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El Capitan, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

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Geologic Formation Nature / Park
El Capitan is a peak in Culberson County, Texas, United States, within Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It is the eighth highest peak in Texas, and rises abruptly out of the Chihuahuan Desert floor; it is considered the "signature peak" of West Texas.El Capitan is the southern terminus of the Guadalupe escarpment, an ancient limestone reef that forms the present-day Guadalupe Mountains. El Capitan is guarded by cliffs on three sides, and those faces are rarely climbed due to the unstable condition of the rock and the sheer nature of the peak. Hikers can scramble up to the summit by first climbing to near the summit of Guadalupe Peak and scrambling down to the south to the Guadalupe Peak-El Capitan saddle, then up the backside of El Capitan.Used as a signal peak for hundreds of years by travelers in the area, its sheer face is visible when approaching the Headquarters Visitor Center at Guadalupe Mountains National Park from both the south and the northeast.
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Where to stay in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

If you want to stay in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, bring a tent or pull up an RV. The Guadalupe Peak and Pine Spring campgrounds offer camping with services, but you'll also find primitive campsites in the park's wilderness. Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but they are usually available even during peak visitation times. The closest lodging lies about 56 km (35 mi) northeast of the park in the town of White's City. Options are limited here, though. You might have better luck finding something you like further up the road in Carlsbad, the main gateway to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Most accommodations here are national chain hotels on Route 286. Carlsbad also offers plenty of restaurants.
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  • Even if you don't scale the peak - this is quite a sight. Would guess that most folks see it from the east approach, but I encourage you to drive to the west to watch the sunset on the mountain range....  more »
  • When driving through the park you will see this wonder. It was a nice surprise after the long, dull drive from El Paso.  more »
  • We approached from the west and El Capitan is a dominant part of the view. There is a pull out where you can take in the view. Afterward, we went into the Park and hiked two of the trails. Not to El C...  more »