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Topic: Guadalupe National Park, Which campground do you prefer?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: May 22 2013, 1:54 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For those who have camped here which of the ten sites do you prefer?
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toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
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PostIcon Posted on: May 23 2013, 1:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I enjoyed the views but don't remember any of the camp sites being wonderful. Carrying water was a drag. It's a rough climb to get up to the pine trees so you have to really want to do that. I wasn't a big fan of the place.

Of the upper sites I recall thinking Tejas, Blue Ridge and Bush Mtn were the nicest.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 23 2013, 3:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hmm, I thought it was supposed to be a really nice place.

I know it is blasphemy but we are planning a car camping road trip in late summer and were going to hit Guadalupe for a few days, go to Carlsbad Caverns, camp in the Lincoln National Forest and day trip to White Sands National Monument, and then ???

Haven't decided where to go from there. We will probably have 10 to 12 days maybe a few more so plenty of time to go all over. Any suggestions after WS or changes you'd make? Should we skip Guadalupe?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 23 2013, 6:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never been there but I kinda feel like what Toejam stated unless I were to summit the highest point in TX.  I'm not really partial to desert parks anyway.

What I found interesting in that area was Hueco Tanks State Park, 30 miles east of El Paso.  It's a Native American historic site with hiking and bouldering, guided tours to the pictographs.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 23 2013, 8:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Guadalupe Mtns, like most desert places, appeals to some and not to others. It's typically windswept, so no outdoor fires are allowed in the campgrounds (or of course in the backcountry). The hike to the highest point is not overtly strenuous but something you want to do, that's for sure. We didn't BP there when we went, but it's on a short list of places to spend a week in (for me, anyway). As for the water, like I said, it's a desert, so you plan ahead, cache a few liters here and there, and enjoy yourself. The rangers who work there tend to be among those who want to be there, so I would spend some time talking with them.

cbump: [QUOTE]...we are planning a car camping road trip in late summer and were going to hit Guadalupe for a few days, go to Carlsbad Caverns, camp in the Lincoln National Forest and day trip to White Sands National Monument...[QUOTE]

You should definitely investigate one of the ranger-led hikes within Carlsbad Caverns (like the one where they blow the candle lanterns out). Totally cool and worthwhile. Not much camping at CC, so I'd recommend doing that first and then going to Guadalupe Mtns. Spend two nights and do the hike during the day you're there. After that, the WSNM is an intriguing place, but again, not much space for camping, so keep on going to the national forest.

You'll probably get wet with a summer storm but hey, that's part of life. Have fun!
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PostIcon Posted on: May 23 2013, 9:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Joe! Good info. We are 7 hours or so from Guad so I was thinking about heading straight there, setting up camp and either taking a trip to CC one day while camping at Guad or finishing up at Guad and heading up to CC and then through Artesia and on to the Lincoln N Forest. Then while camping there day tripping to the White Sands.

We are for sure going to try to hike to the highest peak in Texas and that is the main reason I want to go, but we will have a 7 and almost 4 year old with us so not sure how that will work out. I think my daughter (7) will have no problem but not sure about my son. I was thinking we could take all day with plenty of breaks. What do you think? If we can't make that hike work then I'll probably adjust the camping route.

Any tips on where to go after White Sands? I was thinking up to Albuquerque and on to the Grand Canyon the next day but it will probably be too hot to enjoy the GC so probably do that another time in the fall.

OR (lol) should we scrap the route I have planned altogether and go up through the Texas Panhandle hitting Palo Duro Canyon and then on to Colorado?

What ever we do we don't want to backtrack much at all so if we could plan a big loop hitting awesome camping spots all along the way that would be ideal. We live near Dallas/Fort Worth.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2013, 12:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cbump, when we went back To GMNP with our 14-yr old son for a special trip with him, of course he scampered up the trail to Guadalupe Peak about 30 minutes ahead of us. The trail is wide, well-maintained, and the only negative is that there is no shade. So start early (7:00 AM latest) and as the dad, carry about 2-3 liters MORE water than you would normally carry. Plus the usual snacks, etc. or whatever your youngest needs to keep pressing on. You should make it in 3 hours or so going at a 4-year old's pace.

