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Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe National Park

Explorar la naturaleza

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An oasis for nature lovers, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located 50 miles south of Carlsbad, in the Chihuahuan Desert. You can't miss its landmark monument, El Capitan, rising more than 8,000 feet above the desert floor. This wondrous convergence of desert, forest and gypsum sand dunes shelters an abundance of wildlife—more than 300 bird species along with kit fox, mule deer, badger and other mammals, reptiles and nearly 1,000 plant varieties. The park also contains one of the world's premier examples of a fossilized reef, dating back more than 260 million years. Enjoy hiking, backpacking and ranger programs devoted to history, geology, night skies and more.

Located 50 miles south of Carlsbad

(915) 828-3251

Guadalupe Ridge Trail

Guadalupe Ridge Trail

The 100-mile Guadalupe Ridge Trail extends from the wilds of west Texas through New Mexico’s high deserts, winding through two national parks and a national forest. Whether you’re seeking an exciting day of hiking, a weekend excursion or a week-long trek, the trail offers a thrilling adventure in the Southwest. Highlights include Sitting Bull Falls in Lincoln National Forest and miles of rugged backcountry.

Location: The trail is located between Guadalupe Peak, Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the boundary of Carlsbad Caverns National Park at White’s City, NM and passes through Bureau of Land Management and Lincoln National Forest property.

Contact the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce for more information:

(575) 887-6516

Cottonwood Day Use Area

This developed portion of the Black River Recreation Management Area is located south of Whites City in the area of Washington Ranch and Rattlesnake Springs. A paved trail leads visitors down a short path to a wildlife viewing deck along the river’s edge. The area, well known as a diverse bird habitat, offers picnic facilities, a vault toilet, and three primitive hiking trails. All are rated easy.

Dam Trail: The trailhead is located on the west side of the parking area and follows a two-track road to a small concrete dam on the Black River. This 1.5 mile round trip takes about 1 to 1 ¼ hours.

Location: The trail is located between Guadalupe Peak, Guadalupe Mountains National Park and the boundary of Carlsbad Caverns National Park at White’s City, NM and passes through Bureau of Land Management and Lincoln National Forest property.

The Black River Recreation Area is located about 26 miles southwest of Carlsbad, NM. From Carlsbad, take US 62/180 south for about 25 miles and turn west onto CR 418. Travel another 2 miles and turn left at the fork.


La Cueva Trails

Mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners will enjoy 12.5 miles of fun desert terrain single track trails, located just off the south end of Standpipe Road. Trail difficulty ranges from easy to moderate in rolling terrain in limestone foothills. 

Trail signs are minimal, so be sure to bring a map of the trails available here

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

For 30 miles, the byway travels from the junction of state highway 285 along highway 137. The Chihuahuan Desert topography varies from flat terrain to the ruggedness of the Guadalupe Mountains. This varied topography holds valuable resources and is home to many fascinating animals and plants. NOTE: It is Open Range – livestock have the right of way.


The Guadalupe Backcountry Byway is located about 12 miles north of Carlsbad, NM, and 23 miles south of Artesia, NM. There are signs on US 285 directing visitors to the Byway. Its entrance is at the intersection of US 285 and State Highway 137 (Queen Highway) near Brantley Lake State Park, and ends in the Lincoln National Forest Guadalupe Ranger District boundary 30 miles to the southwest. It can also be accessed at the southern end by traveling west on Dark Canyon Road from US 62/180.

Hackberry Lake

Hackberry Lake OHV use

The Hackberry Lake Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Use Area offers over 55,000 acres of rolling stabilized dune lands and cliffs. The area is open for intensive use of motorcycles, sand dune buggies and other OHVs. Trails within the area take advantage of a variety of soils and topographic features, which include many turns and steep hill climbs. Routes go from shallow rocky, loamy soil on low hills to deep alluvial soils with sandy inclusions. The trails travel across small draws and along the bottom of deep arroyos. The area also includes a sand dune complex.


Hackberry Lake OHV Use Area is about 20 miles northeast of Carlsbad, NM, and can be accessed at a number of locations. To access the most commonly used parking area, follow US 62/180, turn north on SR 360, and travel approximately 5.7 miles and turn east on CR 222. The parking lot is on the north side of the road.

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Ocotillo Nature trail

Experience this 2.0-mile out-and-back trail near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 49 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.

Trail Head starts just behindSoutheast New Mexico College

Rattlesnake Springs

Rattlesnake Springs Day Use Area

Rattlesnake Springs, part of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, is a lush oasis in the desert. This riparian ecosystem features a natural spring and a large grove of cottonwood trees planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It’s an ideal place for bird watching year round.

Rattlesnake Springs is a day use area only, open during daylight hours. It includes a picnic area with shaded picnic tables and cooking grills, trash cans, and pit toilets. Swimming is not allowed in the spring.

Accessiblity: Restrooms and picnic table are available.

Cottnwood Day Use Are
La Cueva Trails
Guadalupe BackCountry Byway
Off Highway Vehicle Use
Guadalupe Ridge Trail
Ocotillo Nature Tral
Rattlesnake Springs
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