Superintendent's Compendium

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 United States Code, (“54 USC”) Sections 100751(a), 100752, 100753, and 102101, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.

This document is also available in PDF form.

Your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome.

Approved: /s/ Eric Leonard, Superintendent
29 June 2022

 

Introduction to the Superintendent's Compendium

The Superintendent's Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under the discretionary authority of the park Superintendent. It serves as public notice with an opportunity for public comment, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on those public use and resource protection regulations that pertain to the specific administration of the park. It does not contain those regulations found in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and other United States Codes (U.S.C.) and CFR Titles which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

A copy of 36 CFR can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at:
Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

Or by calling: (202) 512-1800

The Code of Federal Regulations is also available on the internet at:http://www.ecfr.gov
The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on Federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.
Only NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers or a cross designated Law Enforcement Officer can enforce the requirements of 36 CFR and this Superintendent's Compendium. However, many Federal laws and regulations similar to those are found in State and local law. Many of the requirements of this Compendium complement existing State and local laws and regulations which are also in effect within the park and are enforced by State and local law enforcement officers.
A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR Parts 1-7, along with this compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and can be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings.
The NPS welcomes comments about its programs and activities at any time. Comments specific to the Superintendent's Compendium will be accepted any time. Any changes to this Compendium recommended by the public or others, and accepted by the Superintendent, will be incorporated into this compendium without further public comment and review.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
400 Pine Canyon Drive
Salt Flat, TX 79847
ATTN: Chief Ranger
Some of the terms used in this Compendium may be unclear to you. If you are unsure about a specific term, please consult 36 CFR § 1.4 Definitions. You may access them at: 36 CFR § 1.4

Definitions of terms that may be unique (or differ from those used generally in 36 CFR) to this Compendium are defined in this document.

Administrative Areas: Government-owned buildings (or portions thereof) containing offices, meeting rooms, employee residences, maintenance equipment, storage space, or other areas not normally open to the public. This includes exterior storage areas and parking areas adjacent to these buildings as well as “bone yard” storage areas. The public spaces of visitor centers are not included in this definition.

Casual Filming by Visitors: Casual filming involves small groups of visitors using handheld electronic devices such as cell phones and GoPro cameras with minimal aids for video stabilization (such as a selfie stick) and documenting their park experience.

Day Use Area: Any visitor use area comprised of or adjacent to public access paved parking lots, buildings, or toilet facilities, usually associated with trailheads providing access into the wilderness. Administrative Areas are excluded from this definition. Overnight use of these locations is prohibited.

Frontcountry and/or Developed Area: An area containing one or more of the following facilities designated, maintained or approved by the NPS: campgrounds, horse corrals, designated day use areas, Wilderness Access Points, administrative areas, and restrooms. For the purposes of this Compendium, it does not include roads, trails, docks or other small structures.

Fire: Any outdoor flame used for warmth, cooking, ambiance, insect repellant, chemical dispersion, and/or lighting.

Historic airplane crash site: Airplane crash sites documented or identified in the park natural and cultural resource data catalog.

Picnic areas: Those areas designated as day-use public areas that include picnic tables, NPS-established metal campfire grates or above ground barbecue grates.

Property: For the purposes of this document, abandoned property includes, but is not limited to, summit logs or registers left on summits or other locations in the park, infringing on wilderness values.

Unmanned Aircraft: A device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Walkway: All sidewalks, paths, trails, or hard-surfaced areas closed to the use of bicycles or motorized vehicles.

Wilderness: All areas in the park either designated as Wilderness, or Eligible and Potentially Eligible Wilderness.

 

36 CFR PART 1 – General Provisions

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1), the following delineates visiting hours:

Visiting Hours:
Guadalupe Mountains National Park observes Mountain Time.

The boundary between the central and mountain zones is the Hudspeth/Culberson County Line inside the park; while the bulk of the park is just to the east of the time zone line (see 49 CFR §71.7), due to the proximity of the park to U.S Highway 62/180 connecting to the Mountain Time communities of El Paso, Texas and, Carlsbad, New Mexico, the park observes Mountain Time.

Emergency, Environmental and Administrative Closures
The park may at times need to enact unscheduled closures of the park, or restrict access to areas of the park, for public safety and the protection of park resources. Unscheduled closures which do not appear in the annual Superintendent’s Compendium, are enacted under the authority of the Superintendent or their designee. Public notice of such closures will be through the use of signage at area access points, press releases and information posted on the park website.

The Park is open to the public every day of the year, 24 hours, with the following visiting hours, public use limits and closures:

  • Pine Springs Visitor Center
    • Open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mountain Time, weather permitting.
    • Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Washington's Birthday.
    • Severe winter storms may cause this facility to close until such time as it can be safe.
  • McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center
    • The restrooms and outdoor exhibit area are open daily for day-use: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Saving Time (MDT)
    • This facility is staffed intermittently or during periods of peak visitation
  • Dog Canyon Ranger Station, Frijole Ranch Museum, Pratt Cabin, and the Dell City Contact Station
    • These facilities are staffed when employees or volunteers are available.

The Pine Springs Visitor Center is the primary information center for the park and is open 360 days a year excepting periods of severe weather impacts. All other facilities are staffed when employees or volunteers are available.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1), the following delineates public use limits:

The following areas are restricted to visitor day-use only:

McKittrick Canyon: from U.S. Highway 62/180 to the top of McKittrick Ridge and Wilderness Ridge.

  • Hours are: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MST and 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. MDT

  • The access gate to the McKittrick Canyon road is closed at 4:30 p.m. MST and 6:00 p.m. MDT. Visitors are required to be out of the area by the gate closure time.

McKittrick Canyon contains sensitive cultural & natural resources. Unrestricted use of this area would result in unacceptable resource damage. Of all the management options considered, the "day-use only" has been chosen as the most equitable and cost-effective method.
 

Parking Lots:
The Williams Ranch, Frijole Ranch, McKittrick Canyon, Salt Basin Dunes, and Pine Springs Visitor Center are restricted to day-use only.
The Pinery parking area off U.S. Highway 62/180 is restricted to day-use area only and commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking at this location.

Vehicles may not park along the U.S. 62/180 right of way in the vicinity of the Pinery parking area.


Overnight parking is prohibited in these parking lots. Vehicles with valid wilderness use permits may park overnight in the McKittrick Canyon parking area, and Pine Springs Visitor Center parking lots, and the Dog Canyon trailhead parking area.

During periods of high visitation, crowd control measures may be used at the Pine Springs Visitor Center including closure of the exhibit area and imposing capacity limits inside the building in order to serve as many visitors as possible.

Minor children must always be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian inside the Pine Springs Visitor Center, the Pratt Cabin, or the Frijole Ranch Museum.

Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Points (GSSPs)
Access to the GSSPs located within the park requires an approved special use permit or research permit.

A Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) is an internationally agreed upon reference point on a stratigraphic section which defines the lower boundary of a stage on the geologic time scale. Because the GSSPs denote geological locations and resources of elevated scientific value the park limits access to these sites in order to preserve the resources found at each site.

The following areas are designated as visitor corrals for use by visitors to keep their stock (saddle and pack animals) overnight in the park, including limits on number of stock each corral can accommodate. Use of the corrals is by permit only. All feed brought into the park for livestock must be certified weed free. Visitors may be required to provide proof of weed free certification. Livestock should be fed weed free feed for one week prior to arrival. This requirement will limit the spread of invasive plant species and protect sensitive endemic or rare vegetation.

