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Guadalupe Mountains National Park set for 50th anniversary celebration

Guadalupe Mountains National Park set for 50th anniversary celebration

The 50th anniversary celebration of Guadalupe Mountains National Park includes a full calendar of activities from Sept. 24-Oct. 1, including free admission on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Credit to the City of Carlsbad for posting the full schedule of events for the weeklong, half-century bash (see the schedule below this story). As reported by Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway, the schedule includes ranger-guided hikes, opportunities to meet law enforcement, stargazing in the evening and, for Sunday and the following week, more activities including a 50th anniversary trip to Guadalupe Peak and a limited trip to the Ship on the Desert.

“Special thanks to Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Eric Leonard for his hard work organizing these events,” Janway said.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park was formally established on Sept. 30, 1972, six years after Congress authorized the park.

On Sept. 30, the park “will take a unique step” into the next half-century by moving its wilderness permitting process to an online reservation system. Learn more at the Wilderness Permits page.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park 50th Anniversary Program Schedule:

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Saturday, September 24

All Day – Free Admission to National Parks for National Public Lands Day

7:45 am to 10:45am – National Public Lands Day Volunteer Project

Join us for a volunteer event on September 24th celebrating National Public Lands Day! National Public Lands Day was created to celebrate the connection between people and green space in their community. Meet at the Pine Springs Visitor Center on the patio next to the flag pole between 7:45-8am. For more information, visit here.

9 am – Birth of a Park: Hiking Through McKittrick Canyon

Join a park ranger at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center at 9 am for a 5-mile guided hike to Pratt Cabin within McKittrick Canyon, exploring early efforts to preserve this landscape and create a national park. Hikers are reminded to wear closed toed hiking shoes and to carry at least a gallon of water. This hike will cover nearly 5 miles with minimal elevation change, and may last 3-4 hours.

10 am & 2 pm – A Walk Through Time: Guided Hike on the Pinery

Meet at the Pine Springs Visitor Center patio at 10 am and 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger guided walk along the Pinery Trail, exploring how people have interacted with this environment. The Pinery Trail is a paved and accessible trail, is around a 3/4 of a mile round trip.

2 pm – At the Waters Edge: Life in the Guadalupe Mountains Before the Park

Meet at Frijole Ranch at 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger-guided program exploring the history of human habitation around the springs near Frijole Ranch. The Frijole Ranch History Museum will be open from approximately 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

2 pm – Protecting the Park

Between 2pm and 4pm, drop by the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center parking lot to meet some of the members of the park’s law enforcement and resource protection staff. Learn about how the work they do to carry on the legacy of preserving this landscape.

7 pm – Gazing into the Past: The Night Sky Over the Guadalupe Mountains

Most visitors experience Guadalupe Mountains under the light of our nearest star – the sun. But on a clear night with no moon, the park is bathed in starlight from across the millennia. Meet at the Pine Springs Amphitheatre at 7:30pm for a ranger facilitated nigh-sky program.

Sunday, September 25

9 am – A 260 Millionth Anniversary: Exploring the Permian Sea

Join a park ranger at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center for a 1-hour, 1-mile hike along the McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail and learn about the Permian geology of the Guadalupes. Closed toed hiking shoes and a water bottle are strongly recommended.

10 am & 2 pm – A Walk Through Time: Guided Hike on the Pinery

Meet at the Pine Springs Visitor Center patio at 10 am and 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger guided walk along the Pinery Trail, exploring how people have interacted with this environment. The Pinery Trail is a paved and accessible trail, is around a 3/4 of a mile round trip.

2 pm – At the Waters Edge: Life in the Guadalupe Mountains Before the Park

Meet at Frijole Ranch at 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger-guided program exploring the history of human habitation around the springs near Frijole Ranch. The Frijole Ranch History

Friday, September 30

6 am – A 50th Anniversary from The Top of Texas: Hike Guadalupe Peak

Hiking to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in the state of Texas, is a bucket-list item for many visitors. On September 30, 2022, mark the park’s 50th anniversary with a hike up Guadalupe Peak with a park ranger.

8 am – Wilderness Permits Available on Recreation.gov

Beginning September 30, 2022, visitors will be able to book reservations in advance, for the park’s ten hike-in wilderness campgrounds online here.

9 am – A 260 Millionth Anniversary: Exploring the Permian Sea

Join a park ranger at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center for a 1-hour, 1-mile hike along the McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail and learn about the Permian geology of the Guadalupes. Closed toed hiking shoes and a water bottle are strongly recommended.

9:30 am, 11 am , 1 pm – The Pratts in McKittrick Canyon: A Tour of Ship on the Desert

To mark the 50th anniversary of the park, the park will hold 1-hour tours of Ship of the Desert exploring the early efforts to create the park. Due to the limited parking and space within the house, tours are limited to no more than 8 people and 4 vehicles, and tickets will be required. Tour tickets may be picked up on a first come, first served basis on the morning of September 30 at the Pine Springs Visitor Center.

10 am & 2 pm – A Walk Through Time: Guided Hike on the Pinery

Meet at the Pine Springs Visitor Center patio at 10 am and 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger guided walk along the Pinery Trail, exploring how people have interacted with this environment. The Pinery Trail is a paved and accessible trail, is around a 3/4 of a mile round trip.

2 pm – At the Waters Edge: Life in the Guadalupe Mountains Before the Park

Meet at Frijole Ranch at 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger-guided program exploring the history of human habitation around the springs near Frijole Ranch. The Frijole Ranch History

Saturday, October 1

10 am & 2 pm – A Walk Through Time: Guided Hike on the Pinery

Meet at the Pine Springs Visitor Center patio at 10 am and 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger guided walk along the Pinery Trail, exploring how people have interacted with this environment. The Pinery Trail is a paved and accessible trail, is around a 3/4 of a mile round trip.

2 pm – At the Waters Edge: Life in the Guadalupe Mountains Before the Park

Meet at Frijole Ranch at 2 pm for a 30-45 minute ranger-guided program exploring the history of human habitation around the springs near Frijole Ranch. The Frijole Ranch History

For the calendar, go here.