The option of going to Palo Duro is a good one - check out the "Texas" musical and of course take in the chuckwagon dinner. But Palo Duro is like being in the Grand Canyon - HOT HOT HOT - with even less shade. So if you go, don't plan on doing much (if any) hiking with the kids. (Ours ranged from 4 to 8 when we were there and don't have many fond memories.)

I might suggest that you do this route: spend one night at Palo Duro, drive on to Colorado Springs (stay a couple of nights or more at Cheyenne Mtn State Park - gorgeous), then come down to ABQ and hit Carlsbad on the way home. Or, if the kids are up to it, drive over and see the Canyon's North Rim (stay a couple of nights) before coming back to ABQ and then CC before heading back to real life in the Metroplex. Just a suggestion.

We've done a fair amount of road trips with our kids and don't regret most of them, but there's been a few times that we have pushed them when we probably would have been better off not doing it. While White Sands is cool for a 7 year old, it's a different experience for a 4-year old, and the problem is that there's not a lot very close by that would enable you to have a good camping experience without a lot of driving, in my opinion.

Good luck!
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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2013, 11:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I really appreciate all the great info. I was talking to a guy on another forum (texashuntingforum) today who has a house in Ruidoso and I think we will probably skip the Lincoln National Forest.
I was thinking Guad for a few days with a day trip to Carlsbad, break camp real early one day and head through to Albuquerque with a stop at White Sands for a few hours just to see it. Stay in Albuquerque for a night (hotel) and then on to Colorado to the places you mentioned.
Or the same route the opposite way just like you said.

I just feel like we can see better places by not spending any time in the Lincoln NF.

Thanks again. We hike a lot around here so I feel like the kids are up to it if we take our time. I think the temp is lower up on the mountain also correct? We have pretty good packs and day packs so I think both of us should be able to carry a lot of water. My daughter has her own 2L camelback also so she'll have some on her as well.

I am so pumped. We are headed to Florida in 10 days and I think I am more pumped about this trip than that one.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2013, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Being a Texan and a lover of deserts in general I'll plead guilty to being a bit biased but I think GUMO is an outstanding park. My favorite high campsites are Tejas, Guadalupe Peak, Blue Ridge and McKittrick Ridge camps. You'll have to carry all of your water regardless of which camp you choose at GUMO. For dayhikes consider Devil's Hall, Smith Spring, Guadalupe Peak and McKittrick Canyon. In McKittrick Canyon most people turn around at Pratt Lodge and water is usually available there during the summer.

Carlsbad Caverns should not be missed but there is no camping within the park unless you backpack in.

Near White Sands in the Organ Mountains there is a BLM site called Aguirre Springs. The views are stunning and there is a nice 5 mile loop hike. In the Santa Fe/Taos area there are several outfitters offering rafting trips on the Rio Grande. Others have mentioned the Gila and there are many things to do and see in that part of New Mexico.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 09 2013, 10:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

GUMO is a cool place for hardy hikers to visit over a weekend in the winter. I wouldn't recommend it as a backpacking destination with kids in the summer. That Pine Top backcountry area requires a mean climb with a pack full of water, but there's not much to see there and the camp sites are not comfortable and don't have views. Contrast that with Big Bend's Chisos that has great camp sites, great views, water for the bold, and is more kid-accessible.

My son climbed Guadalupe when he was 6 and it was tough on him. You'll have to carry a 4 yr old most of the way. Colorado is the way to go, and the only stop I'd make near Amarillo is the Big Texan Steakhouse (my kids loved that).
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 11 2013, 2:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't be too afraid of Guadalupe Peak, one of my sons hiked it at age 4 without too much trouble a few years ago (GP Hike).
That being said, when we lived in TX our summer trips were generally to northern NM (the Valle Vidal, Columbine-Hondo, Latir Peaks and Wheeler Peak areas are great) and southern/central CO (the Sangres/Great Sand Dunes are a lot of fun with kids). If it was me, I'd save southern NM for September or later.


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