Pets are permitted in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, however they are not permitted on most trails or in the backcountry. They are allowed only in areas accessed by vehicles, including roadsides, parking areas, picnic areas and campgrounds. Pets may walk with you (on leash) on the short trail between the campground and the Pine Springs Visitor Center, or along the Pinery Trail from the visitor center to the Butterfield Station. They must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet and attended at all times. Pet etiquette dictates always cleaning up after your pet and disposing of waste in trash receptacles.
Dogs and cats are considered to be unnatural predators in a natural environment. Pets may harass and even kill wildlife, carry disease and intrude on other park visitors' experiences. Pets are also prey for larger carnivores like mountain lions and coyote packs. In addition, many plants are spiny or poisonous, and many desert animals could pose a threat to your pet.
Do not leave pets unattended at campsites or in vehicles. Interior temperatures of vehicles rise within minutes and pets can quickly overheat and die, even with the windows cracked. The nearest kennel service (with limited hours) is at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Some adjacent US Forest Service lands do allow leashed pets on trails and in the backcountry. Contact them directly for details and specific locations.
Service animals that have been individually trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of persons with disabilities are allowed in the park. Emotional support (“therapy animals”) are not service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act and may not access trails or other non-motorized areas.
Did You Know?
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), was a significant medicinal source for physicians in the late 19th century who used it extensively as an expectorant and to treat smallpox. It bright-orange blossoms produce an irresistible nectar for butterflies, and thus its common name.