GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS
NATIONAL PARK

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Map of Pine Springs & Guadalupe Mountains National Park Area & Additional Information

Pine Springs & Guadalupe Mountains Naional ParkToday Pine Springs is a bit of a ghost town. In its heyday, back in the 1850s, when the town was a station stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, Pine Springs had a population of around 5,000. The population of Pine Spring is currently around 20.

Crumbling stone ruins and a granite historical marker are all that remain old Pine Springs.

Near the Pine Springs Visitor Center you can view the ruins of the Butterfield Overland Mail Stagecoach Station.

Pine Springs, the namesake of the town, flowed freely for Indians and stage coach passengers on the Overland Trail. An earthquake in 1931 shifted a local fault line, causing the spring to dry up.

Modern day Pine Springs serves as the last stop before Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the best part of a majestic mountain range that rises from the flat West Texas desert like a mirage. Looking at the range from outside the park one can not see that beyond the range's barren outer lies a forested interior where you will find stands of Ponderosa Pine, Maple, Aspen, Madrona and Mountain Juniper.

The highest point in Texas, at 8,749 feet, is on top of Guadalupe Peak.

Inside Guadalupe National Park there are more than 80 miles of hiking, horseback riding and backpacking trails. There are 10 backcountry campgrounds.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Entry SignMore than half of Guadalupe Mountains National Park is designated a wilderness, meaning there is no development.

The Guadalupe Peak Trail is a strenuous day hike that take you to the summit of Guadalupe Peak. It is an 8.4 mile round-trip hike with a view at the top that is worth the effort caused by the 3,000 foot elevation gain. The trail winds through forests of Pinon Pine and Douglas Fir, with views of El Capitan and the Chihuahuan desert.

The Bowl Trail is another strenuous day hike at 9.1 miles roundtrip, taking you through a conifer forest.

Inside the park you will also find McKittrick Canyon. McKittrick Canyon puts on a show in the fall with a blaze of color coming from Bigtooth Maples. In the canyon a trail leads to a stone canyon built in the 1930s by Wallace Pratt, who donated the land to establish the national park.

Permits are required for overnight trips. Camping is allowed only in designated area. You check in and out at the Pine Springs Visitor Center. The Frijole Ranch House, built in the 1870s, is now a cultural history museum.

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