Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Guadalupe Mountains National Park near Carlsbad, New Mexico in western Texas. The park was first established in 1972 on September 30 and is host to almost 160,000 vistors annually and covers almost 135 square miles. Canyons and sand dunes are the two natural features that draw visitors. The Mescalero Apaches lived in the area until around 1860 when people started heading west and building settlements. Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in the range and lies in Texas although part of the range spans into New Mexico. The park also contains some grassland and desert areas. McKittrick Canyon is a popular feature of the park and is known for it's beautiful display of foliage as it's deciduous trees during the transition from summer to fall.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Info


Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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News

Cave Fossils Exhibition Opens in Carlsbad, New Mexico

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is partnering with the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) for their Cave Fossils exhibition October 27, 2018 – February 1, 2019. The exhibition will feature an NPS exhibit Cave Paleontology and cave fossil specimens from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History collection in Washington, D.C.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Temporarily Closed

Effective 6:00 p.m., Mountain Time, Friday, April 17th, Guadalupe Mountains National Park will be closed to all visitors until further notice. All trail, camping and backcountry use are prohibited until further notice.

Updated: Guadalupe Mountains National Park is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance

As of Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm., Guadalupe Mountains National Park will be closed to all camping, back country camping and overnight use until further notice.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Photos

Hikers Staircase

rovingmagpie posted a photo:

Hikers Staircase

A photogenic feature on the Devils Hall Trail, with a guy in a blue shirt for scale :)
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Day 8: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

perfect day

rovingmagpie posted a photo:

perfect day

Guadalupe Mountains National Park - we had one day there and it couldn't have been a better day.

Northern Harrier, female

Jay Packer posted a photo:

Northern Harrier, female

South of Dell City, Hudspeth County, TX

Phainopepla, male

Jay Packer posted a photo:

Phainopepla, male

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, TX

rise and shine

isolada. by design posted a photo:

rise and shine

sunlight through maple leaves on the Devil's Hall Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park
November 2016

golden light on the devil's hall trail

isolada. by design posted a photo:

golden light on the devil's hall trail

Devil's Hall Trail - Guadalupe Mountains National Park
November 2016

Sinai Lights (Explored)

Ramen Saha posted a photo:

Sinai Lights (Explored)

This is the ‘classic’ view of the Guadalupe mountains from just outside the park by an unmarked roadside stop on highway 180. You wouldn’t know from viewing this image, but that school of rocks, which makes for an imposing foreground in this picture, are not abundant in this area. Quite the opposite, they are scarce. The rest of the area is desert's barren land or salt-flats. Only here, these photogenic boulders and cobbles are lined up like a ribbon of rock-crumbs that one could imagine to have fallen from a big boulder-carrying truck with a loose tailgate. If you want to find this spot, I recommend Google Earth or friendly rangers at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park visitor center.

Photographically, this area is remarkable for couple of challenges: 1) high winds, and 2) haze from New Mexico’s recent oil drilling boom. The wind here is fierce, whatever time of the day. The gale was reportedly in the thirties when I was shooting. Such burster tested my tripod set-up and created an occasional motion blur in one or more of the frames used in creating this panorama. Ah well, nature whims by her gale, photographers indulge back with technology – Topaz Sharpen AI in this instance. But technology doesn’t salvage everything. The smog here for example. Although the El Capitan in the center above was only about five miles from the highway, petroleum drilling enterprises in nearby Carlsbad area created a muck in the air and fogged up the view. In a long-lens shot as this one, a bit of haze helps to create depth in the three-dimensional field, but a bit more stands in the way. While many of you are likely thinking of the new ‘dehaze’ feature in PS, trust me, I tried that here and promptly walked away. Instead, after some contemplation under the midnight oil, I eased the smog a bit and let it stay to sharply contrast and underscore those adorable boulders in the foreground, that are there because someone forgot to lock-up their big truck’s tailgate.

Winds of the Guadalupe Pass

Ramen Saha posted a photo:

Winds of the Guadalupe Pass

Long before there were FedEx, airplanes, trains, and telegraph lines, a need for overland mail delivery between the East and the West arose after the Gold Rush and mass migration of folks along the Oregon trail. Reflecting the arduous nature of the task, the big express companies of the day (like Wells Fargo) sat out on the Post Office Department’s bid for mail routes to the Pacific coast from the Mississippi river. The contract was awarded to a little known John Butterfield of New York, who had proposed the long and curving route through the largely unsettled Southwest (Butterfield Trail); this ‘Oxbow’ route was preferred over others through the plains and Rockies for being snow-free year round. Once contracted, Butterfield and his son set up stage stations – 175 in all – along the route and ran coaches twice a week for the next three years until the civil war interrupted all mail services.

While in operation, Butterfield Overland stagecoaches – drawn by horses or wild mules – took 25 days to traverse the cross-country 2,800-mile trail. Despite incidents of hostility from Indians along the way, mail (postage at ten cents per half ounce) and hardy passengers ($200 initially, and then $150 each way for the hand-written ticket) were often delivered on time. These stages ran at breakneck speed, only making brief stops at stage stations, to swap horses and occasionally, the crew – the stage driver, the conductor and the “side rider”. “Through” passengers got a bite to eat at these pit-stops but nothing more. Stages didn’t stop for riders to sleep; they were expected to sleep in the open-sided stages during the bumpy ride, come dust or hail. If that was not enough, occasionally on uphill segments, passengers were required to “beat mules with rocks” to keep them going. You may imagine, this journey was treacherous. Reflecting on his experience as the only “through” passenger on the inaugural westbound Butterfield Overland mail stage, the New York Herald’s reporter – W. L. Ormsby – wrote from San Francisco, “Had I not just come out over the route, I would be perfectly willing to go back, but I know what Hell is like. I’ve just had 24 days of it.