  • Frijole Visitor Horse Corral with a capacity of 10 animals.

  • Dog Canyon Visitor Horse Corral with a capacity of 10 animals.

These corrals are designated with the accompanying use limits to provide a secure place with water for visitors who wish to stay overnight in the park with stock. The intent of this designation is to reduce the potential of pack animal/camper conflicts and eliminate sanitation problems.


Group Size Limits

  • Day-use hiking groups on all trails are limited to no more than twenty (20) persons.

  • Wilderness Camping groups are limited to no more than ten (10) persons.

The superintendent may restrict hiking or pedestrian use to a designated trail or walkway system pursuant to §1.5 and 1.7. Limiting group use helps to communicate expectations, preserve Wilderness character, and limit adverse impacts. Day hiking groups exceeding twenty persons are asked to divide into smaller groups and stagger start times at least an hour or divide and hike different trails at different trailhead areas

Water Use

  • At the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds, water is available to campers at a faucet. Only portable containers may be used to obtain water. This faucet is not to be used as an ad hoc filling station for RVs.

Water supplies are intended for those visitors camping or hiking in the park. As the park is a desert environment, water supplies are limited, and available water is not intended for RV reservoir filling.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1), the following delineates closures:

Camping is prohibited in all areas excepting designated campsites in developed campgrounds and Wilderness campgrounds. This prohibition includes car camping in any parking lot.
This restriction permits camping while minimizing impacts to natural and cultural resources. Frountcountry developed campgrounds are located at Pine Springs and Dog Canyon. See Appendix B for a list of designated campgrounds.

Vehicles (including trailers and/or tow vehicles) fifty-five (55) feet total length and longer are prohibited on the Pine Springs Road above the visitor center parking lot.
The Pine Springs access road, campground, and trailhead was designed over 45 years ago and was not built for modern recreational vehicle use and habits. This size restriction is in place in order to prevent accidents to persons and property in the area of the Pine Springs campground and trailhead.

Williams Ranch Road:  the seven-mile, 4-wheel drive primitive road to the historic Williams Ranch is closed to all public access at this time due to severe damage and dangerous conditions. This closure includes public access by foot, vehicle, mountain bike, and stock traffic.
The road to Williams Ranch is primitive and narrow and subject to seasonal monsoon rains; heavy rains in the summer of 2021 caused extensive damage to the road, rendering it impassable for even 4x4 vehicles. This closure is enacted to allow staff develop appropriate planning and compliance actions to address road conditions and return the road to safe condition efficiently. Access to the Williams Ranch Road is currently limited to administrative and permitted researcher use only.

Horse Use Closures
The following areas are closed to stock (saddle and pack animal) use:

  • From the hitching racks below the summit of Guadalupe Peak to the summit of Guadalupe Peak. This section of trail is not constructed to stock use standards; additionally, the summit of Guadalupe Peak is an extremely small area. Permitting stock on the trail or summit would be hazardous to the pack animal, its handler/rider and other park visitors.

  • The "hiker's only" section of Guadalupe Peak Trail. This section of trail is constructed for foot traffic only. Use of stock on this trail would result in damage to the trail and potential conflicts between hikers and stock.

  • Devil's Hall Trail This trail follows the wash of Pine Spring Canyon. Due to large boulders, washouts, etc., it is not suitable for use by stock.

  • Smith Springs Loop Trail. This trail is constructed for and restricted to hiker travel only. The Smith Springs are fragile and bounded by a narrow pathway. Stock use would damage the trail and the resource.

  • Bear Canyon Trail from its junction with Frijole Trail near the bottom of Bear Canyon to the ridge crest at the top of Bear Canyon. This trail is extremely steep. Stock use is impractical and would be hazardous to the animal and its handler. Note: The Bowl Trail at the top of Bear Canyon is also closed to stock use.

  • Hunter Peak Spur Trail. The summit of Hunter Peak is rugged and small; not suitable for use by stock. Additionally, the spur passes through critical habitat for the McKittrick Pennyroyal (Hedeoma apiculatum). These plants grow near the trail tread and are easily subject to disturbance from trampling, grazing, etc. Note: The Bowl Trail in which Hunter Peak Spur Trail connects is also closed to stock use.

  • All trails in the Bowl area. This includes the Bowl and Juniper Trails. The Bowl trails traverse fragile, easily erodible soils. Stock animals are excluded to prevent erosion and protect sensitive vegetation.

  • McKittrick Canyon Trail from McKittrick Canyon Contact Station to the hitching racks near McKittrick Ridge Campsite, including the short spur to Hunter Line Cabin and the McKittrick Interpretive Trail (also known as the McKittrick Nature Loop) and all associated tributaries and washes. Stock animals are excluded to protect the sensitive, fragile nature of McKittrick Canyon and its vegetative and aquatic environments. In addition, it is closed to stock to protect sensitive paleontological resources.

  • Permian Reef Trail from the McKittrick Canyon Contact Station to its terminus at the park boundary on Wilderness Ridge. This trail is constructed only to foot use standards. It is primarily an interpretive trail. Stock use would be detrimental to the trail and would conflict with its intended use. In addition, it is closed to stock to protect sensitive paleontological resources.

  • All spur trails leading from main trails to the wilderness campgrounds, except for administrative use.

  • Bush Mountain Trail from Bush Mountain to the Marcus Trail Junction, Blue Ridge Trail between the Marcus and Bush Mountain Trails. These trails were constructed for foot travel only. Sections of these trails are extremely steep and thus are impractical for stock animal use and would be hazardous to the animal and its handler. Additionally, these trails traverse fragile, easily erodible soils and fragile ecosystems with endemic vegetation. Stock animals are excluded to prevent erosion and protect sensitive vegetation.

  • Bush Mountain Trail from Dog Canyon to the Marcus Trail Junction. This closure is temporary until such time as trail damage from flooding in 2018 is repaired.

  • Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds, except for administrative use. The intent of this restriction is to reduce the potential of stock animal/camper accidents and conflicts; and to eliminate sanitation problems. Corrals are provided for stock use on the Frijole Ranch Road and at Dog Canyon. Administrative use of stock in the campgrounds is permitted to facilitate horse patrol, work projects and emergencies.

  • The Pinery Trail. The intent of this restriction is to prevent damage to this paved interpretive trail, intended for foot travel only.

  • The Indian Meadows Interpretive Trail at Dog Canyon. Stock use is prohibited to prevent damage to this interpretive trail. The trail is intended for foot travel only.

  • The entire Salt Basin Dunes area. Stock use is prohibited in order to allow the area to recover from intensive rancher use, which included very heavy cattle grazing. Administrative stock use may occur to facilitate patrol, work projects, and emergencies.

  • All trails are subject to temporary closure to stock animals following rainfall and/or snowfall, or related incidents such as rockslides and mudslides.To prevent damage to trails when heavy rains and/or snow have fallen, or following a fire, or any other landscape altering event in the area, trails may be closed to stock animals by a senior ranger on duty or chief ranger with later concurrence of the superintendent. In addition, this may be done to provide for increased safety during related events such as rockslides and mudslides.

