The Guadalupe Mountains have often been referred to as an “Island in the Desert”. As a rugged and ancient limestone reef, they rise more than 5,000 feet above the surrounding desert floor. Between the folds of this unparalleled landscape are lush streamside woodlands with oaks and maples, rocky canyons, and mountaintop forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Together, these ecosystems provide exceptional habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, making the park an ideal location for birding, wildlife observation, and nature photography. With over 80 miles of trails, there are limitless possibilities to explore these and other resources of the park while hiking, backpacking, or horseback riding. At night a canopy of stars is visible from horizon to horizon, one of rewards of camping in wilderness.