At its toughest near the southern end where the road was twisted, rock-strewn, and nearly waterless, the journey also became highly perilous. Here, Butterflied stages were frequently beset by Indians – “Injuns”, as stage drivers called them with disdain. Once stages left station 61 at Pope’s camp near the thirty-second parallel, drivers often reminded passengers to have their guns ready for any Apache interactions. From Pope’s camp running westward, the stage line pierced the mountains through a gap near the El Capitan peak (above) of the Guadalupe mountains that stood – still does – in bold relief against the water-less desert and the pitiless sky. Imagine the plight of sleep-deprived and anxious passengers around this bend of the road. Ormsby wrote, the Guadalupe peak “...loomed up before us all day in the most aggravating manner. It fairly seemed to be further off the more we travelled.

The scenery from here on – as stages stopped at the Pinery station for some rest and then crossed the Guadalupe Pass – was “on a grand scale”, where it evoked poetic emotions in weary travelers. Ormsby wrote, The wild grandeur of the scene in the canon is beyond description… I shall never forget the gorgeous appearance of the clouds: tinged by the setting sun above those jagged peaks, changing like a rapid panorama….

Today, those jagged peaks still stand tinged by the setting sun in all their eagerness to share tales of past weary travelers with modern ones. When you visit the Guadalupe pass, lend your ears to the wind, which always blows and swooshes like a madman around here. In its howling, if you pay attention, you may hear portentous huffs and puffs of wild mules breathing inexorably between crackling whooshes of the driver's whip.

Manzanita Spring, Smith Spring Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park 11/21/2013

ccbutch posted a photo:

Manzanita Spring, Smith Spring Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park  11/21/2013

"Look for birds, mule deer, and elk as you walk this loop trail to the shady oasis of Smith Spring. Take a break here and enjoy the gurgling sounds of the tiny waterfall before continuing around to sunny Manzanita Spring. Scars from wildland fires of 1990 and 1993 are evident along the trail. The trail is rated moderate, with a round-trip distance of 2.3 miles." www.nps.gov

"Guadalupe Mountains National Park is an American national park in the Guadalupe Mountains, east of El Paso, Texas. The mountain range includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet, and El Capitan used as a landmark by travelers on the route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The ruins of a stagecoach station stand near the Pine Springs visitor center. The restored Frijole Ranch contains a small museum of local history and is the trailhead for Smith Spring. The park covers 86,367 acres in the same mountain range as Carlsbad Caverns National Park, about 25 miles to the north in New Mexico." wiki

Salt Basin Dunes at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Critter Seeker posted a photo:

Salt Basin Dunes at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Gypsum sand dunes in Texas.

Guadalupe evening

My Americana posted a photo:

Guadalupe evening

El Capitan in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.
051-4-2-3-1

A29C0731 here comes the rain

www.nightfocus.info posted a photo:

A29C0731 here comes the rain

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Approaching rain storm

A29C1215

www.nightfocus.info posted a photo:

A29C1215

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
McKittrick Canyon

Morning light, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Anita363 posted a photo:

Morning light, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Pine Springs Campground

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (3 of 3)

jimsawthat posted a photo:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (3 of 3)

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is an American national park in the Guadalupe Mountains, east of El Paso, Texas. The mountain range includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet and El Capitan used as a landmark by travelers on the route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The primary attraction to visitors is the extensive trail system for hikers.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (2 of 3)

jimsawthat posted a photo:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (2 of 3)

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is an American national park in the Guadalupe Mountains, east of El Paso, Texas. The mountain range includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet and El Capitan used as a landmark by travelers on the route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The primary attraction to visitors is the extensive trail system for hikers.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (1 of 3)

jimsawthat posted a photo:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park (1 of 3)

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is an American national park in the Guadalupe Mountains, east of El Paso, Texas. The mountain range includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet and El Capitan used as a landmark by travelers on the route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The primary attraction to visitors is the extensive trail system for hikers.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, Texas (7) -- Smith Springs sign

Lee Casebere posted a photo:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, Texas (7) -- Smith Springs sign

Smith Springs is a natural spring in a narrow canyon where the water and deepness of the canyon provide moisture and less exposure to the sun to create a taller and more dense habitat with many trees. This is in the Frijole Ranch area of the park along the Manzanita Spring/Smith Spring trail.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, Texas (11) -- near the Dog Canyon ranger station.

Lee Casebere posted a photo:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, Texas (11) -- near the Dog Canyon ranger station.

Big-tooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) and yucca. There is also an Agave (Agave sp.) and a beargrass (Nolina sp.) in the right background. Hold your cursor over the photo to show boxes identifying them.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, Texas (9) -- Adjacent to Smith Springs

Lee Casebere posted a photo:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Culberson County, Texas (9) -- Adjacent to Smith Springs

Smith Springs is a natural spring in a narrow canyon where the water and deepness of the canyon provide moisture and less exposure to the sun to create a taller and more dense habitat with many trees. The colorful red, yellow and orange foliage is from big-tooth maple (Acer grandidentatum). This is in the Frijole Ranch area of the park along the Manzanita Spring/Smith Springs trail.