Best Time to Visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Weather By Month and Season

Surprisingly, given the park’s location in the Texas desert, the weather of Guadalupe Mountains National Park changes more than you may think.

Weather patterns here include very hot summer days, occasional summer rain storms, snowy and frigid winters (especially at high elevations), and extremely windy conditions that can happen any time of year.

That’s quite a range of weather conditions! So what’s the best time to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park?

Most national parks see the bulk of their visitors during summer, but in this park, spring and fall are the ideal time to visit, because they provide the most comfortable temperatures.

If you’re planning a visit to the Guadalupe Mountains, here’s what you need to know about weather, crowd size, and other factors that may affect the timing of your trip.

pine springs - best time to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Most people agree the best time to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park is spring or fall.

A Note About Guadalupe Mountains NP Weather Stats

When reading through these numbers, keep in mind they are the official temperatures as reported by the NPS and NOAA.

These are generally the stats from the Pine Springs area of the park. That’s where you’ll find the park headquarters and main visitor center. It’s 5734 feet in elevation there.

Lower-elevation areas, such as the Salt Basin Dunes, generally have temperatures up to 10 degrees warmer. High-elevation areas, such as Guadalupe Peak and Hunter Peak, can be at least 10 degrees cooler.

January and February, for instance, may sound like a reasonable time to visit, with high temps in the mid 50s F. But when you realize that temps on the hiking trails will be closer to 40-45 F, suddenly a winter visit may not sound quite as appealing.

Current Weather Forecast for Guadalupe Mountains NP

Below, see the seven-day forecast for Pine Springs, followed by links to some other resources showing conditions in other sections of the national park.

Current Weather and Seven-Day Forecast for Pine Springs in Guadalupe Mountains NP:

PINE SPRINGS WEATHER

Current conditions and forecasts for other parts of the park:
See current weather for the Dog Canyon area.
See current weather for the Bowl area.
See current weather for the Salt Basin Dunes area.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Weather By Month and Season

Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Winter

guadalupe mountains national park weather by month
Fog and frost in the winter | Guadalupe Mountains National Park weather by month (NPS)
MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)Monthly Precipitation (inches)Days of Precipitation
January54310.62
February56340.72
March63390.52

In winter, temps often don’t get much warmer than 50 F, sometimes less than that at higher elevations. Rain or snow are possible, and fog often obscures the views from many of the peaks.

If the cold isn’t bad enough, wind gusts can reach 50-80 miles per hour at times during winter. So if you decided to make the journey here during the winter months, be prepared for difficult conditions.

There’s also less daylight in winter, so you’ll have less time to see the parts of the park that close at sunset (such as Frijole Ranch and Salt Basin Dunes.)

Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Spring

MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)Monthly Precipitation (inches)Days of Precipitation
April70450.52
May79570.84
June88631.56

Spring is a great time to come to western Texas. In April and May, temps are moderate, and precipitation is low. It’s the perfect time to try some of the park’s best hikes.

If you plan to camp, make your reservations as early as possible, because spring is one of the busiest seasons of the year.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Summer

el capitan hike
MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)Monthly Precipitation (inches)Days of Precipitation
July87642.88
August84623.19
September80582.37

There’s a reason why summer visitation to Guadalupe Mountains NP drops substantially. Most people don’t love the idea of hiking in the desert in the middle of summer.

Though average highs are in the 80s, summer temps do frequently eclipse 100 degrees. So generally, it’s best to plan your visit for some other time of year, unless you’re local and have the flexibility to make last-minute schedule changes.

Summer is also the wettest time of year, with occasional showers 7-9 days per month. All in all, summer is not the best time to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Fall

MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)Monthly Precipitation (inches)Days of Precipitation
October72491.34
November61391.02
December54330.82

Fall is regarded as one of the best times of year to visit, especially October and November. Not only are temperatures comfortable with minimal rain, but the fall foliage in those months makes it one of the most scenic times of year to experience the park.

The only drawback is that it’s more crowded at this time, because lots of locals and tourists want to come hike while the leaves are changing to red and orange. So you’ll have more competition for parking spots and campsites.

Does Guadalupe Mountains National Park Get Snow?

Yes. On average, the park officially gets 1-2 days of snow per year. But remember, that’s at the park headquarters in Pine Springs, which sit at 5734 feet elevation.

At the higher peaks, many of which exceed 7000 or 8000 feet, it snows more frequently during the winter. You can often see dustings of snow atop El Capitan or Guadalupe Peak, especially in December and January.

guadalupe mountains national park weather by month
Snow on Guadalupe Peak in winter. (NPS)

It’s still possible to hike during winter, but come prepared with several layers and sturdy hiking boots (and possibly even microspikes if there’s snow on the ground.)

Watch Out for the Winds

The other important warning that every Guadalupe Mountains visitor needs to know is that the winds can be extremely strong here.

While winter gusts sometimes hit 80 or even 100 mph, winds can pick up at any time of year, especially on the mountain hiking trails. It’s best to bring a knit hat and wind/rain jacket, no matter what season you come.

Best Time to Avoid Crowds at Guadalupe Mountains

One non-weather factor to consider when planning your visit is the amount of traffic and congestion. The park’s most popular months by visitation are: March, April, October, December, and November.

The park’s least popular months are January, plus July and August, when summer temperatures make hiking uncomfortable.

Although crowds are larger in spring and fall, they’re still pretty small compared to other national parks. This isn’t Yellowstone or Zion or Yosemite, after all.

So crowd size shouldn’t matter too much. Just arrive early to the trailheads, and you can still do all the hiking you desire.

What’s the Best Time to Visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park?

Taking all of these factors into account, spring and fall are the best times to visit Guadalupe Mountains NP, with autumn getting the edge due to the fall foliage.

There are joys to be found no matter what month you visit, but for the casual tourist who just wants a day or two in the park, stick with spring or autumn to give yourself the best chance of good weather and clear views.

We hope to see you in the park!

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