Scenic USA - Texas

Guadalupe Mountains

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Guadalupe Mountains - Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Photo by Ron McEwan
Inset photos courtesy of NPS (Bieri)

   Far to the west in McKittrick Canyon - Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas Big Bend Country lies the only true wilderness in Texas. Dedicated in 1962, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains an unusual mix of plants and animal life. Forests of pine, aspens and maples create a stark contrast to the thick blanket of sand dunes, mineral salts and desert plant life. The park preserves one of the rare examples of an ancient fossilized reef. Once a 250 million year old seabed, the reef gives geologists and scientists a look at sea creatures of the Permian Age.
   Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, tops the range at 8,749 feet. While the park is laced with Guadalupe Peak - Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas 80 miles of trails, the park service is quick issue a warning that this rugged land is for the experienced and well prepared hiker. Day hikes through McKittrick Canyon are especially colorful with fall's brilliant foliage. The trail eventually leads hikers to a high ridge and spectacular views of the park's majestic scenery. For overnight backpackers, permits are available at the Pine Springs Visitor Center. The tiny Pine Springs community is just north of the park, near the New Mexico border. Pine Springs was once a stop on the famous Butterfield Overland Mail Route. At the Pinery, a crumbling foundation of an 1858 stagecoach station is all that remains.

    Area Map
   Park Map


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