Longing for fresh air and beautiful vistas?
Soaring mountains rise above rocky canyon trails adding to the wonders of Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Trade your house slippers for hiking shoes because it’s time for an outdoor adventure. We packed everything you need to know into this guide to RV camping in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Facts
Nestled on the western edge of Texas, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a scenic location that many outside the state are unaware of. The peaks of the Guadalupe Mountain Range have an unexpected history. They were once part of an underwater reef in an ancient sea during the Permian period.
If that fact piqued your interest, get a load of these Guadalupe Mountains National Park facts.
The first sign of human life in the Guadalupe Mountains dates back to 12,000 years ago. Archeologists uncovered relics, including pottery and spear tips in the area.
White salt basin dunes and brick red quartzose dunes are a part of the lowlands of the park. Scientists identified these as deposits left by the ancient sea.
The four highest mountain peaks in Texas are all found in Guadalupe National Park. The highest in the state, Guadalupe Peak, rises 8,750 feet above sea level.
Hiking fanatics unite! There are over 80 miles of open trails that visitors to the park can venture.
The difference in elevation in the desert lowlands and forested mountains makes the park home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Horned lizards and other reptiles are common in the lowlands, while elk and mule deer can be seen at higher elevations.
As you can tell, there’s a lot to see in this 76,293-acre park. RV camping in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a great way to make the most of your time. Let’s learn more about the options below!
Best Guadalupe Mountains National Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a great place to disconnect and recharge. The remote location means that camping in or nearby the park is the best way to enjoy your time there.
The list of Guadalupe Mountains National Park RV sites below can be separated into two categories.
The first two RV campgrounds are in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and offer fewer amenities than the others on the list. They offer proximity to the park, so you don’t have to spend time driving to and from the park each day.
The other two are RV parks near Guadalupe Mountains National Park. These locations have more amenities for RVers but require a bit of travel to reach the park.
Dog Canyon Campground
Amenities: A secluded and peaceful place, Dog Canyon Campground stands at an elevation of 6,300 feet. The high elevation makes it a cool and refreshing location in the summer months. The campground offers easy access for those looking to hike, backpack, or horseback ride the many trails.
Capacity: This small campground has four RV sites available. The RVs must be 23 feet or smaller in length to access the grounds.
More Information: Dog Canyon Campground
Pine Springs Campground
Amenities: Pine Springs Campground is 5, 822 feet above sea level, and is closeby to many trailheads for easy hiking access. Generators are allowed from 8 AM to 8 PM. The campground is pet friendly and has a water bottle filling station. Visitors love the amazing sunrises and sunsets that are in view from this elevated campground.
Capacity: There are 19 RV sites available on a first-come, first-served basis.
More Information: Pine Springs Campground
Camp Washington Ranch
Amenities: Camp Washington Ranch offers RV hookups for both water and electricity needs. The hookups are 30 amp. There is also a dump station available for RVs. This campground is about 30 miles away from Guadalupe Mountains National Park and 3,290 feet in elevation.
Capacity: There is limited space available at Camp Washington Ranch. Only three RV spots are on the grounds, so make sure to call ahead of time to book a spot.
More Information: Camp Washington Ranch
White’s City RV Park
Amenities: White’s City RV Park offers full hookups for RVs, including 50 amp electrical hookups. It also has a laundry facility with washers and dryers for use. The RV park is close to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and 32 miles from Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This makes it a great location if you’re looking to double up on national park visits.
Capacity: White’s City does not specify the exact number of RV spots available, but the website states that there are typically multiple spots open since the park is large.
More Information: White’s City RV Park
Photo Credit: Instagram User @shenayabee_
Best Time to Visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park for RV Camping
Now that we’ve covered options for RV camping near Guadalupe Mountains National Park, it’s time to discuss when to visit.
A trip to the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef is a great excursion all year-round. But there are certain times when the park has more pleasant weather.
Winter in the park brings mildly cool temperatures with highs in the high 50s from December to February. Lows reach the mid to upper 30s.
It’s not uncommon for snow to fall in December and January and for strong winds to blow down mountainsides. Higher elevations bring the possibility of higher wind speeds, which can reach upwards of 70 miles per hour.
Since the winter is not unbearably cold and snowy, most trails remain open during this season. Strong winds can make hiking difficult, so examine the weather ahead of your visit.
Spring is a beautiful and warm season in Guadalupe Mountains National Park that spans from March to May.
