Though generally indistinct and gentle in nature, Bush Mountain holds the distinction of being the second highest peak in Texas. The summit area is carpeted in soft grasses and studded in Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir, quite in contrast to the desert floor far below.
From the top of Bush Mountain, views of the desert expand all around. The summit provides a grande-stand view of Pine Spring Canyon and the wall of mountains jutting up on the western edge of the park: Bartlett Peak, Shumard Peak, and Guadalupe Peak (the high point of Texas). A trail passes near the summit of Bush Mountain, and the top is easy to reach through gentle grasses and well-spaced trees.
Rank: 2nd highest peak in Texas
Prominence: 931 feet
USGS Quad: P X Flat
Planning Map: Trails Illustrated #203 | Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Rank & Prominence: Lists of John
The entrance fee to this national park is $5.00 per person for adults 16 years of age and older, and is good for 7 days.
Many use restrictions apply in national parks, most notably that dogs are not allowed on most trails and are restricted only to parking lots, campgrounds and interpretive trails or other trails designated as dog-friendly.
The vast majority of visitors to Guadalupe Mountains National Park will arrive by vehicle. The park is located in far west Texas, about 110 miles east of El Paso, Texas. El Paso has the nearest major commercial airport, though Albuquerque, New Mexico, would be an option for air travelers, as well. Bush Mountain is accessible via the primary park entrance or by the norther entrance.
• To reach the main entrance, out of El Paso, follow U.S. Highway 62/180 to the park entrance.
• The northern, Dog Canyon entrance to the park can be reached via New Mexico State Road 137.
Front Country Camping
Per the National Park Website:
Pine Springs (Elevation 5,822')
Located just off U.S. Highway 62/180 near the Headquarters Visitor Center, Pine Springs Campground is a simple, desert camping area situated at the base of the mountain.
• Campground conveniences include: potable water, accessible flush-toilet restrooms , utility sink, pay telephones, and a drink machine. There are no showers available in the campground.
• Tent campers have a choice of 20 leveled, gravel sites. Small junipers and oaks partially shade most of the sites and each site has a picnic table. Numbers are limited to 6 people or 2 tents per site.
• The RV camping area is a paved parking lot with 19 sites to choose from. RV sites are defined by painted lines and numbers on the pavement. There are no hook-ups and there is no dump station. RV water tanks can be filled from an outside water faucet near the registration board. RV campsite #21 is wheelchair accessible.
When you arrive, select a campsite, then pay at the self-registration board near the restrooms, or fees may be paid by credit card at the Headquarters Visitor Center. All sites are on a first come, first served basis. The fee is $8.00 per night per site, $4.00 for Golden Age (Senior) and Golden Access Passport holders.
Permits, available at the visitors center, are required for the limited backcountry camping in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and stays are limited to 3 nights. All water must be carried into the backcountry. Even if you manage to find potable water on top of this well-drained limestone escarpment, park rules dictate that the water be left for wildlife. It is recommended to bring one gallon of water per person, per day. The Bush Mountain backcountry campsite is, not surprisingly, the most convenient back-country site to visit Bush Mountain as part of a multi-day or overnight trip.
Visit the National Park Website for more information about the 10 designated backcountry campgrounds in the park.
Weather & Seasons
• Summers are hot, though the desert nights cool down nicely at this elevation. Keep an eye out for afternoon monsoon storms in late summer.
• Autumn is generally cool and calm with pleasant fall colors.
• Winter can bring warm sunny days but bitter cold nights and even fog, snow and freezing rain.
• In a park notorious for high winds, spring brings some of the gustiest conditions. The park frequently posts high winds warnings in springtime.
External Links and Additional Information
• Guadalupe Mountains National Park Official Website
• Park Map (PDF)