  • Parties using stock animals are limited to ten (10) such animals per group and to one group per trail at any point in time. Party size is limited to prevent hiker/stock use conflicts caused by long strings of stock animals. Parties of over 10 animals may be broken into separate groups and go on different trails and to different locations. Trails do not provide for parties of stock meeting each other and cannot accommodate more than one party at a time.

  • The entire Wilderness is closed to the overnight use of stock animals. Overnight use of stock animals in designated camping areas would result in conflicts between stock users and other backpackers. Wilderness campsites are not designed to accommodate stock. Additionally, the park contains an unusually high percentage of significant vegetation, many of which would be damaged by grazing or penning of stock animals. None of the campsites have natural water supplies, making it difficult to over-night animals. Resource damage in these zones would be unacceptable if overnight use of stock animals were permitted.

  • Administrative use of park stock (saddle and pack animals) on trails and in areas normally closed to stock may be approved by the Superintendent when justified and approved in writing. Administrative use of park stock on closed trails is occasionally needed to accomplish certain tasks, and during emergencies. All emergency use, such as the rescue of a person, will be fully documented immediately following the incident. All administrative use will be considered by the Superintendent on a case-by-case basis. Such requests will be justified and requested in writing. Permission may be granted in writing if the use of stock is deemed to be necessary as the safest and least impacting method to accomplish the task.

  • Stock use (saddle and pack animals) is restricted to designated trails and designated roads (See Section 2.16). Off-trail use of stock animals is prohibited. The intent of this regulation is to limit the resource damage done by stock animals. Off-trail use would increase this damage and designated stock trails are designed to provide a route for stock animals that will limit resource damage.

The entire Salt Basin Dunes/West side area is closed to motorized vehicles, except for the access road to the parking lot.
Motorized vehicles may be used for administrative purposes on existing roads with permission of the superintendent. This will facilitate patrol, work projects, and emergencies.

The drainage above the terminus of the Devil's Hall Trail is closed to visitor access from March 1 through August 31, annually.
This seasonal closure is in place to protect sensitive wildlife habitat.

All entry into water in springs and trampling of vegetation adjacent to springs is prohibited.
There are few springs found within the park. Springs found in the park are fragile riparian areas which require protection from excessive use. Visitors should not drink the water from springs. Vegetation found adjacent to springs is quite frequently rare and found only in that limited area. These fragile areas cannot withstand heavy impacts.

Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness Locations Closed to Entry
The following areas are closed to all entry except for administrative use and permitted scientific research:

  • South McKittrick Canyon, above the Hunter Line Cabin,

  • Devil’s Den Canyon,

  • Middle McKittrick Canyon

These closures are in effect to protect fragile, sensitive and unique ecosystems that would be easily impacted by visitor use. This restriction serves to ensure minimum adverse impact to the canyon, reduce damage to the riparian ecosystem, reduce damage to aquatic and streamside flora and fauna, reduce damage to travertine flowstone formations, reduce impact to canyon vegetation, reduce the development of social trails and other such unacceptable impacts. Special permission may be considered and granted by the Superintendent through the Special Use Permit and Research Permit processes.

Caves and Rock Shelters
All caves and rock shelters are closed to entry. No person shall enter any cave or passageway of any cave.The Superintendent has established this closure for the protection of natural resources and to reduce safety risks to visitors. 

White-Nose Syndrome is becoming more prevalent throughout caves impacting bat populations.  See the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988 for more information. Cave and rock shelter entry may be granted through the research permitting process.  


Pine Top Patrol Cabin
The Pine Top Patrol Cabin is closed to all but employees or persons with authorized use.

This wilderness patrol cabin is located off the Tejas trail and is a critical asset for the management of the Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness, including, but not limited to trail and campground maintenance, wildland fire efforts, preventative search and rescue, and permitted research. This restriction is in keeping with policy, and to ensure that the cabin is safe and available for approved use.


Ship On The Desert
Pratt Drive and access to the “Ship On The Desert” historic structure is closed to all but employees, and persons with official business, or through an approved Special Use Permit.
This historic home belonged to Wallace Pratt and is currently used in support of research programs at the park. This restriction is intended to protect the structure and its associated cultural landscape.

Parkwide Rock Climbing Closure
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.

Off-trail hiking, boulder hopping, and climbing over and in rocks is not restricted in the park, except in McKittrick Canyon where use is restricted to the trail. This policy does not apply to these often-called “climbing” activities.


Historic Aircraft Crash Sites
All documented historic aircraft crash sites within the park boundary are closed to the public, except through limited access granted through an approved Special Use Permit.

The nine historic airplane crash sites within the park are closed to the public in order to prevent damage or loss to cultural resources. Between 1943 and 1986, 22 Americans (civilian and military) lost their lives in these accidents, and this closure is also put in place to maintain the solemn commemorative and historic character of these sites of tragedy.


Government Housing and Maintenance Compounds at Pine Springs and Dog Canyon
Government housing areas are closed to all but employees, residents, their guests, and persons with official business. This includes all areas of Parkview Lane, Capitan Vista, and Bear Canyon Vista.

This closure is in place to support the general security and safety of personnel and their families and to limit access to administrative buildings.

National Park Wilderness, including trails, is closed to the possession or use of any contrivance for moving people or material in or over land, water, snow or air that has moving parts, that provides a mechanical advantage to the user, and is powered by a living or non-living power source for the preservation of wilderness character. This includes, but is not limited to, non-motorized wheeled vehicles, conveyances and devices, such as bicycles, Segways, and other Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices (EPAMD), carts, game carriers, canoe dollies, wheelbarrows, wagons, strollers, ski kites, sailboats/boards, hang gliders and paragliders, and unmanned arial vehicles commonly called drones. Wheelchairs as defined in Title V Section 507(c) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be used by persons with disabilities.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibits these uses in designated wilderness. Allowing such use would place the park in violation of the Wilderness Act.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2), the following conditions or restrictions on a use or activity apply:

Segways, Motorized Scooters and Motorized Wheelchairs

Segways, motorized scooters, and similar devices as defined under 36 C.F.R. § 1.4(a), are motor vehicles and as such are generally prohibited in parks. Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § l.5(a), 4.10(a) the Park has imposed an interim restriction on the use of Segways, motorized scooters and similar devices, from all areas within the park including all park roads, trails, sidewalks and buildings.


However, any park visitor with a mobility disability is permitted to use Segways, motorized scooters, and/or similar gyroscopic stabilized mobility devices within the park, including within structures and facilities, and on designated park roads, sidewalks, trails and other surfaces when such devices are used for the sole purpose of mobility assistance.

Segways and similar devices are permitted on all roads, sidewalks and trails designated for use by motorized wheelchairs, including all access to designated accessible facilities, such as accessible campground sites, the paved sidewalks at the Pine Springs Visitor Center and the McKittrick Contact Station, and the flagstone walk at Frijole Ranch to the Frijole Ranch Museum and on the designated accessible trails located: on the Smith Springs Trail to Manzanita Spring from Frijole Ranch and the Pinery Trail from the V.C. to the Pinery. Use is prohibited in the wilderness areas of the park and all non-designated trails.

