Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Park Regulations & Safety

Fee Waivers

Fee Waiver Application Guidelines

Granting of Entrance Fee Waivers:
Entrance fees can be waived for those groups who provide documentation of educational status on official letterhead, and whose proposed visit relates directly to resources found only in the park. A written explanation of what the purpose entails and how it relates to the park resource is required.

Granting of Campground Fee Waivers:
Section 71.13 (d), Code of Federal Regulations requires that: "The use of any recreational facilities for which a fee waiver is requested must relate directly to scientific or educational purposes of the visit and may not be primarily for recreational purposes." A National Park Service review of camping fee waivers concluded that camping is basically recreational in nature and generally not essential to a group achieving its educational goal and objectives. In general, requests for camping fee waivers are rarely granted, even for bona fide scientific or educational groups.

Qualification Standards:
School groups or outings conducted for educational or scientific purposes by schools or other bona fide educational institutions can qualify for an entrance fee waiver if they submit the following information:

  • A letter requesting waiver of entrance fees on official letterhead and signed by an official representative of the institution.
  • A statement which relates the purpose of the proposed visit to resources unique and specific to Guadalupe Mountains National Park, accompanied by lesson plans, course descriptions, daily activity schedules, etc., which indicate planned educational use of those resources inside the park.

Please complete the attached Fee Waiver Form and mail with all supporting documentation to:

Chief Ranger
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
400 Pine Canyon Road
Salt Flat,Texas 79847

For questions regarding any of the above, please call (915) 828-3251, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, MST.


Pets are welcome in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, but please consider that bringing your pet to the park could limit your activities, especially hiking and backpacking, because pets are not allowed on most park trails or in the backcountry. In addition, many plants are spiny or poisonous, and many desert animals could pose a threat to your pet. Please review the following with regard to bringing your pet to Guadalupe Mountains National Park:

  • Pets are permitted in developed areas (parking lots, campgrounds, and roadways, but not inside buildings).
  • Pets must be under your physical control at all times. Please keep your pet leashed for their safety, as well as the safety of park wildlife.
  • Pets may walk with you (on leash) on the short trail between the campground and the Headquarters Visitor Center, or along the Pinery Trail from the visitor center to the Butterfield Station, but pets are not allowed along any of the other park trails or in the backcountry, because they may disturb park wildlife or be harmed themselves by wild animals. There are many rattlesnakes in the park, and park wildlife may carry plague or rabies. Do not allow your pet near animals or their dens or burrows.
  • Do not leave pets unattended at campsites or in vehicles; heat kills quickly, and pets are especially vulnerable to predators if left alone. The nearest kennel service (with limited hours) is at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
  • Please clean up after your pet.

Horseback Riding

The park offers diverse riding opportunities. Sixty percent of the trails are open to stock use. Those closed to stock are difficult to maintain, or pass through unique and fragile areas intolerant of such use. Stock manure droppings introduce exotic plants that displace native vegetation.

There are no horses or pack animals for hire in or near the park; you must bring your own stock. All rides require thorough preparation. Improper equipment, poor conditioning, and disregard for weather conditions can result in an unpleasant or dangerous ride. Respect for the environment you ride through will help further the mission of protecting park resources for you and for future generations.

Tent pads and RV camping (no hookups) are available at the Frijole corrals. At Dog Canyon, vehicles may be parked in designated locations near the corrals. A camping fee is required for overnight camping while using the horse corrals. You are required to camp near your stock at the corrals.

All stock trips must start and end at the trailheads located at these two corrals. Stock may not be transported by trailer to any other trailheads.

Riding is limited to day trips only. All stock must return to the corrals each night.

No feed is available in the park. Water is available at the corrals but there is no water available for stock use along any of the park trails. All backcountry water sources (which are few and unreliable) are fragile and off limits to stock use.

Weather conditions change rapidly here. Be prepared for extreme weather by having the proper clothing with you. Trails are subject to temporary closures during wet weather to prevent trail damage.

Pets are not permitted on park trails or in the backcountry. They are permitted in campgrounds but must be on a leash or physically restrained. Pets may not be left unattended.

All livestock must meet state vaccination requirements. Copies of vaccination documents must be in your possession.

Nursing colts may not accompany their mothers on park trails. Loose herding is not permitted. Stock groups are limited to no more than 10 animals per group. Larger groups must split up and use different trails. Only one party of stock animals is permitted on the same trail at the same time. This reduces trail damage and minimizes conflicts between riders and hikers caused by long strings of stock. Firearms are not permitted in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Trails Open To Stock
Stock are permitted on the following trails only. No off-trail riding is allowed.

Easy Trails: Gentle grade, easy to follow.

  • Foothills Trail
  • Williams Ranch Road
  • Frijole Trail

Moderate Trails: Steeper grades; rocky sections; generally easy to follow; may require dismounts; intermediate rider experience; stock conditioned to mountain trails.

  • Bush Mountain Trail - Dog Canyon to Marcus Trail
  • Marcus Trail
  • Tejas Trail - Dog Canyon to Pine Top
  • McKittrick Canyon Trail - Tejas Trail to McKittrick Ridge Campground
  • El Capitan Trail - Pine Springs to Salt Basin Overlook
  • Salt Basin Overlook Trail (lower loop)

Difficult Trails: Steep grades; narrow sections; rocky; trail may be difficult to follow; requires specific knowledge of trail or experience with similar trail conditions; for experienced riders and stock conditioned for difficult mountain terrain.

  • Tejas Trail - Pine Springs to Pine Top
  • Bush Mountain Trail - Pine Top to Bush Mountain Campground
  • Guadalupe Peak Trail
  • El Capitan Trail - Salt Basin Overlook to Williams Ranch