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On Walkabout At: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

To get to Carlsbad Caverns from El Paso you have to take US 62/180 east, which takes drivers across the high and arid Otero Mesa:

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Easily the most striking landmark on this mesa is the stunning peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains, which can be seen below towering over the large salt plain on the mesa:

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I have posted before about my climb to the top of of the 8,749 foot (2,667 meter) summit of Guadalupe Peak, which is the highest in Texas, but it is the stunning El Capitan that is definitely the range’s most striking feature:

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Here is a closer look at the incredible El Capitan Peak:

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My wife had to use the bathroom and the only place to stop on the way to the Carlsbad Caverns is Guadalupe Mountains National Park headquarters.  While my wife was in the restroom I stopped by the spend some more time in the visitor center since I didn’t spend much time there the last time I visited the park.  The visitor center was quite small which isn’t surprising considering how remote this park is, but it did have a nice display of the local wildlife, which of course included a stuffed coyote:

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This stuffed turkey that is native to the mountains made me wish for Thanksgiving to come around again:

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For the uninitiated it is easy to believe that the mountains of the Guadalupes is covered in nothing more then desert scrub, but the mountains are actually home to lush forests once you get to the top of the range as I found out on my prior hike to the summit of Guadalupe Peak:

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From the visitor center here is the valley that leads into the mountainous interior of the park:

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After my wife finished up using the bathroom we then continued our drive east across the mesa towards Carlsbad Caverns, where even from there the peaks of the Guadalupes continues to dominate the skyline:

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Next Posting: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

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