According to the National Parks Service, average highs in March hover around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. In April, the temperature increases to 73 degrees and the average high jumps to 82 degrees in May. The season is also a windy one with occasional rain.
The enjoyable weather in both lowlands and highlands makes spring a great time to visit the park.
Hot summer days and cool summer nights characterize the weather from June to August. Highs stretch into the 80s and 90s, but temperatures are slightly cooler at higher elevations in the park.
Sudden thunderstorms also take place in this unpredictable season. Many visitors like to go underground to the Carlsbad Caverns located 30 minutes outside of Guadalupe Mountains National Park when weather conditions make hiking outdoors difficult.
A great place to camp in the summer is Dog Canyon Campground. The high elevation and unique location mean cooler weather and protection from winds.
To see the park in all its autumn glory, visit in the fall. Bright oranges, reds, and yellows burst onto the scene from mid-October to early November. McKittrick Canyon is a popular hiking trail with maple trees that offer a picturesque fall color palette.
October and November bring highs in the low 70s and lows in the 40s and 50s. The wind in the park dies down in the fall months.
The scenery in autumn makes many visitors claim that this is the best time to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @whereisweatherby
Things to Do in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
For those looking to slow down and bask in the beauty of nature, opportunities abound in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Add these activities to your itinerary, so you don’t have to wonder what to do next.
Go birdwatching in McKittrick Canyon. Due to the diverse ecosystems present in the park, wildlife chirps, and flits all around. The remote location of the park makes spotting wildlife, especially birds, easier to do.
Different bird species are visible in McKittrick Canyon based on the time of the year and elevation in the park. For instance, black-headed grosbeaks, Grace's warblers, plumbeous vireos, cordilleran flycatchers, and broad-tailed hummingbirds are visible in the spring, according to the National Parks Service.
Stargaze on clear nights. Sunsets in the park are magnificent, but the sky show doesn’t stop once the sun sinks below the horizon. The Milky Way is on full display in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The dazzling array of stars blankets the night sky and is not drowned out by any light pollution, thanks to the park's remote location.
Visit the Frijole Ranch Cultural Museum. Take some time to get acquainted with the history of the area with a visit to this museum. You’ll get a glimpse into the fascinating past of the people that once lived in the region. This is a great kid-friendly activity and offers a way to connect with the past while you appreciate the park’s many offerings.
Hike Guadalupe Peak. If you’re feeling brave, take the challenging 8.5-mile hike to the “top of Texas.” The trail is steep and rocky, but the reward from the top is a breathtaking lookout at the mountains and desert below. This is the highest point in the park—and all of Texas—and passes through multiple desert ecosystems.
Visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Why not hit two national parks in one trip? Take advantage of the closeby Carlsbad Caverns National Park and schedule a guided tour of the underground caverns. Alternatively, you can take a self-guided tour of the easier cavern trails. Hiking boots are required for many of the tours, so be sure you’re laced up and ready for the underground journey.
We hope you found inspiration in this list of things to do in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It’s almost time to steer your RV in the direction of this vast and glorious territory.
Tips on Visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Everyone from camping newbies to seasoned adventurers benefits from insider information about the place they are visiting. Take these tips into account when planning your trip!
First, a weather warning. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a desert with unpredictable temperature fluctuations. Park rangers recommend bringing extra water and sunscreen for hikes to avoid dehydration and heatstroke.
When hiking in high altitudes, pay attention to the sky for signs of impending storms. Seek lower ground if thunder and lightning are near.
Next, a money-saving tip. Parks Ranch Campground is a remote location provided by the Bureau of Land Management. The grounds have no amenities but are completely free for RV campers to utilize.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the remote location. Fill up your RV tank while you are in town around Dell City or Whites City. There are no gas stations within 35 miles of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park Visitor Center.
Armed with these tips on visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park and your trusty RV, you’re set to have a marvelous time exploring.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @theroadtoseeing
RV Rental for Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Remote camping offers amazing wonders of nature, but it can be challenging to be out in the wilderness. Luckily, you can access everything you need with an RV.
You’ll be protected from the elements and close to all the comforts of home with an RV rental for Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Cruise America RVs are spacious but not bulky in size. This makes them easy to drive and fit into camping spots. Each vehicle comes equipped with a shower, refrigerator, stove, A/C, generator, and more.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is known as a hiker’s paradise, and Cruise America RVs offer a traveler’s paradise thanks to all the amenities included.
Browse Cruise America RV rental locations to select the ideal RV for your trip!