A Texas Hidden Gem: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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Tony Maples Photography


A true Texas treasure among parks is the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. With many natural well-known wonders around the world such as the Grand Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the hundreds of lesser known gems waiting to be explored.

“Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation, and survival,” shares its website.

Located near the Texas/New Mexico state line and not far from El Paso, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is chock full of rich history experiences, telling its stories through the “mountains and canyons, desert and dunes, night skies and spectacular vistas within a place unlike any other,” as shared through its website.

To take it all in, the park operates two front country campgrounds, Pine Springs Campground and Dog Canyon Campgrounds. All camping is offered on a first come first serve basis. No reservations are offered.

“Today, the history is preserved at the Frijole and Williams Ranches, and at the ruins of the Pinery Station,” shares its website. As you explore the ruins and cultural and historical artifacts found along the paths, remember it is illegal to collect them.

Easily described as a best kept hidden treasure, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is often overlooked on a road trip driving through. “To many, the massive rock face of El Capitan is impressive and forbidding as it stands steadfast in a sea of harsh, barren desert,” states its website. You will come across “60 species of mammals, 289 species of birds, and 55 species of reptiles.” You will also stumble upon pictographs of meanings we can only imagine are messages to the lives and history which once inhabited such a grandeur place.

For more about this Lone Star gem visit www.nps.gov.