From Big Bend our plan was to head North to Guadalupe NP but on the way we stopped at the McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains. We spent the whole day there enjoying several “talks” and a tour of the telescopes. It was a cloudy evening so we missed out on viewing the night skies through the telescopes but the indoor activities were fantastic!
Driving from Big Bend to Alpine was gorgeous however the scenery changed dramatically once we hit the oil patch, litter everywhere, decrepit buildings and an overwhelming smell of crude oil. We were very happy to arrive in Guadalupe NP. As much as we loved the hiking in Big Bend, The Devil’s Hall trail in Guadalupe NP became one of our favorite hikes so far, second only to the South Rim Trail in Big Bend. We woke up to frost that morning and the frost turned what was a beautiful trail into something beyond spectacular! It was an easy decision to spend 6 nights in Guadalupe, this gave us enough time to hike several trails. It would be hard to compete with Big Bend with its Grand Canyon like vistas but Guadalupe NP was beautiful and we thought the hiking was equally on par with Big Bend.
We spent a day in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico just a 2 hour drive from Guadalupe NP before heading East. WOW, we toured the Big Room and spent the extra money to add on the Kings Palace, both very beautiful but it was walking down the natural entrance that left us speechless.
At this point I had decided that I wanted to visit as many National Parks as possible, as long as they were not far off our route. Luckily Hot Springs, Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah were all on our way from Carlsbad Caverns to Ottawa! They were all fantastic, please click here to view our March Flickr album.