The Pine Springs Visitor Center At Guadalupe Mountains National Park
- Date Visited: February 2021
- Address: 400 Pine Canyon Dr, Salt Flat, TX 79847
- GPS: 31.89434, -104.82171
- Phone: (915) 828-3251
- Hours: 8 AM-4:30 PM Daily
- Restrooms: Yes
- Water: Yes
- Trash: Yes
The Pine Springs Visitor Center is the main visitor center and headquarters for Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
The visitor center is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days and their hours are 8 am – 4:30 pm. This is where all visitors pay their entrance and camping fees for the park and get permits for overnight hiking trips.
Restrooms, trashcans and water are also available at the visitor center. There is a large parking lot able to fit any size vehicle. A couple picnic tables are located on the premises as well.
A little museum is located inside the visitor center for you to explore. It’s mainly a large, but very well done, taxidermy display featuring all the wildlife and local fauna found within the park. We love taxidermy dioramas and this one did not disappoint. A few other small exhibits can also be found in the room.
A small gift shop can be found on the premises where you can grab some souvenirs.
Rangers are available at the information desk to answer any questions you may have about the park. This is where you can pick up park brochures as well as get maps for the park and hiking trails. Junior Ranger booklets and badges for your kids can be picked up here and don’t forget to have your passport stamped while inside.
The Pinery Trail is a 3/4 mile paved hiking trail that starts at the visitor center. It’s is wheelchair accessible and is the only trail in the park that allows pets. Along the hike informational plaques identify local plants and the scenic vistas are pretty great.
The trail takes you to the ruins of the Old Butterfield Stagecoach Route Pinery Station that was built in 1858. Old stone walls still remain of the station that was once a stop on the original 2,800 mile Butterfield Overland Mail Route.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is not a well visited park which is a shame, because it’s one of our favorite national parks we have visited. Before we visited neither of us had heard of it and we are glad we made the drive after visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
The McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center is the other visitor center in the park and there is also a ranger station in Dog Canyon. The McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center is small and only staffed during peak seasons in the spring and fall. You can pick up park brochures and check out their outdoor exhibits year round though.
This building also has restrooms, trash and drinking water. A ranger was actually on duty when we visited and we chatted with him for a while. You can read my blog on hiking McKittrick Canyon and checking out the visitor center here.
We only had two short days in the park, but McKittrick Canyon was our favorite spot.