park can be an exciting and rewarding experience if you are prepared. A great deal of information can be found on the park website to ensure that you are prepared for the trip.
A permit is required year-round for all overnight stays in the Wilderness and must be obtained before backpacking overnight. A wilderness permit allows the permit holder and their group to camp in a designated camp or area. Wilderness Use Permits must be reserved in advance through recreation.gov. Reservations must be checked in before starting your trip at the Pine Springs Visitor Center.

Walk-up permits for unreserved sites in the Wilderness may be issued on-site on a first-come, first-served basis at the Pine Springs Visitor Center from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Noon, daily. Walk up permits may be obtained up to 24 hours in advance of the trip.

 

No, potable water is not available for human consumption on any of the hiking trails. Water is available at trailheads and visitor centers. To stay hydrated, you will need to take at least one gallon of water per person per day when hiking.

Horseback riding is only available if you bring your own stock. There are no rental horses available in the area. Trails are available for day-use only with a free required permit; stock may not stay overnight in the backcountry. Corrals and camping for visitors with stock are available by reservation at Pine Springs and Dog Canyon.

There are many species of non-venomous snakes in the park and 5 species of rattlesnakes. Most are seldom seen by visitors. If you should encounter a rattlesnake, do not agitate it and walk around it at a safe distance. All wildlife is protected in the park and should not be disturbed or harmed.

 These animals are rare and are seldom observed by either visitors or staff.

Knowledgeable park staff are available to assist in identifying any of the park’s plants and animals at the Pine Springs Visitor Center. In addition, there is also a park store with a selection of field guides and reference sources on a variety of topics.

The tree with the red bark is the beautiful Texas Madrone (Arbutus xalapensis).

Carlsbad Caverns is 42 miles from the Visitor Center at Pine Springs. Please refer to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park website for further information.

 

You are probably thinking of the Sitting Bull Falls recreation area, located in the Lincoln National Forest. For more information about this attraction, call the USFS Lincoln National Forest at 575-885-4181.

Last updated: September 13, 2022

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400 Pine Canyon
Salt Flat , TX 79847

Phone:

915-828-3251
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