Any use of any mobility assistive device, as outlined above, must also adhere to the following:

  • No person under 16 years of age may operate a Segway or similar device.
  • A person shall operate any mobility assistive device in a safe and responsible manner; adhere to the same expectations as pedestrians, staying in cadence with other pedestrians; maximum speed will not exceed more than 8 M.P.H. ("Segway sidewalk/Intermediate" key), so as not to endanger one's self or any other park visitor.
  • Segways and other similar motorized devices are required to stay on-trail.
  • A person riding any mobility assistive device upon and along a sidewalk or designated trail, while crossing a roadway in a crosswalk, or any other surface shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, except that the mobility assistive device operator must always yield to pedestrians (park visitors).

The intent of this regulation is to provide mobility impaired visitors who use mobility devices the same opportunities as those in motorized wheelchairs. Trails designated are those that are surfaced in some manner and thus able to accommodate these devices. Other trails in the park have stairs, ravines and otherwise uneven and narrow surfaces that would not accommodate these devices. Requirements to stay on-trail are necessary to reduce impact to natural and cultural resources.
 

Unmanned aircraft

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Guadalupe Mountains National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the NPS Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection.

The term "unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.
 

E-bikes

In accordance with Section 4.2(a) adopting Texas Transportation Code Sections 541.201(8) and 551.003, all regulations applicable to bicycles will also apply to low-speed electric vehicles.

The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in Guadalupe Mountains National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and4.30(h)(2)-(5).Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Guadalupe Mountains National Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

For purposes of this section, the term ‘low-speed electric bicycle’ means a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 hp), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph. These restrictions are in effect for public safety and resource protection.


McKittrick Canyon
  • Use of McKittrick Canyon or within associated drainages and washes is restricted to the trail, except by special use permit issued by Superintendent.
  • All entry into the water (perennial stream) for the entire length of McKittrick Canyon or within associated drainages and washes is prohibited, except the incidental encroachment where the trail crosses the stream, for taking of drinking water only where the trail crosses the stream, and except by permit associated with scientific research.
  • All hiking in North McKittrick Canyon connecting to the park boundary and the adjacent Lincoln National Forest requires a Wilderness Use Permit.

McKittrick Canyon is a fragile, sensitive, and unique ecosystem that is easily impacted by visitor use. The lower reaches of the canyon receive heavy visitation, especially during certain times of the year, such as fall colors. This restriction serves to ensure minimum adverse impact to the canyon, reduce damage to the riparian ecosystem, reduce damage to aquatic and streamside flora and fauna, reduce damage to travertine flowstone formations, reduce impact to canyon vegetation, reduce the development of social trails and other such unacceptable impacts. Special permission may be granted by the Superintendent to geology groups and others studying the Canyon through the Special Use Permit process. The drinking of the stream water is not recommended, nor encouraged, but drinking water can be taken only where the trail crosses the stream. This is intended to prevent damage to the fragile stream bed. See also the closures of Upper South McKittrick Canyon, above Hunter Line Cabin; Devil's Den Canyon; and the middle fork of North McKittrick Canyon.


Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)

The following buildings and facilities are closed to the use of ENDS:

  • All public buildings including administrative offices, visitor centers, maintenance shops, restrooms, and amphitheaters.

  • NPS-owned or leased motor vehicles.

ENDS have been prohibited to protect park property and afford all NPS employees and park visitors the same protections from exposure to nicotine and other harmful substances that may be found in ENDS vapor that are currently in place for exposure to tobacco smoke.


Masks
When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.

Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.

The NPS issues this order for the purposes of maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is consistent with the federal public health directives and agency policy as of 4 March 2022. 
 

Filming
The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

  • Outdoor filming activities outside of areas managed as wilderness involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

  • maintain public health and safety;

  • protect environmental or scenic values;

  • protect natural or cultural resources;

  • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or

  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request. The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10-day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.

  2. Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.

  3. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.


Filming in Wilderness.

Filming activities may not violate the provisions of the Wilderness Act, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats or landing of aircraft in wilderness areas. 16 U.S.C. § 1133.

The following additional guidance applies to filming activities in areas managed by the NPS as wilderness, including eligible, study, proposed, recommended, and designated wilderness:

  • In order to help preserve wilderness character, a permit is required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, other than casual filming by visitors, no matter the group size or equipment used.

This policy is in response to the Price v. Barr, No. 19-3672, (D.D.C. Jan. 22, 2021) decision, and derived from the February 22 memorandum entitled “Managing Filming Activities After Price v. Barr.” Per this policy, low impact filming is allowed outside of areas managed as wilderness within the parameters above. There is no low impact exemption for wilderness, therefore filming activities proposed in all areas in the park either designated as Wilderness, or Eligible and Potentially Eligible Wilderness will require a permit obtained through the process described above.

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.6(f), the following is a list of activities and applicable 36 CFR statutes for which a permit is required. Permits are issued by the Superintendent and may be subject to special requirements. Engaging in these activities without a permit {36 CFR 1.6(g)(1)}, or violating the terms and conditions of a permit {36 CFR 1.6(g)(2)} is prohibited.

§1.5(a) The following activities related to Closures and/or Public Use Limits:

McKittrick Canyon: Use of McKittrick Canyon or within associated drainages and washes is restricted to the trail, except by special use permit issued by Superintendent.
McKittrick Canyon is a fragile, sensitive and unique ecosystem that is easily impacted by visitor use. The lower reaches of the canyon receive heavy visitation, especially during certain times of the year, such as fall colors. This restriction serves to ensure minimum adverse impact to the canyon, reduce damage to the riparian ecosystem, reduce damage to aquatic and streamside flora and fauna, reduce damage to travertine flowstone formations, reduce impact to canyon vegetation, reduce the development of social trails and other such unacceptable impacts. Special permission may be granted by the Superintendent to geology groups and others studying the Canyon. This closure includes but is not limited to the following: Upper South McKittrick Canyon, above Hunter Line Cabin; Devil's Den Canyon; and the middle fork of North McKittrick Canyon.

All hiking in North McKittrick Canyon connecting to the park boundary and the adjacent Lincoln National Forest requires a Wilderness Use Permit.

Any person or persons seeking to visit a documented historic airplane crash site in the park. 

When the road is safe and open to use, a
 Wilderness use permit is required for motor vehicle and bicycle access and use of Williams Ranch Road and to Williams Ranch.
This requirement is implemented in order to better educate visitors of the risks they undertake when attempting to travel on the Williams Ranch Road. While the road corridor is not in the wilderness, it is surrounded by potential wilderness lands, requires four-wheel drive and high clearance vehicles. This area of the park does not have cellular phone signal.

§2.10(a) The following camping activities:
  • Wilderness Use Permit for all overnight camping in the wilderness (36 CFR 2.10)
    Permits are required in order to provide for public safety and to monitor use and impacts in the Wilderness.
  • Camping Permits for camping at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds and the Frijole and Dog Canyon Visitor Corrals (36 CFR 2.10). A fee is charged at each site.
    Permits are required in order to provide for public safety; to monitor camping use levels; and to provide for accountability of government funds when fees are collected.
§2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery:
  • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means.
  • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft.
§2.50(a) Conducting a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events.

§2.51(b) Demonstrations by groups of 25 or more.

§2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising.

§2.60(b) Livestock use and Agriculture.

§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands.

§2.62(b) Scattering of human ashes from cremation.

§4.11(a) Exceeding established vehicle load, weight, and size limit.

