Laws & Policies

There are a variety of rules and regulations that dictate how the parks must be managed. These laws and regulations help us protect park resources while also providing visitors with a safe and enjoyable experience.


Superintendent's Compendium

In the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Superintendents of each unit of the National Park Service have the ability to develop specific designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions to address unique management needs of their particular unit. Within the CFR, Superintendents are given the authority to amend, modify, relax, or make more stringent certain regulations. These park specific regulations are incorporated into a document called the Superintendent's Compendium and are an extension of the CFR. The Compendium is updated annually.

These regulations apply in addition to the criminal laws of the United States and the regulations contained in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A person convicted of violating any provision of these regulations shall be punished by a fine as provided by law, or by imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all costs of the proceedings.

Text reading "No Drone Zone" and a red circle and line through the drawing of a drone

No Drones in National Parks

As of August 20, 2014 unmanned aircraft (also known as "drones") are not permitted to be launched, landed or operated within areas or lands managed by the National Park Service. This includes all parts of Guadalupe Mountains National Park.


Firearms Regulations

Federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit our state’s website:

Texas Constitution and Statutes (Select Penal Code, Chapter 46. Weapons)

Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.


Climbing is Prohibited

Technical Rock Climbing is prohibited in ALL areas of the park. Most of the limestone rock within Guadalupe Mountains National Park is highly fractured and friable. These conditions create a situation where the rock is loosely jointed and easily dislodged, resulting in far less than desirable climbing conditions. Technical climbing activities are those that include the use of technical aids, including rappelling or unaided free climbing of cliff faces done without utilizing technical aids.

Marijuana on Federal Lands

Guadalupe Mountains National Park would like to provide clarification regarding the use and possession of marijuana on Federal lands. The recently passed New Mexico State law, which allows for limited recreational marijuana use under certain conditions, has no bearing on Federal laws which continue to identify marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, and prohibit its use. Possession of marijuana or use of any amount of marijuana is still prohibited in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, its facilities, and campgrounds, and in the surrounding National Forest and Bureau of Land Management Lands and facilities. Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for an individual or $10,000.00 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both (16 U.S.C. 551, 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571).

Federal Laws

Laws are created by Congress and establish the highest order of legal authority over national parks.

  • Many laws, including the 1916 Organic Act that created the National Park Service, affect all areas managed by the National Park Service.
  • Each park is established through enabling legislation passed by Congress.
  • Federal Regulations that apply to all National Park areas can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

NPS Policies

Service-wide policy for the National Park Service is developed by the Office of Policy with public input and in accordance with applicable laws. Policies dictate many of the overall directions and procedures used by all parks.

Last updated: June 14, 2023

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Contact Info

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400 Pine Canyon
Salt Flat, TX 79847


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