Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Last updated 4/25/24

The Guadalupe Mountains are home to the tallest mountain in Texas, Guadalupe Peak. In addition to peak bagging, there are hikes long and short for people of all skill and fitness levels. Some of the hikes go to striking geologic features and others go to historic sites like Pratt’s Cabin. There are two campgrounds (one on a backroad far from everything) for car and RV camping and several backcountry campgrounds for hikers, but none of them have any kind of hookups or electricity.

In addition to the core mountain hikes, there’s also a 4×4 trail leading to a historic ranch house and a small area of white sand dunes that are like a miniature White Sands National Park. The best time to visit the park is in the spring and fall, as most of the park is in lower elevations that can get really hot during the summer months. Sadly, pets are prohibited on most trails, so this is not a good park to visit with doggo.

Image by by the National Park Service (Public Domain).


Even if you don’t want to go down to the Salt Flats or Salt Basin Dunes, it’s worth stopping at some picnic areas along US-62/180.

If you go around the back side of the park via Queen, New Mexico there’s one official park campground in Dog Canyon, along with several other hikes that enter the park from the north. There’s also a whole ranger district (Guadalupe Ranger District) behind the park, administered by the U.S. Forest Service. This area of the park can be reached via Dark Canyon Road from US-62/180 or via NM-137 from US-285 north of Carlsbad.

Notable places to see north of the park include Five Points Vista, the road to Dog Canyon, Queen, New Mexico, and the Guadalupe Rim Road. The Guadalupe Rim Road doesn’t require four wheel drive, but low-clearance vehicles or vehicles with soft tires won’t do well on it, as it gets pretty rocky in some spots. But, if your vehicle can make it, it’s worth it for the views:

Getting There In An EV

Quick Facts and Tips:

  • This is one of the more difficult parks to reach in an EV, because there are simply no EV fast chargers nearby, nor are there Level 2 (240v) stations, or any place to plug in and trickle charge (Level 1). So, careful planning using trip planners is a must!
  • The nearest DC fast charging stations are in El Paso, Texas (113 miles with two steep climbs), Van Horn (63 miles with one steep climb), and Artesia, NM (87 miles with hilly terrain).
  • Level 2 charging is available in Carlsbad, New Mexico (about 55 miles away) including at one hotel and a McDonald’s restaurant.
  • The closest charging opportunity is at White’s City, New Mexico, just outside of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This is about 31 miles away. This is at an RV park that tends to charge a hefty fee for EV charging. There are hotels across the street, so this might be a good base camp if you have an RV or want to stay at the hotel there. Many people visit both parks in one trip for convenience.
  • The park’s main campground is near the visitor’s center on US-180 in Pine Springs. The park’s other car/RV campground is in Dog Canyon, and that can only be accessed via long roads that go behind the mountain range.
    • If you’re adventurous and don’t mind gravel roads, you can come in along the Guadalupe Rim from Piñon, New Mexico. It’s a beautiful but remote drive that will require careful planning after charging in either Alamogordo or Artesia.
    • If you want to come in on pavement, Dog Canyon can be reached via Queen, New Mexico from a road that leaves the main road north of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The nearest charging opportunity is at an RV park in Queen that is EV friendly (as of this writing, so be sure to call ahead!) and has cabins to rent.

Aside from a rumored EV charging station coming soon in Carlsbad, NM (20 miles from Carlsbad Caverns National Park), the charging situation for the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is unlikely to improve soon. There’s just too little population and electric service in the area, and it’s on a less-traveled road that won’t be getting any Infrastructure Law money.

Links For Further Park and Nearby Information

Here’s a couple of great videos giving an overview of the park:

Featured image  (Public Domain).

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