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15 Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campgrounds

Last updated on May 8th, 2022 at 01:24 am

 

Guadaluple Girl
The large parks get to much attention when it concerns to National Parks Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the exception you can of course visit Carlsbad Caverns and of course you should but don’t overlook this gem only a short drive away . Nevertheless, there are a number of wonderful off-the-beaten-path parks that could be ideal in your future visit.

Guadalupe National Park in west Texas is the place to go if you enjoy hiking, animals, and archaeology. This public property contains a salty basin with beautiful sand dunes, steep mountain summits, lush grasslands, dense forests, and other different sceneries in a limited area. These are some reasons why you ought to go to Guadalupe National Park and relish the scenery.

Do you know what the term high pointing means? This is the moniker attributed to the goal of adventure enthusiasts who want to conquer the tallest peak in each of America’s 50 states. You may cross one off your checklist at Guadalupe National Park.

Guadalupe National Park History

During the Permian epoch, the Guadalupe National Park gave its name to the Guadeloupian ranges. For centuries, the highlands have had a turbulent history. People lived in and around the caves and nooks for over 10,000 years, according to archeological findings. As demonstrated by the finding of spear points, baskets, ceramics, and cave paintings, hunters and foragers tracked great wildlife and gathered edible plants. The heritage of the Park is maintained today at Frijole and Williams Ranches, as well as the Pinery Station ruins.

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The 15 Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campgrounds

1. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Locations – Chosa Campgrounds

Address
Dillahunty Rd.
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.0885, -104.4321
Elevation: 3740′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 3 miles from a paved road. Chosa Campground BLM near Carlsbad Caverns is open all year. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 days at Chosa Campground BLM near Carlsbad Caverns.

2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites – Carlsbad Caverns BLM Boondocking

Address
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.040596, -104.457909
Elevation: 3840′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 1 miles from a paved road. Carlsbad Caverns BLM boondocking is open Year Round. The maximum RV length at Carlsbad Caverns BLM boondocking is big rig. You may stay 14 Days at Carlsbad Caverns BLM boondocking.

3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots – Sunset Reef Campground

Address
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.114678, -104.425641
Elevation: 3622′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel. There are 6-15 campsites at this location. You may stay 5 at Sunset Reef Campground.

4. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Locations – Picnic Stop by Sitting Bull Falls

Address
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.287559, -104.610908
Elevation: 4182′

Management Public – Rest Area (Official)

The road in is Paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 1 night at Picnic Stop by Sitting Bull Falls.

5. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites – BLM Land at MM 10 on HWY 62

Address
Mile Marker 10 Hwy 62
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.096839, -104.4172
Elevation: 3652′

Management
Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 1 miles from a paved road. BLM Land at MM 10 on HWY 62 is open All Year. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 days at BLM Land at MM 10 on HWY 62.

6. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots – Parks Ranch

Address
White’s City, New Mexico
GPS: 32.110352, -104.406509
Elevation: 3566′

Management
Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Dirt and <5 miles from a paved road. You may stay 14 Nights at Parks Ranch. This is a primitive BLM campground down a dirt/gravel road near Carlsbad Caverns National Park. There aren’t any facilities here. The fingers to camp in are very small.

7. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Locations – Rest Area Guadalupe Mountains

Address
Mc Kittrick Canyon, Texas
GPS: 31.96085, -104.67921
Elevation: 4662′

Management Public – Rest Area (Official)

The road in is Paved. Rest Area Guadalupe Mountains is open All year. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay Any at Rest Area Guadalupe Mountains.

8. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites – Public Lands near Carlsbad Caverns

Address
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.204698, -104.334665
Elevation: 3650′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Gravel. Public land campsites. Directly across 62 from 772. Coarse gravel and rock road takes you up into primitive spots — look for fire rings. Good car camping option around the caverns if you don\’t want to stay in Whites City or drive down to Guadalupe Mountains.

9. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots – Dark Canyon

Address
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.290279, -104.348104
Elevation: 3455′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

The road in is Paved. Dark Canyon is open Year-round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 80′. You may stay 14 Nights at Dark Canyon.

10. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Locations – Dark Canyon Boondocking

Address
GPS: 32.293467, -104.3195

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Unofficial)

This spot is still BLM land and is a little more private (from other campers) then the one just before it on Dark Canyon. It has a really nice view of some slightly rolling limestone hills and a beautiful sunset.

11. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites – Avalon Reservoir

32.493567, -104.248978

Address
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.493567, -104.248978
Elevation: 3203′

Management Public – Bureau of Reclamation (Official) Managed by:
Managed by Carlsbad Irrigation District (phone: 575-885-3203); stocked and patrolled by NM Game & Fish (505-827-7905)

Small lake near Carlsbad is open 24 hours for fishing. There is a fee for boating. Camping is free. 3 miles north of Carlsbad via NM 206.

12. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots – Alkali Lake OHV

Address
Unnamed Road
Carlsbad, New Mexico
GPS: 32.498938, -104.211417
Elevation: 3297′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management

Alkali Lake OHV is open all year. Middle of no where, took a bit to find but we were able to find it. Along a dirt bike course. Just open area without shrubbery. Made a small campfire and watched the gorgeous sunset. Heard some animals in the distance but nothing/ no one bothered us.

13. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Locations – Hackberry Lake

Address
Artesia, New Mexico
GPS: 32.538905, -103.989107
Elevation: 3385′

Management Public – Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Paved. Hackberry Lake is open Year Round. You may stay 14 Days at Hackberry Lake. The Hackberry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Use Area offers over 55,000 acres of rolling stabilized dune lands and cliffs. The area is open for intensive use of motorcycles, sand dune buggies and other OHVs. Trails within the area take advantage of a variety of soils and topographic features, which include many turns and steep hill climbs.

14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites – Forest Creek

Address
349-399 Miller Flats Road
Mayhill, New Mexico
GPS: 32.865803, -105.464947
Elevation: 6795′

Management Public – Forest Service

Excellent spot. This whole road is designated as dispersed camping so there are multiple places to pull off. The mark on the GPS map on this site seems to be in use by a cattle operation so probably wouldn’t suggest camping right at the pinpoint.

15. Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots – Denny Hill

Address
130-188 New Mexico 24
Mayhill, New Mexico
GPS: 32.839872, -105.530134
Elevation: 7516′

Management Public – Forest Service

Free Dispersed camping in the Lincoln National Forest’s Sacramento Ranger District. First come – first served. No reservations accepted. This is a high elevation location.

Top 10 trails to hike at Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Today, the world’s largest fossil region is a hiker’s delight. The nation’s tallest peaks may be found in Guadalupe National Park, which also has 80 miles of trails to enjoy. They include:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #1. Guadalupe Peak

1. Guadalupe Peak

The park’s eponymous peak is one of the best hikes in the Guadalupe Mountains. Guadalupe Peak, Texas’ highest point at 8,749 feet, is a challenging trek that compensates endurance with breathtaking sights of the Chihuahuan desert, sand dunes, and woodland.

Length: 8.4 Miles
Elevation gain: 2954 Feet
Route type: Out & back

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Backpacking, Guadalupe Mountains National Park Camping, Hiking, Nature trips, Bird watching, Running, Forest, Views, Wildlife, Rocky, Scramble, No shade, Fee, No dogs

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #2. Permian Reef

2. Permian ReefGuadalupe Mountains National Monument Hiking Trail

The Permian Coral trail is a geoscience enthusiast’s dream, taking them back to days when Texas and New Mexico were immersed in a simplistic tropical sea. This trek, which soars above McKittrick Canyon and explores the finest representation of fossil record reef in the mountain ranges, is designated for the Permian era, which lasted 250-300 million years ago.

Length: 9.2 Miles
Elevation gain: 2391 Feet
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Bird watching, Forest, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky, Fee, No dogs

Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #3. The Bowl

3. The BowlGuadalupe Mountains National Monument Hiking Trail_cr

The Bowl’s dramatic mix of evergreen woodland and craggy canyon walls adds to the spectacular factor. The trail rises 2,500 feet into scenery that appears worlds away after passing through cacti and sand. Trees and Douglas firs flourish up here, affording respite from the Texas sun.

Length: 8.4 mi
Elevation gain: 3,067 ft
Route type: Loop

Hiking, Nature trips, Bird watching, Views, Fee, No dogs

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #4. Smith Spring Trail

4. Smith Spring TrailGuadalupe Mountains National Monument Hiking Trail

The simple 2.3-mile Smith Spring Trail, which is noted for its outstanding wildlife sightings, brings nature to life. Mule deer, a variety of birds, and the rare elk bear and mountain lion live in the highlands, but they are seldom seen. The streams are secluded and lush, making them excellent picnic locations.

