• The Western Escarpment of the Guadalupes rises above the white gypsum sands of the desert floor.

    Guadalupe Mountains

    National Park Texas

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  • Trail closures from flood damage.

    Three trails remain closed: Bear Canyon Trail, El Capitan Trail from the Pine Springs trailhead, and the Salt Basin Overlook Loop section that begins at Guadalupe Canyon. Williams Ranch Rd is also closed. For more information please call 915-828-3251

Backcountry Use Permit

It is helpful to consult with a park ranger when planning a backcountry trip.
Talk to a ranger at the visitor center to assist you
with planning your itinerary, and to obtain a
backcountry use permit.
NPS Photo

General Restrictions and Regulations

All backpackers must obtain a free Backcountry Use Permit, issued at the Pine Springs Visitor Center, or the Dog Canyon Ranger Station. Permits will be issued in person only, during normal visitor center hours, and may be obtained the day of, or the day before the proposed trip.

Permits are issued on a first come, first serve basis. During peak visitation periods permits may be in demand, so plan an alternative itinerary.

The permit authorizes camping only on designated sites in the established backcountry campgrounds. You must choose your campground(s) at the time the permit is issued. Tents must be pitched on hardened tent pads available at all campgrounds.

Fires are strictly prohibited, both wood and charcoal. Containerized fuel is the only allowable method to be used for both cooking or warming.

Pets are not permitted in the backcountry.

Use Limits

To minimize resource impact, all backcountry campground use limits are based on a standard of:

  • No more than 4 persons per campsite, with either one large tent or two small tents.
  • No more than 2 consecutive nights may be spent at any given campground.
  • Backcountry use permits are issued for a maximum of seven nights.

Did You Know?

Western Scrub-Jays are a common bird in the Guadalupes.

More than 300 bird species are known to frequent Guadalupe Mountains National Park; there are more than 40 species alone that nest in McKittrick Canyon. With several unique life zones and a myriad of habitats, the park is a birder's paradise.