Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a unit of the United States National Parks system, in the Big Bend region of the state of Texas in the United States of America. It contains the highest mountains in the state of Texas and rugged canyon country.
Upon approaching Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the mountains and surrounding desert flats appear very rugged and desolate. There are no trees visible- only boulders, cacti, and a few hardy shrubs. Once you hike up into the mountains, you will find an extremely different environment with temperate and alpine forests, streams, grassy meadows, and a wide variety of plants and animals. Views of the mountains are stunning from the parking lots, but by far the best views are to be had atop the mountains, with views of over a hundred miles common.
The Guadalupes have more rugged and variable weather than their desert setting might suggest. During the summer, temperatures are typically above 100 degrees on the desert floor, and deadly electric storms are common in the mountains. The mountains occasionally experience blizzards during the winter. The park is one of the windiest spots in the country, with winds well in excess of 100mph not unknown in the spring.
The nearest city with major air service is El Paso, about 80 miles west. US highways 62 and 180 lead from El Paso to the park, on good road. Carlsbad (New Mexico) has commuter air service and is about 50 miles from the park on the east side, also along US 62/180; Carlsbad Caverns National Park is along the route from the town of Carlsbad to GuMo. Visitors to the Dog Canyon park entrance should be sure to fill up in Carlsbad (or Artesia), as the two-hour round trip between these towns and the park is somewhat fuel-intensive (due to alternating grades) and devoid of filling stations. Take care on the road to Dog Canyon and do not drive it in the dark -- New Mexico seems to think guardrails are for sissies.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has three main entrances, the main entrance at Pine Springs where the main ranger station, visitor center, and main camping grounds are all located, and the seldom used Dog Canyon entrance on the park's north side. Dog Canyon usually has a park ranger on duty, as well as a smaller camp ground. The McKittrick Canyon visitor center is the best place to enter, you guessed it, McKittrick Canyon.
If you don't have time or inclination to go hiking, impressive views of the Guads, particularly El Capitan, are available from US 62/180 along the southern boundary of the park. El Cap is attractive from several turnouts on the highway west of the main park entrance.