Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the world's premier example of a fossil reef from the Permian Era. The park is known for its extensive hiking and backpacking opportunities in one of the nation's most pristine wilderness areas.
Nestled between Carlsbad and El Paso, this 135-square-mile park—commonly advertised as the “Top of Texas”—is a beloved treasure for hikers. Step inside this cavernous paradise to explore numerous trails cascading throughout it while marveling at the mountain’s striking architecture, which narrates the story of an underwater world that once existed there 260 million years ago. And as we delve deeper into the fall season, fiery yellow and amber leaves will take center stage. Highly elevated trees, such as fir and pine, respond well to cooler temperatures, so witnessing these lush giants in their autumnal bloom promises to boggle the senses. The park experiences seasonal visitor surges in the spring (March - May) and fall (September - December), so be prepared for full parking lots and secure the required advanced reservations for developed campsites.
This national park sits on the border of West Texas and Southern New Mexico, drawing visitors from both states, who gather for the area’s unique mix of mountains, canyons, and deserts. At night, the park is one of the best stargazing spots around, while during the day, you can take in the color-changing maples and other deciduous trees. For a good time, hike the McKittrick Canyon for views of beautiful landscapes and fall foliage.
When to go: The last two weekends of October into early November