§5.1 Displaying, posting, or distributing commercial notices or advertisements.

§5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business.

§5.4(a) Commercial transportation of passengers by motor vehicles.

§5.5 Commercial filming, still photography, and audio recording
(b) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.

§5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads to access adjacent private lands.

§5.7 Constructing or attempting to construct any building, structure, road, trail, path, or public or private utility upon, across, over, thru, or under any park area.

§6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site.
 

36 CFR PART 2 – Resource Protection, Public Use and Recreation

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:
  • Fruits of cactus, such as prickly pear cactus, and fruit trees. No more than one quart per person per day.
  • Nuts, such as pecans, acorns, and pinons, when collected from the ground. No more than one quart per person per day.
  • All species of edible berries may be collected by hand for immediate personal consumption on site. No more than one handful may be taken per person. This includes collection of fruits at the Frijole Ranch orchard. 
  • All collecting of these natural products will be restricted to the lower elevations of the park, on both the east and west sides of the park (below 6,000 feet in elevation) and in the Dog Canyon developed area.
  • No collection of any natural products will be permitted in McKittrick Canyon or within associated drainages and washes.
These restrictions are designed to protect the park's resources and minimize the impact on the park ecosystem of any collecting of natural products for consumption.
(d) The transporting of lawfully taken and properly tagged wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:
  • Wildlife lawfully taken outside the park, and in compliance with appropriate State laws, may be transported through the park only along the corridor of U.S. Highway 62/180; provided that such game is lawfully tagged, and that the route is the shortest means of access to state and/or private lands, and that weapons are carried in compliance with 36 CFR 2.4.
    U.S. Highway 62/180 is a major public highway through the eastern portion of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. As a public thoroughfare, and with precedent having been set prior to the park being established, transportation of game and weapons, as stated above, is permitted.

(e) Viewing of wildlife with artificial light is prohibited in all portions of the park.
Night vision devices are not artificial lights; however, infrared lighting/laser beams are considered artificial lights and are included in this prohibition.
(a) The following State fishing laws and/or regulations, as noted, do not apply in the listed areas:
  • All waters within the park are closed to fishing.
All bodies of water are intermittent and ephemeral and of scientific value and interest, as are any fish populations within them. Accordingly, fishing is not an appropriate activity. Additionally, stream side vegetation is unique in most of these areas, containing endemic, endangered and other significant plants. Trampling of such vegetation as a result of fishing activity would result in unacceptable resource damage.
(b)(2)(ii) No facilities or locations are designated for target practice. Target shooting remains prohibited throughout Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
No locations appropriate for target shooting have been established or exist within park boundaries.
(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

ALL CAMPING
  • All recreational fee camping permits are issued through the recreation.gov service. All use of the individual and group campsites in the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon campgrounds as well as the Frijole Horse Corral Campground and visitor horse corrals will be reserved through this service.
    Reservations can be made up to six months in advance for developed campsites as well as on the day of arrival through the recreation.gov service. This service allows for the retirement of the self-pay stations previously used.
  • Camping is permitted in designated campsites only.
    This restriction permits camping while minimizing impacts to natural and cultural resources. See Appendix B for a list of designated Campgrounds.
  • Camping is limited to 14 consecutive nights within a 30-day period and not more than 60 total nights per calendar year anywhere within the park. These limits apply to all camping activities within the park.
  • At all park campgrounds, where tent pads are provided, all tents and/ or camping shelters must be erected on the tent pads.
    This regulation is intended to protect the landscape around the campground and limit adverse impacts caused by the spread of camping equipment and social trails.
  • The use of weight-bearing hammocks, slacklines, tarps or similar devices tied to natural and/or manmade features is prohibited.
    This regulation is intended to protect the landscape and environment in the park, as these devices may cause damage to trees and other features and encourage camping out of bounds and off designated camping pads. Incidental and temporary lines for clothes drying or Wilderness food storage are not subject to this limitation.
     

DEVELOPED FRONTCOUNTRY CAMPING

  • Three developed campgrounds provide basic camping opportunities for visitors:
    Pine Springs
    Tent campers have a choice of 20 leveled, gravel sites. The RV camping area is a paved parking lot with 13 sites to choose from. Two group camping sites are in the tent camping area.

    Dog Canyon
    The campground has 9 tent sites, 4 RV sites (maximum length 23 feet), and one group campsite. Restrooms have sinks and flush toilets, but no showers.

    Frijole Horse Corrals
    One group campsite with two tent pads adjacent to the horse corrals are intended for campers with horses. The parking area can accommodate up to four vehicles and two trailers or RVs.
  • Recreational Fee Permits are required for overnight stays in developed area campgrounds and will be issued through the recreation.gov service.

    The cashless transaction system of recreation.gov and removal of self-registering, pre-payment “iron rangers,” for campsite registration reduce opportunity for fraud theft, or damage to property.
  • Developed frontcountry campsite occupancy is limited to a site capacity of 6 persons and 2 tents per site with all camping activity restricted to the developed campsite. Each campsite has a single adjacent vehicle parking spot. vehicles accompanying RVs must fit in the designated spot or use the overflow area.

    These capacity limits are to provide for public health and safety and to limit impacts to the landscape and infrastructure. The vehicle capacity accompanying each campsite is limited due to the lack of an overflow parking area.
  • Recreational vehicle camping is not allowed in the tent camping areas; this includes vehicle mounted tents.
    The park's tent camping areas cannot accommodate RV's considering the narrow dirt access road at Pine Springs and the lack of RV parking space at the tent area at Dog Canyon.
  • Tent camping is not allowed in the recreational vehicle camping areas.
    The park's RV camping areas do not have adequate space to accommodate tents in addition to recreational vehicles.
  • Car camping is not allowed in the tent camping area.
    Because of the layout of the tent camping area, and high demand for camping, all reserved tent camping must occupy the tent pad at their site. Those visitors wishing to camp and sleep in their care must reserve a recreational vehicle site.
  • Those visitors wishing to camp and sleep in their car must reserve a recreational vehicle site.  To accommodate as many tent campers as possible, tents must be used in tent camping sites. Because of the layout of the tent camping area, and high demand for parking at the trailhead area, car camper must reserve a recreational vehicle site.
  • Quiet hours in all the park’s developed campgrounds are from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Mountain Time.
  • These quiet hours will help to eliminate the disturbing effects of unreasonable noise during the time when some people may want to enjoy the solitude and tranquility of the national park. Petroleum fueled electric generator use is included as unreasonable noise during the quiet hours.
  • Operating generators must always be attended by a campsite occupant.
  • In the interest of protecting night skies, outdoor lighting will be limited between 10pm and 6am to handheld lighting designed for wayfinding, and lighting needed for immediate camp chores or cooking.
  • Groups must stay in designated group sites at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds. A user fee is charged. Vehicles parked here cannot block traffic. 
    These sites are the only ones designed to accommodate larger numbers of people. Their use minimizes erosion, impacts on the resources adjacent to the campsite and conflict with family and individual campers.
  • The Frijole Horse Corral Campground is intended for those visitors bringing horses for trail riding. A user fee is charged. Vehicles parked here cannot block traffic.
    This campground is designed and constructed with features designed specifically for stock camper use and the care of their animals, vehicles, and gear. Please be aware that recreating near horse campgrounds can provide a different experience to non-stock users. 
  • Frontcountry campground group site occupancy at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds is limited to a minimum of 10 persons and a maximum of 20 persons per site. Groups site occupancy at the Frijole Horse Corral Campground is limited to a minimum of 5 persons and a maximum of 10 persons.These sites are designated to focus and limit the impacts of large groups to designated areas.

