Dedicated in 1972, the park contains 86,416 acres with elevations from 3,650 to 8,749 feet (summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas). The park has four of the state's highest peaks, deep canyons, and a rare mixture of plant and animal life. Access to the park's rugged interior is by hiking and backpack camping along 80 miles of marked trails. The National Park Service advises that only experienced, well-equipped backpackers should enter the primitive back country for extended stays. Permits are required for overnight trips, and camping is allowed in designated areas only. All should check in and out at the headquarters visitor center on U.S. 62/180 near Pine Springs. A cultural history museum is in the 1870s Frijole Ranch House. The visitor center offers wildlife exhibits and a bookstore.
Visitors may drive near the mouth of McKittrick Canyon, which has hiking trails (day-use only). The trailhead contact station has a geology exhibit.
Tent and self-contained RV camping are available at the Pine Springs campground near the historic "Pinery" stage station ruins. Includes water, rest rooms and evening programs. Containerized fuel stoves (gasoline, propane or alcohol) only.
U.S. 62/180 near Pine Springs.