Most Popular Campgrounds in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Deliberately restraining development, more than half of Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a federally designated wilderness area. With no restaurants or indoor accommodations, the National Park Service has worked hard to keep this best-kept secret wild. The parks crown jewel is the Guadalupe Peak, which at 8749ft is the highest point in the Lone Star State. While there are no paved roads within the park, there are, however, plenty of opportunities for both modern and backcountry camping.
These three campgrounds are your best bet for getting up close and personal with this high-country splendor:
1. Pine Springs Campground, TX
Nestled at the bottom of the Guadalupe Mountains, located near the visitor center, Pine Springs Campground is unbeatable when it comes to location. This simple, desert camping area offers basic amenities including flush toilets, restrooms with running water and picnic tables. Tent campers have a choice of 20 leveled, gravel sites that are partially shaded by small junipers and oaks. This campground is the perfect base camp for exploring the national park.
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2. Guadalupe Peak, TX
Accessible via the well-graded South Rim trail, Guadalupe Peak Campground is a primitive campsite with close access to the high point of Texas. This campground offers minimal facilities but there are compostable toilets and water spigots near the road. But what this spot lacks in amenities, it makes up for with incredible hikes and breathtaking sunrise views.
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3. Mckittrick Ridge, TX
If you prefer backcountry camping, then McKittrick Ridge is the campground for you. Only accessible by an 8 mile, un-maintained ridge trail, McKittrick Ridge offers picturesque views high above the desert floor. You will need a backcountry permit to camp here which you can get at the Pine Springs Visitor Center and be sure to pack plenty of water. There are three established tent sites at the campground and if you’re lucky you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
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Explore the Guadalupe Mountains
With over 80 miles of trails spread out across rugged wilderness, Guadalupe Mountains National Park has so much to offer. And not just for the energetic hiker, there is backcountry camping, a variety of bird and wildlife watching and some of the best sunsets you will ever see.
The Dyrt’s Ranger duo the Switchback Kids, who spent a year visiting all 59 National Parks, have put together this incredible video to document their firsthand experience in the Guadalupe Mountains with the hopes of improving the visit of others.
Switchback Kids Ranger Tip: There are many backpacking opportunities that don’t require as much effort as you might think. For example, you can camp about halfway up the trail to Guadalupe Peak. You won’t have to carry your gear all the way to the top to enjoy the solitude of backpacking here.
Win gear for camping the Guadalupe Mountains
When you review campsites across the US on The Dyrt, you get the chance to win outdoor gear. In Texas, you have the chance to win a $100 gift card from CRKT, a $200 gift card from Mishmi Takin, and an MH2 Headlamp from Ledlenser. Check out the contest leaderboard, review your camping experience, earn points for your review, and you could win prizes!