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Texas' Top Natural Wonders: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

ARS GMNP 20170614 9 17Guadalupe Mountains National Park

“It feels so small at first, until you hit the trail and start to explore. It is pure Texas wilderness—a high mountain desert with the soul of a bygone era that we Texans have yet to forget or leave simply to the history books. Here, we hold on dearly to the past we love.” – Andrew R. Slaton

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Tip Top Texas: With the tallest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Mountains national park offers lofty adventures –  I am standing on the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, tracing the Earth’s curvature with my fingertip. The horizon bends like a longbow at this height—8,749 feet above sea level—and a gauzy canopy hangs above it, capped by an azure sky.

ElCapital 1016Return to the Guadalupes: Photographing fall’s arrival in the Guadalupe Mountains – I got to know the Guadalupe Mountains as a child in the 1970s, when my dad was a park ranger at nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. I remember limping around with a broken leg and crutches when we attended the dedication of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in 1972, and later, scrambling up Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, with high school buddies on a foggy day before there was even much of a trail. On another memorable visit, I leapt from a boulder in McKittrick Canyon when an eight-inch centipede crawled up my arm.

Daytripper: Guadalupe Mountains – Most of my day trips consist of a handful of museums, a bit of outdoors, and lots of great food. But then there are the trips that take me into the remote reaches of Texas; to places without restaurants and streetlights but riddled with adventure. My recent journey was of this kind, as I set out with friends to summit the highest point in Texas: Guadalupe Peak.

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