Thing to Do

Trail Rides

A rider and stock animals ride through tall grasses and wildflowers in a wide valley
Riding the Marcus Trail

NPS

The park offers diverse riding opportunities to explore the Guadalupe Mountains. Sixty percent of the trails are open to stock use. Those closed to stock are difficult to maintain, or pass through unique and fragile areas intolerant of such use. Stock manure droppings introduce exotic plants that displace native vegetation.

There are no horses or pack animals for hire in or near the park; you must bring your own stock. All rides require thorough preparation. Improper equipment, poor conditioning, and disregard for weather conditions can result in an unpleasant or dangerous ride. Respect for the environment you ride through will help further the mission of protecting park resources for you and for future generations.

Stock are permitted on the following trails only. No off-trail riding is allowed. Trail riding begins at the corrals located at Dog Canyon or the Frijole Ranch.

Easy Trails

Gentle grade, easy to follow.

  • Foothills Trail

  • Williams Ranch Road

  • Frijole Trail

Moderate Trails

Steeper grades; rocky sections; generally easy to follow; may require dismounts; intermediate rider experience; stock conditioned to mountain trails.

  • Bush Mountain Trail - Dog Canyon to Marcus Trail

  • Marcus Trail

  • Tejas Trail - Dog Canyon to Pine Top

  • McKittrick Canyon Trail - Tejas Trail to McKittrick Ridge Campground

  • El Capitan Trail - Pine Springs to Salt Basin Overlook

  • Salt Basin Overlook Trail (lower loop)

Difficult Trails

Steep grades; narrow sections; rocky; trail may be difficult to follow; requires specific knowledge of trail or experience with similar trail conditions; for experienced riders and stock conditioned for difficult mountain terrain.

  • Tejas Trail - Pine Springs to Pine Top

  • Bush Mountain Trail - Pine Top to Bush Mountain Campground

  • Guadalupe Peak Trail

  • El Capitan Trail - Salt Basin Overlook to Williams Ranch

Details
Duration
4-10 Hours
Sixty percent of the trails are open to stock use.
Pets disturb wildlife and are not allowed on trails. Your pets should remain at home as opportunities for pets are very limited in the park.
Camping and Corral fees may apply depending on the nature of your trip. 
A free Wilderness Use Permit for all trail riding in the park must be obtained at the Pine Springs Visitor Center. 
Season
Spring, Fall
Riding is limited to day trips only. All stock must return to the corrals each night.
Accessibility Information

Trail surfaces are loose rock or hardened rock surfaces. Hiking or trekking poles are highly recommended. Trail widths vary from two to six feet depending on the trail. 

Parking

All trailhead areas have accessible parking available. 

Service animals 

Only service animals that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities are allowed in the park and on trails.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Line art map of the park showing trails that can be used by horses and other stock animals.
Trails open to stock are shown in red on the park map.

Last updated: April 20, 2022