Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX

Guadalupe Mountains is one of those worthy national parks that we’ve repeatedly failed to explore adequately despite good intentions.  The park includes some historic sites that we have visited, but the big attraction is a network of hiking trails that have a great reputation and are undoubtedly beautiful.  We’ve never stayed long enough to do the big hikes.

Sadly, this visit will be the same.  Our stop here was on impulse, because we were tired and the idea of sleeping in the midst of the mountains in a national park sounded a lot better than parking in some nondescript RV park near Las Cruces.  Guadalupe has no hookups or dump station, but at $8 a night it’s hard to complain.

The tent area of the campground is pretty nice, surrounded by natural high desert vegetation.  The RV area is an asphalt parking lot with closely spaces sites delineated by white painted lines, and a bathroom nearby.  Our 48-foot combination just barely fit in the length of a campsite space, saving me from having to unhitch.  The fifth wheel guys all had to park their trucks elsewhere.

I can’t recommend the campground on amenities but the access to hiking trails and the views are spectacular.  The morning and evening light plays on the surrounding mountains and changes dramatically with the passage of clouds.

Having just hiked in Carlsbad we weren’t inclined to do much more than take a short walk around the park roads before dinner.  Eleanor had a pork loin she’d defrosted and which had to be cooked, so that was dinner.  She had planned to see a grocery store before cooking the pork, but the closest one to here is about 70 miles away, so she improvised with canned pears, red wine, and onions, and it came out great.

There had been an ambitious suggestion by Eleanor that we get up early and do a quick 4.2-mile hike on the Devil’s Hallway trail, but that was a non-starter.  Or to be more accurate, Emma was a non-starter, waking up slowly.  And then it rained, sealing the fate of our hike.  But we have pledge to visit Guadalupe again sometime (which will be our fourth visit) and really spend a few days to hike the trails.