Length: 2.4 mi
Elevation gain: 387 ft
Route type: Loop

Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Running, River, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #5. McKittrick Canyon

5. McKittrick Canyon Guadalupe Mountains National Monument Hiking Trail

McKittrick Canyon is a must-see for a more easy hike with equally stunning vistas. The reasonably flat trail twists over three miles through a prehistoric reef canyon bordered with willow trees in the park’s northeastern section, just a few miles from the new border with Mexico. The canyon has the park’s only perennial stream, and the walk spans the trickling stream several times.

Length: 20.2 mi
Elevation gain: 4,366 ft
Route type: Out & back

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Backpacking, Guadalupe Mountains National Park Camping, Walking, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #6. Marcus Overlook

6. Marcus Overlook Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites

The Dog Canyon portion of the Guadalupe Mountains is the lowest frequented section of the park, located in the northwestern corner. Though it is a remote location that necessitates additional driving, the calm, and seclusion provided by the trails make it worthwhile. Marcus Overlook is the hike to attempt.

Length: 13.5 mi
Elevation gain: 3,175 ft
Route type: Loop

Hiking, Nature trips, Bird watching, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky, Fee, No dogs

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #7. Pinery Trail

7. Pinery Trail Guadalupe Mountains National Park Free Campsites

To get to the ruins of the ancient Pinery Station, walk the short 0.75 mile trail. Displays along the trail illustrate the flora and fauna of the Chihuahuan desert. The trail is concrete and wheelchair friendly, and it is graded easy. Leashed pets are permitted.

Length: 1.0 mi
Elevation gain: 78 ft
Route type: Out & back

Dogs on leash, Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Paved, Views, Wildflowers, No shade, Fee

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #8. Pine Springs Campground Loop

8. Pine Springs Campground Loop Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots

It is an unrestricted trail guide provides knowledge and insight into the meadow’s cultural and natural heritage, as well as the surrounding environment. The trail is 0.2 mile long and takes 30-45 minutes to finish at a leisurely pace. After traversing an arroyo, the path is just about level, making it an easy hike.

Length: 0.2 mi
Elevation gain: 9 ft
Route type: Loop

Dogs on leash, Kid friendly, Camping, Walking, Views, Wildlife, Fee

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #9. Foothill Trail

9. Foothill Trail Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots

From Pine Springs campsite and Frijole Ranch, the Foothills paths form a loop. One can begin at either extreme of the spectrum. Observe the plants and animals of the Chihuahuan desert, as well as panoramic views. This path is not well-traveled, but it provides a relaxing walk in the woods.

Length: 4.1 mi
Elevation gain: 337 ft
Route type: Out & back

Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky, No shade, Historic site, No dogs

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Hiking Trail #10. Manzanita Spring

10. Manzita Spring Guadalupe Mountains National Park Boondocking Spots

Begin your journey at Frijole Ranch by stepping right past the farm house and following the brief, paved path to Manzanita Spring. Follow the same path back to Frijole Ranch. The route is accessible to those in wheelchairs. Manzanita Spring is a superb birding spot and a wonderful desert hydration place for park species.

Length: 0.5 mi
Elevation gain: 13 ft
Route type: Out & back

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Hiking, Nature trips, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Lake, Paved, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs

Places and Things To Do and See In the Park

Here is a rundown of the best things to do and see in the park, so you can create your own itinerary.

1. Trek Through Devils Hall Trail

The Devil’s Hall Trail in Guadalupe Park is a short and simpler hike that leads to Devil’s Hall, a tiny ravine. The trail is well maintained for the opening mile, but after that, it is rough, nonetheless, if you track the wash, you will be able to locate your way to Devil’s Hall.

2. Hike to Guadalupe NP’s Texas Peak

You must climb to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, Texas’ highest point at 8,751 feet, if you only have opportunity for one activity in Guadalupe National Park. It is not just cool to say you have hiked to the top of Texas, but the trek itself is breathtaking. I did not have the normal experience because I was fighting snow, fog, and ice, but once I broke through the clouds, the vista was breathtaking.

3. Get To See the Salt Basin Dunes

Salt Basin Dunes is roughly an hour drive away from Guadalupe Peak, but the trip is well worth it. You will not see the entire dunes initially, but as you progress along the trail, you will start to discover greater sand hills on your right hand side.


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