WILDERNESS CAMPING
  • Overnight wilderness use permits may be obtained in-person, up to one day in advance of the trip at the Pine Springs Visitor Center from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time, daily.
    The Pine Springs Visitor Center is the primary information center for the park and is open daily, excepting periods of severe weather impacts. Permit hours are restricted due to the amount of time it takes to write permits and the need to serve all visitors. All other facilities are staffed when employees or volunteers are available — permits may be written or changed at Dog Canyon only if staff are available. This process will change with implementation of a fee and reservation system for overnight Wilderness Use Permits in 2022.
  • Wilderness campsite occupancy is limited to four (4) persons per site and two (2) 2-person tents or one (1) 4-person tent.
    Campsite construction precludes higher occupancy rate and/or larger tent sizes. To allow more than the specified limit would result in overflow and unacceptable resource damage.
  • Groups using the wilderness campgrounds will be limited to 10 individuals and must divide the group to meet the wilderness site occupancy limitations as described above. No group larger than can be accommodated at a specific backcountry campground is allowed.
    This restriction is required to minimize impact on the backcountry campgrounds, reduce social trails, and ensure that all visitors can utilize these sites. This restriction was first established in the 1994 Wilderness Use Plan.
  • The caching of food and water in the Wilderness and other park locations is prohibited.
    Water refilling is available at Pine Springs, McKittrick Canyon, and Dog Canyon; because of the availability of water at these central locations, and to prevent abandoned property in the wilderness, this policy is in place.
(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:
  • In all areas of the park food must be stored in such a manner that it is not readily accessible to wildlife, as stated in 36 CFR 2.10 (d). Food shall not be left in tents, or unsecured in a campsite. In Developed campgrounds, food items and food storage containers such as ice chests, should be stored in vehicles when not in use.

This restriction should minimize the potential conflict between park users and park wildlife. It will forestall wildlife dependency on artificial food sources. It should greatly reduce the potential for injury and/or property damage due to intrusion of wildlife into campsites in search of food. It should prevent the need to remove, destroy, or otherwise artificially manipulate park wildlife as a result of inappropriate wildlife/visitor interaction.

Conditions for Picnicking:
  • Glass containers are prohibited within the Salt Basin Dunes area.
This prohibition is to prevent personal injuries due to broken glass. This is potentially a serious problem on the actual sand dunes, where the glass is easily concealed in the sand.
(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:
Designated Areas:
  • No open fires (this includes wood, charcoal and/or gas fire pits) are permitted anywhere in the park.
  • All fires, including all types of cooking devices, are prohibited within the Salt Basin Dunes area.
  • Fires are allowed in the residential housing areas provided they are contained within a gas fire pit or gas grill. Charcoal and wood fires are prohibited in the residence area.
(a)(2) The following restrictions are in effect for the use of stoves or lanterns:
Fires are permitted only in stoves using containerized fuels. This includes propane and gas grills with volcanic or ceramic briquettes.

Ground fires and open flames pose an unacceptable risk due to the high probability of windblown hot coals or ash igniting combustible materials such as vegetation including trees and grasses, tents, awnings, and vehicles. Prohibiting fires helps to control human-caused fires and serves to inhibit the illegal collection of sparse native vegetation materials and wood from signs and structures. The environment of the park is extremely susceptible to wildland fire due to heavy fuel concentrations and low fuel moisture. This restriction is intended to ensure visitor safety as well as resource protection.
(a)(1) Disposal of Refuse:
  • Gray water is to be disposed of only in the comfort station toilet or a sink designated and signed for this activity. Dumping of gray water in any other location or manner is strictly prohibited. This restriction provides for adequate sanitation in the developed campground.
  • Food refuse at residences within the park must be secured to prevent wildlife from acquiring it.
(b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:

Digging or Use of Catholes is Prohibited
Due to the rocky nature of the soils and dry environment in the park, the use of “catholes” for human waste is prohibited. Depositing human waste and toilet paper in or on the landscape is prohibited. All human waste and toilet paper must be carried out in a landfill-safe commercial toilet bag. 

This restriction acknowledges the rocky landscape found in the park, which makes catholes of sufficient depth unlikely, leading to human waste being easily exposed. The dry environment of the Chihuahuan desert also slows decomposition of human waste and related products. This prohibition promotes adequate sanitation and public health in the Wilderness and throughout the desert mountain environment of the park.

Toilet Bag use required for all Wilderness use
The use of a landfill-safe commercial toilet bag system is required for all use in the park including day hikers and all overnight Wilderness permit holders camping overnight park-wide. Day hikers are recommended to carry a minimum of at least one toilet bag per person. All wilderness permit holders will be required to carry a minimum of one bag per person per 24-hour period for the duration of their trip and present proof that they have the required number of bags before their permit will be issued. All human waste and toilet paper must be carried out in a landfill-safe commercial toilet bag.

This restriction asks visitors to take responsibility for their impacts to the environment they are using and provides for adequate sanitation and public health along all park trails, in primitive camping areas within the park and protects natural and cultural resources throughout the park from disturbance.

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:
  • Pets (except service animals) are prohibited in park buildings, restrooms, or at any public programs.
  • Pets (except service animals) are prohibited in the wilderness and on all park trails except the trail from the Pine Springs Campground to the Visitor Center and the Pinery Trail.
Pets are allowed in the locations identified below:
  • On and within 30 feet of paved and unpaved park roads open for public vehicular use.
  • Parking areas.
  • Established picnic areas.
  • Frontcountry developed campgrounds.
  • The trail from the Pine Springs Campground to the Visitor Center and the Pinery Trail
Pets may not be left unattended in vehicles or campsites if it creates a danger to the animal, or if the animal becomes a public nuisance.

In the extremes of the Chihuahuan desert environment, pets pose a danger to wildlife and natural resources, and vice versa. Conditions commonly exist where the act of leaving a pet in a vehicle during hot weather may pose a significant risk to the health of a pet.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:
  • Pet owners are required to immediately remove and properly dispose of fecal matter deposited by pets in an appropriate refuse container.
    Excrement must be removed to prevent health hazards to people and to lessen negative impact on wildlife from potential disease transmission. This requirement extends to all areas in the park, including the park residence areas, including roads and residential backyards.

