The rugged Guadalupe Mountains provided the perfect place for wintertime exploration, with plenty of quiet and solitude.
When we picked up our (free) permits at the Pine Springs Visitor Center, the rangers told us we were only the 15th group to get a backcountry camping permit this entire month. Why were there so few backpackers at this national park?
|View down McKittrick Canyon|
|Water was flowing in the bottom of the canyon, but don't expect water up on the ridge near the campsites.|
|Steep rocky trail, loose rocks, and snow.|
|Beautiful rock formations along the climb up to McKittrick Ridge|
|McKittrick Ridge Backcountry Campsite was well sheltered from the strong winds (especially site #8).|
|Pratt Cabin also makes a relaxing lunch stop.|
|Dripping water forms stalagmites and stalagmites in the Grotto.|
Stop at the Pine Springs Visitors Center- pick up your free permit and explore the exhibits
Guadalupe NPS website- has all the backpacking info, permit info, and regulations
McKittrick Canyon- gates close at night for this area, so check at the visitor center for hours
Pine Springs Campground- we camped at the quiet walk-in tent sites here after picking up our permit the afternoon before our trip