More of Guadalupe Mountains National Park opens as fall colors change

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez announced that as the park prepares for the annual Fall Colors, park staff  have opened more trails after September’s storms and flooding. The Guadalupe Peak, McKittrick Canyon, Pinery, Devil’s Hall, Indian Meadows, Tejas, Permian Reef, Smith Spring, McKittrick Nature, Frijole, Foothills, and most backcountry trails are now open.
 
The Salt Basin Overlook and El Capitan Trails are open between the Guadalupe Canyon Trailhead and Williams Ranch. The Manzanita Spring Trail is open. However, the hard-packed, accessible surface washed away. At this time, all trails are open for hiking and backpacking only, but are not open for stock use. The Pine Springs Visitor Center, Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds, Salt Basin Dunes Day Use Area and all backcountry campgrounds are open. Frijole Ranch and Williams Ranch are open.

However, the Frijole Ranch House sustained water damage during the storms and remains closed. Park staff is assessing damage to trails and roads and has determined that those trails are safe and passable. Park staff has stabilized Frijole Ranch Road and Williams Ranch Road and they are also safe and passable at this time. Closed areas will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

“At this time of year, as the weather begins to cool, the foliage begins to change colors to a spectacular display of reds, browns, oranges and yellows in preparation for winter,” said Mr. Vasquez. “It is a wonderful time to hike, camp, watches wildlife, take nature photographs and backpack in the park. In the coming weeks, we expect the fall colors display to be particularly good in McKittrick Canyon, Smith Springs, Devil’s Hall and Dog Canyon.” 

Visitors are asked to carpool, if possible, to alleviate congestion on park roads and parking areas. For updated status of the Fall Colors, call the Pine Springs Visitor Center at (915) 828-3251 x2124.