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Guadalupe Mountains National Park/USA

Introducing Guadalupe Mountains National Park

We won't go so far as to call it Texas' best-kept secret, but the fact is that a lot of Texans aren't even aware of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It's just this side of the Texas–New Mexico state line and a long drive from practically everywhere in the state.

Despite its low profile, it is a Texas high spot, both literally and figuratively. At 8749ft, Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in the Lone Star State. The fall foliage in McKittrick Canyon is the best in west Texas, and more than half the park is a federally designated wilderness area.

The National Park Service has deliberately curbed development to keep the park wild. There are no restaurants or indoor accommodations and only a smattering of services and programs. There are also no paved roads within the park, so whatever you want to see, you're going to have to work for it. But if you're looking for some of the best hiking and high-country splendor Texas can muster, you should put this park on your itinerary.