Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Fact Box

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Established 1972
86,416 acres
Visitation (2007) 165,110

Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects one of the world’s best examples of an ancient, marine fossil reef.  A huge tropical ocean reached from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to West Texas 250 million years ago, allowing sponges, algae, and other marine organisms to build up a reef along the shoreline for 400 miles. After the ocean receded, the reef was buried in thick layers of sediment and was entombed for millions of years until geological uplift exposed it in the middle of dry west Texas. Today the park preserves this unique, globally significant exposed Permian Fossil Reef.

Each year, tens of thousands of hikers, equestrian users, and backpackers visit Guadalupe to experience the vast rugged wilderness and solitude of this isolated park.  The rugged wilderness of the park, including the highest peak in Texas, allows these visitors outstanding opportunities for solitude, challenge, self-reliance, and reflection.