Guadalupe Mountains National Park
We planned on visiting Carlsbad Caverns, so headed into New Mexico via Seminole, Tx and Hobbs, NM. Lots of wildflowers and oil/gas wells and processing. There isn’t any vehicle based camping allowed in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, so we headed back into Texas to the Guadalupe National Park which has a camping area at Pine Springs. It isn’t much of a camping area for RVs. It is basically a parking lot. We arrived mid-afternoon, so there were several spots to choose from. We picked an edge spot near the trails.
After setting up, we were finally able to get in a short hike. We didn’t get many chances to hike on our way here, so we were ready to stretch our legs. We followed the start of the El Capitán trail for about 1.5 miles and then turned around to head back to the campground.
On April 23, we hiked the Frijole Trail to the Smith Stream Trail then on to the Frijole Ranch (which was closed). We took the Foothills Trail to get back to the campground. We had planned on taking the trail to the Guadalupe Peak, but it was so overcast, we decided that the trail wasn’t worth the effort due to the lack of view. The Frijole Trail was a great up and down trail around the side of Frijole Ridge.
Smith Spring was really beautiful and tranquil.
Frijole Ranch was unexciting, but it may have been more interesting had it been open. We couldn’t find the start of the Foothills Trail, so we walked down to the Corral and picked the trail up there. The Foothills trail was not terribly exciting, but it was relatively flat which was a good thing at this point.
All together, the trails were about 8 miles of rolling hills.
We rested for a bit and took showers before feeling ready to head out again. We hadn’t seen the tent camping area yet, so we checked it out. It is really wonderful if you are willing to haul your tent and stuff from your car to the camping spots. It isn’t so great if you plan on sleeping in your car or plan on doing anything in it like cooking. The tent sites are located in a natural area surrounding by flora.
We continued on from there to the Visitor’s Center. We followed by taking the Nature Trail to the Pinery, the Butterfield Stage Station Ruins (an early postal delivery route). So I figure we put in another two miles. Not a bad day’s outing.