Let's Go Guadalupe!
Camping and hiking in Guadalupe Mountains National Park over the May 2012 Memorial Day long weekend.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park, on the Texas-New Mexico border 700 miles west of Houston, is home to the El Capitan and Guadalupe Peaks and features miles and miles of desert wilderness trails.
I'm planning a trip there over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Friday May 25 to Monday 28, and have booked one of the group campsites for three nights and two full days of hiking. This is one of the events I'm planning as a preparatory trip for the CANROCK 2012 Banff adventure I'm organizing in August to give those of us going—and anyone else in BCO interested in a little desert wandering—a chance to limber up on mountainous terrain.
I was there last year in May and had a great trip. Although temperatures were already high, humidity was nonexistent and conditions breezy, making for the highly desirable dry kind of heat, and cool, refreshing nights. Average seasonal temps there in May range from 55 to 78F daytime, and easily 15 degrees cooler at night.
I plan to arrive late afternoon Friday before dusk to procure the sites, and leave Monday morning. The camp sites feature the luxuries of running water and real bathrooms, no showers, (but huge sinks!)
There are several hiking options, from meandering valley routes through typical Chihuahuan desert environs or along comparatively lush river beds, to the challenging toil of the Gaud peak trail itself.
We'll depart from the group site for day or half-day hikes, and can split into groups to do different things depending on everyone's preferences. It is advisable to go in groups of 2 or 3 on the more difficult trails. Good hiking boots are recommended for the rocky terrain.
The group camp site accommodates 10 - 20 people, and the fee is $3 per person per night, (or $30/night because of the 10 person minimum for group sites = $90 divided by no. of people,) plus the park entry fee of only $5 per person. That will leave the considerable cost of gas, and a comparatively negligible amount for food. Carpooling, anyone?
If anyone is interested in making the trip, but not so much the camping aspect, Whites City, some 45 miles up the road by Carlsbad Caverns, has the closest Motels, or Van Horn, 55 miles back on I-10. Reservations should be made ASAP.
If interested, please note in the comment part of the sign up page whether or not you will be camping.
Remember… it'll be a dry heat.