May 11 – 12, 2016: After marveling at Prada Marfa, we drove on to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The entire upper portion of the park, Dog Canyon, was closed due to fires but we were still able to camp in the lower, Pine Springs, area.The campsite was really just a parking lot – no hookups, no showers – for RVs, but we arrived in time to enjoy the sunset.
The next morning we watched USDA Forest Service firefighters and Interagency Hotshot Crews suit up and start up the trail towards Guadalupe Peak, presumably to create a fire blockade.
With only half the park available to explore, we turned to the Smith Springs hike (2.3 miles round-trip). We began in desert landscape and made our way up to pine forests and a natural spring. Overall, the hike was more enjoyable than we anticipated.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in close proximity to Carlsbad Caverns National Park (our next stop). They share a NPS newsletter and Guadalupe National Park definitely does not get the same attention as Carlsbad Caverns National Park. However, I’m sure that the park is beautiful and has a lot to offer if you spend the time (which we didn’t).