Trip Report for Guadalupe National Park RV Adventure
Editors Note: Jen the Adventurer recently traveled to Guadalupe National Park in a campervan rental. Here is her trip report.
I picked up my RV rental in El Paso, (it was a campervan, also called a Class B motorhome) brought it home and loaded it up with everything I would need for an amazing vacation in my home away from home. Since I have been renting RVs for a while now, I know exactly what I need and where it needs to go for each trip that I take. However, if you are doing this for the first time, it may take you a little longer to get things situated before you leave!
It was easy to set up my campervan when I arrived at Guadalupe Mountains National Park since I didn’t need to hook anything up. As soon as my campervan rental was in place, I walked over to the Pine Springs Visitor Center to wander through the museum and see the slide show about the park. Both were quite interesting, and I learned a lot! I highly recommend doing both these things before you do anything else at this national park.
I even managed to get a little walk in along the Pinery Nature Trail before I went back to my RV rental to make dinner and relax in the tranquility of nature.
During my first full day at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, I chose to tackle the Guadalupe Peak Trail. This is a very strenuous hike, which is why I chose it for day one. I left early in the morning, just as the sun was rising, because I knew that the eight-and-a-half-mile round trip would take me all day to complete. Especially since I wanted to stop and appreciate the natural surroundings and stay up on the summit for a little while.
This trail begins right near where my campervan was parked, so I didn’t have to travel far to start having fun! I must warn you, the Guadalupe Peak Trail is very steep, although it does get less steep after you have conquered the first mile and a half or so. I got all excited about three miles in, because I reached what I thought was the main summit. However, it didn’t take me long to discover that this was not the real summit and I still had just over a mile to hike before I reached the true summit with even more incredible views.
Once I got to the summit, I could see the top of El Capitan, as well as many other mountains and the desert in the distance. It was a little weird to see a desert, because when I think mountain vacations, deserts are not what comes to mind!
I don’t think it took me as long to make the journey back to my camper rental, since I was then going downhill. I was pretty tired and while I had planned to do a longer hike again the following day, I decided that I better take things down a notch or I wouldn’t get all the hiking in that I wanted to during my stay. After all, I can’t hike if I’m flat on my back from overdoing it!
Therefore, the following day, I just sat around my RV in the early morning hours and then I tackled the short loop of the Frijole and Foothills Trails. The vistas were gorgeous, the hike was super easy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet that came with every step that I took. It wasn’t long before I reached my RV rental again and I basically chilled there, reading a book, until the stars came out.
I tackled two more hikes during my stay, Devil’s Hall Trail and McKittrick Canyon Trail. Devil’s Hall Trail had me hiking along the stream within Pine Springs Canyon and scrambling up the rock of the Hiker’s Staircase. The result was the views of Devil’s Hall, which is a narrow canyon. This hike is just over four miles and it took me a little more than three hours to complete since I kept stopping to enjoy everything that I saw along the way.
The McKittrick Canyon Trail was the hike that I did on my last full day in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. At first, I wasn’t sure how much of the trail I was going to complete, because of the distance. The first part is almost five miles in length and if I wanted to continue to the end where the Grotto is located, it would be another two miles. However, as I kept walking along, I decided that another two miles to my day was nothing!
Therefore, I managed to see Pratt Cabin, the Grotto, and Hunter Line Cabin. Of course, once I reached the Hunter Line Cabin and the Grotto, I discovered that it wasn’t much further, only a mile and a half, to the Notch.
Let’s just say that I am so happy that I left as early as I did in the morning, because it was a full day of hiking and wandering around and I didn’t get back to by camper rental until late. Thankfully, there was little for me to do to get things in order to leave in the morning, so I basically went to bed and fell fast asleep.
In the morning, I woke up, ate breakfast quickly, and drove my RV rental home to end this fabulous vacation getaway! I can’t wait until my next RV rental adventure!