Curious about visiting Guadalupe Mountains National Park? Great idea! Guadalupe Mountains NP is an underrated destination featuring sand dunes, great hikes, and noteworthy mountains like El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak, both of which stand over 8000 feet in elevation.
Unfortunately, the park’s somewhat remote location in western Texas, near the New Mexico border, means that getting here by plane is not as easy as visiting many other national parks.
You’ll need to fly to an airport 2-3 hours away, then rent a car and make the drive to the park.
The good news is that Carlsbad Caverns National Park is less than an hour from Guadalupe Mountains, so you can knock out both parks on the same vacation and get more bang for your buck.
Here are some of the closest airports to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and some tips on how to travel from them to the park.
El Paso International Airport (ELP)
Most visitors to Guadalupe Mountains National Park fly into El Paso International Airport (ELP) in the border town of El Paso, Texas. It’s the closest major airport to the park.
This airport is 105 miles away from the park and offers hundreds of daily flights to domestic and international cities.
The airport serves 9 major airlines, including Alaska, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and United.
ELP has direct flights from Dallas, Phoenix, Austin, Denver, Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, so folks from lots of major U.S. cities in the South, West, and Midwest can fly directly here.
There are no public transportation options from the airport to the park. The only option for traveling from El Paso International Airport to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is to rent a car at the airport.
Driving from the El Paso airport to the Pine Springs Visitor Center in the park takes about 2 hours. Maybe 1:45 if you get lucky and encounter minimal traffic.
Midland International Airport (MAF)
Midland, Texas may not be an especially well-known city, but it has 130,000 residents and an airport that serves three airlines, so it’s another option for flying to Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Midland International Airport is about 180 miles away from the park. The airlines that serve Midland International Airport are Envoy (American), Southwest, and United.
The airport offers flights to several domestic destinations, including Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Dallas Love Field (DAL), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Houston Hobby (HOU), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), and Denver (DEN).
The drive from the airport to the park takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes, so it’s probably better to fly into ELP unless you find a great flight or rental car price at MAF.
Cavern City Airport (CNM)
Cavern City Airport in Carlsbad, New Mexico is actually the closest airport to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The small airport is 50 miles from the park.
This Carlsbad airport offers service from only one airline, Boutique Airlines, which flies to Dallas/Fort Worth and Albuquerque.
The drive from this airport to the park takes about 48 minutes. But there’s only one car rental outlet in Carlsbad, and it’s not located at the airport.
So flying into CNM and trying to get to Guadalupe Mountains NP would be a big logistical challenge! There’s really no need to even consider flying directly to this airport.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a beautiful place to visit, but it is not very accessible by air, and it has no shuttles of transit within the park. Flying to one of these airports and renting a car is required to travel here.
We suggest flying into El Paso (ELP), since it’s the closest major airport, unless prices are substantially better for Midland Airport (MAF).
Given its location, some folks wonder if it’s worth visiting Guadalupe Mountains NP at all. We definitely think it is! See our list of pros and cons about the park.