The Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness includes both desert and montane systems characteristic of the northern Chihuahuan Desert. The Guadalupe Mountains rise more than 5,000 feet from the surrounding desert lowlands. El Capitan , the park’s most striking feature, is a 1,000-foot-high limestone bluff visible for more than 50 miles. Nearby Guadalupe Peak , at 8,751 feet elevation, is the highest point in Texas. The park includes eight of the ten highest points in the state. The park’s isolation from regional cities and towns preserves scenic vistas and exceptional opportunities for solitude, as well as opportunities to see flora and fauna that reside in the high elevations of the Mountains. Abundant wildlife remain relatively unhindered by human influence, and the overriding forces of nature are evident throughout the landscape.
A system of trails and primitive campgrounds provide visitors the opportunity to experience wilderness in settings ranging from Chihuahuan Desert scrubland to lush riparian woodlands and cool conifer forests. World-renowned and well-exposed geologic resources dating to the Middle Permian Period can also be found throughout the wilderness.
In 1978, 46,850 acres of the park’s high country were designated as wilderness by Congress. The 2012 Guadalupe Mountains National Park General Management Plan includes an eligibility assessment that deems an additional 35,484 acres of lower elevation park lands as suitable for consideration for wilderness designation. 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. "Wilderness” refers to both designated and eligible wilderness.
This permit allows the permit holder and their group to camp overnight at the designated campgrounds in the Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness. Reservations are available two months in advance, and permits are available year-round.
This reservation is NOT your permit. You MUST pick up your permit in person at the Pine Springs Visitor Center by 3:30PM Mountain Time up to forty-eight hours before the start of your trip. Proof of identity will be required to obtain your permit (acceptable forms of identification include driver’s license, work ID, school ID, credit card, passport, etc.).
Parking: Your permit reservation does not ensure a parking spot. Parking lots fill up early in the morning during peak visitation periods. Carpooling is encouraged.
Wilderness protection requires your personal commitment. Plan your activities to allow time and energy for good Leave No Trace practices. All group members are responsible for complying with the following minimum impact restrictions. A ranger will review these restrictions when you pick up your Wilderness Use Permit. You are responsible for knowing and abiding by all park rules and regulations .
Planning: Weather is highly variable even on a day-to-day basis so you must plan for all types of inclement conditions. Please check with the National Weather Service when planning your trip. The nearest places to stay prior to your arrival are in park front-country campgrounds, only available through reservation, and in Carlsbad, NM or Van Horn, TX. Consult the park website for more information on how to choose an itinerary and prepare for your trip.
Water: There is no water available in the Guadalupe Mountains. All users must carry in their water; plan for one gallon per person per day. Water is available at Pine Springs, McKittrick Canyon, and Dog Canyon.
Safety: You are responsible for your own safety. Search and rescue is discretionary. Rescuer safety is our first priority. Exhibit self-reliance commensurate with the riskiness of your activities. Cell phones have limited coverage. If you carry a phone or satellite device, learn its operation and limitations. Don't rely on it to summon help or notify family that you are "OK." If you have an emergency and cannot self-rescue, contact a ranger or call 911 or Texas DPS Pecos Dispatch (432) 447-3533. Provide clear, concise information about the nature and exact location of the emergency.
For more information on planning your adventure in the wilderness of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, visit our Wilderness Trip Planning page.
Reservation Fee: A $6.00 non-refundable reservation fee is required for each overnight permit reserved.
Recreation Fee: A $6 per-person-per-night fee is required for each hiker on the overnight reservation.
Entry into the park requires a fee or pass.
Over 96% of the Recreation Fee goes directly to funding Guadalupe Mountains National Park projects that improve the visitor experience.
400 Pine Canyon Drive Salt Flat TX 79847