(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:
  • Pets may be kept by park residents in accordance with the park Housing Management Plan.
    Permanent park residents are permitted to keep pets by permission of the Superintendent, providing said animals do not run at large, that owners comply with State law and park pet policy regulating pets and pet health and that said pets do not become a public nuisance.
(a) The following animals are designated as pack animals for purposes of transporting equipment:
  • Only horses, mules, burros, and llamas (alpacas) are designated as stock animals.
    At the Superintendent's discretion the above listed animals are permitted in the backcountry on permitted trails and trips. These animals (llamas excepted) were a part of the park's ranching history, and as such their utilization in packing/riding on established trails is in keeping with past established practices and historic use.(b) The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:
Trails designated for stock use are as follows:
  • El Capitan Trail
  • Salt Basin Overlook Trail
  • Foothills Trail
  • Frijole Trail
  • Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail to the hitching racks below the summit
  • Tejas Trail
  • Bush Mountain Trail from Tejas Junction at Pine Top to hitching racks at Bush Mountain
  • Bush Mountain Trail from Dog Canyon to Marcus Junction and the Marcus Trail
  • Marcus Trail
  • Blue Ridge Trail from Marcus Junction to Tejas Trail
  • McKittrick Canyon Trail from Tejas Trail to McKittrick Ridge Camp hitching racks
  • Cork Canyon Road
Roads designated for stock use are as follows:
  • Williams Ranch Road
  • Dog Canyon Road
  • Designated old roads in the west side escarpment area. Note that not all the old roads within the park are open for stock use.
These roads are open to stock use to allow access to designated trails and because there are no alternative trails or routes.

(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:
  • Stock animals are prohibited on trails and areas designated in Section 1.5 Closure and Public Use Limits.
    See Explanation in Section 1.5 of this Compendium.
  • The overnight use or the overnight keeping of stock animals in the wilderness is prohibited. Such animals may be kept overnight in the park only at the visitor corrals at Frijole and Dog Canyon.
    See Explanation in Section 1.5 of this Compendium.
  • A wilderness use permit is required for all use of stock animals.
    See Explanation in Section 1.6 of this Compendium.
  • Parties using stock animals are limited to ten (10) such animals per group and to one group per trail at any point in time.
    See Explanation in Section 1.5 of this Compendium.
  • Stock excrement must be picked up if deposited in the immediate vicinity of the visitor corrals at Frijole and Dog Canyon and then either placed in a trash container or removed from the park. Corrals must be cleaned of manure after each use of the corral.
  • All feed brought into the park for stock animals must be certified “weed free.”
    The presence of horses and pack animals is a traditional and appropriate use of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It is the intent of the NPS to apply only those conditions required to protect visitors and park resources. Visitors may be required to provide proof of weed free certification. Livestock should be fed weed free feed for one week prior to arrival in the park. This requirement will limit the spread of invasive plant species and protect sensitive endemic or rare vegetation.
The use of roller-skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:
  • The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, costing vehicles or similar devices are allowed only by residents and their guests within the park housing area.
  • Sliding type devices are prohibited within the Salt Basin Dunes area.
This CFR section prohibits devices that are similar to skates, skateboards, roller skis, and coasting vehicles. The superintendent has determined that this also includes devices used to slide on sand dunes. Slide on the sand dunes causes irreparable harm to the natural environment of that location and runs counter to wilderness values.
(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:
  • Smoking and vaping within caves, at all public programs, and in all park buildings is prohibited as outlined in the Superintendent's Directive 82-12.
    Smoking within caves has been determined to be a health hazard. Additionally, smoke and vaporized particles collect on and damage cave resources. Certain public use areas and work areas have been set aside to protect individual rights. Certain areas have been designated as "No Smoking" areas due to hazards of fires and explosion. These areas are marked with "No Smoking" signs and receptacles are provided for depositing smoking materials at entrances.
  • Smoking is subject to temporary restrictions during periods of high to extreme fire danger.
    During periods of high or extreme fire danger trails and all areas of the park may be closed to smoking by the Superintendent as a fire prevention measure for public health and safety and to prevent forest fires.

(a)(1) Summit registers or logs are prohibited throughout the park.

The former Guadalupe Peak summit register was retired in December 2020. In an age of cell phones and geotagging, the practice of physical logs left in Wilderness areas violates regulations prohibiting property left in national parks, the 1964 Wilderness Act, Leave No Trace practices, and restrictions related to accessing and maintaining Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Visitors are instead encouraged to take a selfie when they summit and tag the picture appropriately on the social media platform of their choosing.

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Visitors on authorized overnight Wilderness trips may leave vehicles unattended at designated trailheads for the period specified in their wilderness permits, and as authorized by the permit. A copy of the Permit must be visible within the parked vehicle.

Wilderness travel by visitors often exceeds the 24-hour period specified in 36 CFR 2.22 (a) (2). Therefore, to accommodate hikers and other trail users, vehicles may be left unattended for the duration specified in the backcountry permit. A copy of the wilderness permit, when left visible in the vehicle, serves as a vehicle permit for the vehicle to be left overnight.

  • Trailheads designated for overnight parking for permitted wilderness users only are as follows:

    • Pine Springs Trailhead (located near the RV Campground).

    • Dog Canyon Trailhead.

    • McKittrick Canyon Trailhead.

  • Pine Springs Visitor Center will be used for overflow parking when the trailhead parking is full.

  • All other trailheads in the park are for day use parking only.

  • Personal property may not be left unattended at campsites for more than 24 hours.

This restriction ensures that campsites are occupied and paid for by legitimate users. It ensures that campsites remain available to all. It forestalls the "holding" of campsites when not actually occupied and ensures payment of user fees for such sites.

(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Areas:
  • An entrance fee of ten (10) dollars per person aged 16 and above is required, unless that person or persons present a valid pass, or approved fee waiver.

    All recreational visitors meeting the age specified above are required to pay the entry fee. This fee is for entry to the park and not only for those whose hike. All entry and use of park properties, facilities and infrastructure is subject to the entrance fee.
Camping and Facility Fees:
  • A fee of twenty (20) dollars per site per night is charged for camp sites at the Pine Springs, and Dog Canyon Campgrounds.
  • A fee of sixty (60) dollars per site per night is charged for the group camp sites at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds.
  • A fee of fifteen (15) dollars per night is charged for use of the horse corrals at the Frijole Horse Corral Campground and the Dog Canyon Campground.
  • For passholders of the Senior and Access Passes only, a discounted camping fee of ten (10) dollars per site per night is charged for camp sites at the Pine Springs, Dog Canyon Campgrounds, and Frijole Horse Corral Campgrounds.
Wilderness Use Fees:
  • Beginning January 1, 2022, a reservation fee of six (6) dollars and six (6) dollars per person per night is charged for Wilderness Use permits for overnight camping in the ten (10) designated primitive or Wilderness campgrounds.

    The reservation fee of $6 covers the cost of the reservation service and the per-person-per-night structure was adopted because the environmental impact of use in the Wilderness scales with increasing numbers of people and increasing numbers of nights of use.
(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

All government buildings open to the public
(b) Fireworks and firecrackers may be possessed and/or used in the following areas, under the conditions noted:
  • Using or possessing fireworks and firecrackers is prohibited.
This is necessary due to the year-round fire danger and prevailing winds common in desert environments.
Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations and other public expressions of views will be allowed if a permit has been issued in accordance with 36 CFR 2.51 and at locations designated to balance the legitimate needs of persons to express their views and the needs of park visitors to enjoy the Park and its resources.

(c) (1) (ii) No assembly or publication sale and distribution areas are designated at McKittrick Canyon, Frijole Ranch, and Williams Ranch.
Due to the nature of the resources and infrastructure at these locations, these activities would unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in wilderness, natural, historic, or commemorative zones.

