Day 1 - Guadalupe Mountains

Park Headquarters, McKittrick Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns
 

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We arrived at the park around midnight on day zero. We slept at a roadside 
rest area. We awoke to a late sunrise coming up over the surrounding peaks.
This was our first view of the Guadalupe mountains.
 


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We got a late start after breakfast and checking in at the visitor center to get our 
backcountry camping permit for the next day. We started down the McKittrick 
Canyon trail about noon. Ilse on the trail near its beginning in the high desert.
 


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Rocky outcrops overlook the high desert.
 


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The sheer canyon walls are seen in the background through the lush vegetation on the canyon floor.
 


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We saw a number of deer along the trail, they were both curious and wary.


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Ilse sits in front of the opening leading down into Carlsbad Caverns. We saw the bats exit the cave at dusk. The bats were cool, but the pathetic presentation by the Park Service marred the experience. Carlsbad Caverns is not recommended.