#19 of 60 national parks in United States of America

Best bird watching trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

1,735 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Park information
Acreage:
86,415 acres
Park hours
Monday
All day
Tuesday
All day
Wednesday
All day
Thursday
All day
Friday
All day
Saturday
All day
Sunday
All day
Contact
(915) 828-3251
Top trails (12)
#1 - Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint Trail
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1380)
Length: 9 mi • Est. 5 h 37 m
The hike up Guadalupe Peak is a rewarding, although very strenuous hike. It will take from 6 to 8 hours to complete the round trip hike. The hike provides fantastic views from the highest point in the state of Texas (8,749). It also introduces hikers to several of the parks ecosystems including the high desert and the high elevation forests. The trail starts at the RV section of the Pine Springs Campground (1/2 mile from the Pine Springs Visitor Center check in at the visitor center, then turn right out of the visitor center parking lot). Follow the signs for Guadalupe Peak Trail. Follow the hiker trail; the horse trail will add about 1 extra mile to the trip (although it is less steep). You will encounter the steepest part of the hike in the first mile and a half, as the trail switchbacks up the first steep slope. Be sure not to cut across the switchbacks, as this causes accelerated erosion. The views will get better with every switchback you climb. After about a mile and a half, the trail will become less steep as it passes a cliff and then turns around to the north-facing slope. Here, hikers will discover a small forest of pinion pine, south-western white pine, and Douglas fir. The forest exists here since on a north-facing slope there is not as much sunlight. The slightly cooler, shadier climate allows these pines to survive. After nearly three miles the trail will top out at a false summit. It is still a little more than a mile to the actual summit. The trail will flatten out for a short distance as it passes through a sparse forest of ponderosa pine. The backcountry campsite for overnight backpackers is on this summit. After passing the backcountry campsite, the trail descends slightly and crosses a wooden bridge. After the bridge, the trail begins the final climb to the summit. After only a few switchbacks, the top of El Capitan will dominate the view to the south. Eventually you will pass the horse hitching posts and arrive at the summit, where on a clear day you will be rewarded with a tremendous view of the surrounding mountains and desert.Show more
#2 - Smith Spring Trail
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(174)
Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h 14 m
Hike to an oasis in the desert.Show more
#3 - Pratt Lodge via McKittrick Canyon Trail
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 10 m
#4 - Pine Springs to McKittrick Canyon
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Length: 17.7 mi • Est. 9 h 53 m
#5 - The Bowl and Hunter Peak via Frijole and Bear Canyon Trails
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(9)
Length: 8.4 mi • Est. 5 h 27 m
The Bowl Loop Trail is located at the top of the mountain near the Hunter Peak, about 2500 ft. high in front of the Guadalupe Peak Texas Highpoint. To get there you need to take the Frijole Trail to your right, and in about 2 miles you will find the intersection with the Bear Canyon Trail. The Bear Canyon is a very nice trial of about 2 miles long, steep but well maintained, and ends at the intersection with the Bowl Loop Trail. While hiking up enjoy the beautiful views, once at the top, the forest will surprise you, you do not imagine it is there. Turn to your right and enjoy the beautiful forest full of pines. Almost when completing the loop, you will arrive at the intersection with the small trail that takes you to the Hunter Peak. Do not finish the journey without visiting the Hunter peak, you will love to be on the top of the rock and enjoy the amazing view. After that, come back to the Bowl Loop Trail and continue walking until the intersection with the Bear Canyon Trail. Walk down until you reach the Frijole Trail and finish the trail where you started. It will take you between 6 and 7 hours to complete the journey, but it is worth the effort. Show more
#6 - Permian Reef Trail
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(20)
Length: 9.2 mi • Est. 5 h 19 m
The Permian Reef Trail is located at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in the McKittrick Canyon. To get there, from the entrance to the Guadalupe Mountain National Park, drive on the US62 NE for about 7 miles and you will find the McKittrick Road. Take this road and in about 3 miles you will arrive to the visitor center, the trailhead (31.97782, -104.75233) is there just crossing this center. Walk to your right heading north; just in front, you will see the Reef. The trail is rocky and steep but in good conditions, and not very difficult to walk. In about 2 miles the trail continues in the back side of the mountain for about a mile and a half until you arrive to the top. From here you start walking on a nice and almost flat trail in the pine tree forest. The trail continues by the edge of the reef but also touches the forest. Stop here and admire the beautiful view of the mountains and the valley, you are at the height of more than 2000 Ft from where you started to walk. Continue walking on the trail until you arrive to a fence where the state of Texas ends and the State of New Mexico begins, this point is the end of the trail, do not forget to sign on the notebook that is inside of a metal box. Then, return by the same route and enjoy from the top the beautiful views of the forest, the Guadalupe Mountains and the McKittrick Canyon. Walking down is easier than walking up but you also need to walk with care, there are many loose rocks. If you are lucky, you will see some herds of deer on the way up and in the forest area. You walk on this trail for a little more than 9 miles, so please carry plenty of water and wear a good pair of hiking boots. Show more
#7 - Manzanita Spring Trail
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(26)
Length: 0.5 mi • Est. 13 m
#8 - Tejas Trail, Juniper Trail to the Bowl and Hunter Peak
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Length: 12.5 mi • Est. 7 h 16 m
#9 - Bush Mountain Trail to Blue Ridge Loop
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Length: 15.2 mi • Est. 8 h 59 m
#10 - McKittrock Canyon to Pine Springs
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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Length: 21.9 mi • Est. Multi-day
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