Greetings from Guadalupe Mountains National Park

We hit the Guadalupe Mountain Trail early on a March morning after driving eighty miles east of El Paso, Texas through a great salt flat as white as snow. We soon met a Bavarian girl on the trail when we all stopped to put on heavy sweaters in a fiercely cold wind. She raced on ahead of us while we plodded along the windy trail to notice fresh mountain lion tracks. Not to worry,said my hiking partner, John Sullivan, because we both had stout hiking sticks. Higher up, we delighted in seeing large gray-green agave plants and Spanish bayonets. We continued our climb into a strong wind and immediately tasted salt on our lips blown from the salt flats some 5,000 feet below. At last we reached the summit to chat with the Bavarian girl. She said she wanted to see some of America’s rugged terrain. I asked her what she liked most about America and she, to my delight, said American literature, especially Native American literature, She asked which authors should she read? I said most certainly N. Scott Momaday among others. What themes should she look for, she questioned. In the howling wind I shouted relations with the land! The salt on our lips way up in the Guadalupe Mountains surely brought home the point.

Richard F. Fleck

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

This wilderness area preserves the largest exposed fossil reef on Earth, showcasing remnants from an underwater world that existed 260 million years ago when this part of West Texas was covered by the sea. Visitors can explore the park’s striking mountains or hike a stream bed through the winding limestone walls of McKittrick Canyon, where deciduous trees and other vegetation stand in vibrant contrast with the surrounding desert.

State(s): Texas

Established: 1972

“Our national parks bring to us the true joy of being in primal Nature!”

National parks represent the best of America. Why do you care about protecting and preserving them? Tell us why parks matter to you!

{{ active ? "Cancel" : "Begin"}}

Success! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

You’ll be notified by email when your story is approved and added to the collection on the My Park Story homepage.

In the meantime, you can share your own story page with your family and friends — and help us spread the word about these priceless memories and priceless places!

Here’s your unique story page link:

{{ storyUrl }}

* indicates Required fields

Click to choose a file to upload

Submitting your story means that you agree to our Terms of Service

More Stories

  • Greetings from Guadalupe Mountains National Park

    In July 1978 my wife and I climbed Guadalupe Peak and signed the summit register. Our daughter was born in May 1979. My wife died in July 2002, and my daughter and I climbed Guadalupe as a memorial to her and we signed the summit register. At the ranger station…

  • Greetings from Olympic National Park

    Strolling through the Redwoods of Olympic National Park late last Summer, I was reminded of how little we are. The Staircase area of the park that I visited took me back in time instantaneously. It gave me a sense of gratefulness that generations before me had preserved one of our…

  • Greetings from Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

    The green stripe in the pride flag stands for nature, and you can take a lot of different meanings from that, but for me it’s all about the joy and camaraderie we find when we gather with our chosen family in nature. Always a great time camping in the parks…


Preserve Our Parks

Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a brighter future for our national parks and the millions of Americans who enjoy them.

Donate Now