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Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Rising from the desert, Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains portions of the world's most extensive and significant Permian limestone fossil reef, a tremendous earth fault, lofty peaks, unusual flora and fauna, and a colorful record of the past. Among the outstanding attractions are Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet; El Capitan, a massive limestone formation; and McKittrick Canyon, with its unique flora and fauna.

The rock exposures in Guadalupe Mountains National Park are part of one of the finest examples of an ancient fossil reef, a magnificent Permian-age formation that formed about 250 million years ago. Not far from where the Guadalupe range ends in the plunging cliffs of El Capitan, a deep canyon has cut into the heart of the mountains. Tucked within the 2,000-foot-high limestone walls is a place that some consider the most beautiful spot in Texas: McKittrick Canyon. It is famous for its spectacular fall foliage, and thousands of people come to hike between the canyon walls that shelter a perennial stream.

The Guadalupes are a premier wildlife area. From the Chihuahuan desert to the conifer forest, the mountains' diverse ecosystems are home to over 1,500 species of plants, 60 species of mammals, 303 species of birds, and 55 species of reptiles and amphibians. Early morning and late evening are the best viewing times.

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