Old Guano Road
|This hike goes from White's City to the visitor's center at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. When you hike this trail, you can see much of the native plants (blooming if you hike it in the spring and the rains have been favorable). You also get good views of the gypsum plains below and the Guadalupe Mountains stretching off into Texas.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||2:00.|
|Usage (people/hour):||0.00. We have never seen anybody else on this trail.|
|GTTH||Trailhead||Old Guano Road lower trailhead|
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|Carlsbad Caverns National Park||National Geographic Trails Illustrated||2001||1:34500||Y||from Amazon (purchase)||Includes a map of Carlsbad Cavern on the back.|
|Lincoln National Forest, Guadalupe Ranger District||US Forest Service||2003||1:126720||N||from Amazon (purchase)|
|Wildernesses of New Mexico||US Forest Service||1981||1:1000000||N||No online copies.||Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.|
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Getting to the trailhead:
From Carlsbad, take US 62/180 south towards Carlsbad Caverns National Park. When you turn off of the highway at White's City, find a parking place. The trailhead is in the campground, at the west end. Note that there are two parts to the campground. You want the part furtherest from the road.
For the upper trailhead, continue past White's City and up to the park visitor center. Go as if you were going to enter the cave through the natural entrance, but stay right at the ampitheater and walk past the gate shown here; just to the right of the vehicle gate is hiker access (between the two vertical poles).
About the hike:
The trailhead looks like a jeep road. This appearance is not surprising since at one time, it was a road. In the photo, you can see the shelter and picnic table of one of the campsites just to the left of the trailhead.
Almost immediately after heading up the trail, you reach the park boundary (GTBDY).
At times, the trail is marked by cairns. The trail is easy to follow, even when there are no cairns. At other times, fiberglass trail markers indicate the trail.
Not surprisingly, the trail is rocky at times.
In spite of the arid heat, some moss manages to grow between some rocks.
The cholla have bright yellow fruit.
This cactus has large, showy flowers.
The Shaggy Narrowman (Stenandrium barbatum) is a showy spring flower.
Desert plantain (Plantago helleri) also bloom in the spring.
The catsclaw is aptly named. Pretty, but it has thorns that grab at you as you walk by.
When you reach the natural entrance to Carlsbad Cavern on your right, you are done.
Plants we saw along the trail:
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