(c) (2) The superintendent must designate on a map… the locations designated as available for demonstrations, the sale or distribution of printed matter, and the free distribution of other message bearing items.
  • The following locations are available for public assemblies, the sale or distribution of printed matter, and the free distribution of other message bearing items:
    • Pine Springs Visitor Center – The porch area immediately in front and to the west of the visitor center entrance and restrooms
    • Dog Canyon – The open grassy area between the well house and the trailhead kiosk.
  • These areas may be used for public assemblies and/or demonstrations; if groups of more than 25 people obtain a permit from the Superintendent as provided under 36 CFR 1.6 (Permits).
  • Demonstrations and the sale of printed matter by 25 or fewer persons may be conducted without a permit (Boardley v. DOI, 2010). Written applications for permits must be submitted to the Superintendent at least 72 hours prior to the date desired for the event. The activity must not conflict with any scheduled NPS function or program.
This action is necessary to comply with 36 CFR 2.51 (e) to provide maps showing the locations available for public assembly and designating an area for the purpose of First Amendment rights demonstrations. The areas provided should not unreasonably interfere with visitor services but should provide substantial public recognition for any public assembly activity. Reference Appendix A for maps of assembly areas.
A permit must be obtained from the Superintendent for the sale or distribution of any printed material. The sale of printed matter by 25 or fewer persons may be conducted without a permit (Boardley v. DOI, 2010). Location of such sale or distribution will be limited to those areas allowed by the superintendent.

Permits of this type are necessary to control the sale or distribution of printed matter since such activity may conflict with the overall safety and enjoyment of the Park by the majority of its visitors. Refer to section 2.51 for a written description of these areas and Appendix A for maps of designated areas.
(c) Most areas in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, excluding waterways, are open to the scattering of human ashes, with a permit from the Superintendent.

The resource concerns for this type of activity are minimal. Such activity can occur through permits without causing any negative impacts to the resources of the park.
 

36 CFR PART 3 – WATER USE ACTIVITIES

(a)(1) The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:
  • All park waters are closed to swimming, wading and bathing.

    Aquatic and riparian ecosystems within the park are considered sensitive, unique, fragile, and readily disturbed by human influences. This restriction serves to ensure minimum adverse impact to those systems by eliminating possible sources of pollution; artificial increases in turbidity and temperature; damage to travertine flowstone formations; and other such unacceptable influences.
 

36 CFR PART 4 – VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SAFETY

(a) Park roads, open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below:
  • Pine Canyon Drive to the visitor center, campground, and trailhead.
  • McKittrick Canyon Road
  • Salt Basin Dunes Access Road
  • When the road is safe and open to use, Williams Ranch Road is open to high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles only.
    Williams Ranch Road is a rugged road with large sections of unimproved areas covered by washes and sand. Low clearance and two-wheel drive vehicles are not readily capable of traversing this terrain.
  • Dog Canyon Road
  • Frijole Ranch Road
  • All other park roads are closed to the public, but open for administrative use only, including park employees, volunteers and park residents.
(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:
  • The speed limit for Highway 62/180 inside the park boundary is 55MPH
  • The speed limit for McKittrick Canyon Road is 35MPH
  • The speed limit for the McKittrick Canyon parking area is 15MPH
  • The speed limit for the Pine Springs Campground and Trailhead is 15MPH
  • The speed limit between Highway 62/180 and Pine Springs Campground is 25 MPH
  • The speed limit for the Dog Canyon Road is 15 MPH
  • The speed limit for the Frijole Ranch Road is 20 MPH
  • The speed limit for the Salt Basin Dunes is 25 MPH
  • The speed limit for Pratt Drive is 25 MPH
  • The speed limit for the Williams Ranch Road is 15 MPH
  • The speed limit for Parkview Lane (to the maintenance area and residence area) is 25 MPH
  • The speed limit for Parkview Lane and Bear Canyon Vista east of the Cholla intersection in the residence area is 15 MPH
(a) Park roads and parking areas that are open to bicycle use are listed in section 4.10 of this document. When the road is safe and open to use, the Williams Ranch Road is open to mountain bike use through Wilderness Use permits.

(b) All administrative roads are closed to public bicycle use.

(d) All trails are closed to bicycle use.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains few roads and therefore few opportunities for bicycle use. Generally, all roads open to the public are open to bicycle use. The vast majority of the trail system is in Wilderness or lands managed as Wilderness; therefore bicycles are not allowed or appropriate.
Hitchhiking is permitted in the following areas under the conditions noted:
  • Hitchhiking or soliciting of transportation by backpackers and hikers to obtain transportation between backcountry trailheads to return to their vehicles is permitted, if they pursue such requests at trailheads or parking lots.
This is permitted to provide hiking opportunities for visitors where it is not feasible to return to their vehicles by trail from remote locations in the park. It is permitted if it does not interfere with administration of the park, impair public services, interfere with other visitors, or present a public health or safety concern.
 
 

Appendix A: Assembly and Distribution Areas

Assembly and distribution area marked by blue circle at the front patio and pergola located in front of the visitor center building.
Assembly and distribution area marked by blue circle
Assembly and distribution area marked by blue circle in between the trailhead sign and a small well house.

Assembly and distribution area marked by blue circle
 

Appendix B: Designated Campgrounds

Pine Springs
Tent sites: 20
Group sites: 2
RV sites: 13
Total sites: 35

Dog Canyon
Tent sites: 9
Group sites: 1
RV sites: 4
Total sites: 15
Horse Corrals: 1 (4 pens)

Frijole Horse Corral Campground
Tent/RV Sites: 2
Total sites: 2
Horse Corrals: 1 (4 pens)
Campground Number of campsites Distance in Miles from Nearest Trailhead
Guadalupe Peak 5 3.1 (Pine Springs)
Pine Top 8 4.2 (Pine Springs)
Tejas 6 5.5 (Pine Springs)
Bush Mountain 5 6.2 (Pine Springs)
Blue Ridge 5 7.8 (Pine Springs)
McKittrick Ridge 8 7.6 (McKittrick Canyon)
Shumard Canyon 5 9.2 (Pine Springs)
Wilderness Ridge 5 4.0 (McKittrick Canyon)
Marcus 5 3.7 (Dog Canyon)
Mescalero 8 4.7 (Dog Canyon)

The ten Wilderness Campgrounds contain a total of sixty designated tent pad sites.
 

Appendix C: Areas Managed as Wilderness

Map showing the designated and eligible Wilderness lands within Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established in 1972 with a gross acreage of 76,293 acres. Congress designated 46,850 acres of wilderness within the park in 1978. Approximately 10,000 acres of land wereadded to the park in 1997; the 2012 General Management Plan included an updated wilderness eligibility assessment. This eligibility assessment found that 35,484 acres are eligible for further wilderness study.

A significant portion of the assessment lands generally appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature with minimal evidence of human activity. These areas of Guadalupe Mountains National Park offertremendous opportunities for solitude and primitive and unconfined recreation. The eligible areas are divided into six units. The units are (1) the Salt Basin Dunes on the parks west side of approximately 9,126 acres, (2) The Patterson Hills and Bajadas of approximately 22,776, (3) Guadalupe Peak and Pine Springs Canyon of approximately 960 acres, (4) Bear Canyon of approximately 83 acres (5) Eastern Escarpment of approximately 1,550 acres and (6) Basin and Range of approximately 989 acres.

Designated and eligible wilderness comprise 95% of the park’s area. The lands deemed eligible for wilderness will be managed to protect their wilderness character.

Last updated: June 29, 2022

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