El Capitan

El Capitan, Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Address, El Capitan Reviews: 4.5/5

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A huge geological formation made of limestone.
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4.5
40 reviews
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15
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Grover R
Pensacola, FL11,060 contributions
Most Impressive and Iconic Feature of the Park
Mar 2021
Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas and McKittrick Canyon is probably the most unique in the Chihuahuan desert, but the signature feature for this national park is El Capitan. Shooting straight up from a desert plain, you can see this stone monolith 40 miles out. It dominates the skyline and can even be easily seen from Carlsbad Caverns. It is impressive and can best be experienced from a roadside pull off just south of the park. We stopped here for some great pictures and fun ones as well. There is a hiking trail that goes around it. However, I suggest the Guadalupe Peak Trail to get some incredible views of it from the other side. Again there is really nothing like this and you will want to take time to view from several points in the park. It is just as awe inspiring now as when the earliest travelers rode the stagecoach here centuries ago.
Written April 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

SnowyShasta
Portland, OR1,450 contributions
Pretty and impressive rock formation
Oct 2020
I believe that it may be possible to hike/climb El Capitan, but we only viewed it. The formation is impressive as it juts out of the desert, and we were also able to view the backside of it from the top of nearby Guadalupe Peak. If you are interested in/find information about hiking it that may be worth considering; otherwise it is still worth taking a few minutes to admire and take some photos.
Written November 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

dphoto1
Seneca, SC43 contributions
Great Day Outing
Mar 2020 • Couples
Beautiful Views .. easy walking trails .. highly recommend this day outing located about an hour from the city of Van Horn.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BangkokSachse
Bangkok, Thailand38,180 contributions
Beautiful from the Picnic Area!
Feb 2019 • Couples
We visited the Guadalupe Mountains Visitor Center. We didn’t have much time to hike. The ranger told us to drive the second picnic area to see the El Captain. We stopped at the first picnic area to take a few pictures. The we went to the second picnic area to take many pictures. The El Capitan is beautiful. The second picnic area is about 4 miles from the visitor center.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Larry B
Nome, TX791 contributions
Perseid Meteor Shower
Aug 2018 • Solo
Went to view the meteor shower but there is just too much haze from the California wildfires and clouds. Spectacular red Sunset.
Written August 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Oscar Arrunada
El Paso, Texas, United States66 contributions
El Capitan Peak
Feb 2018 • Friends
Saturday Feb. 3,2018 my friend Erik Sheldon and myself hiked El Capitan peak, it was on the bucket list, and now done!!!, we started at Pine Springs and took the Guadalupe peak trail, almost all the way to the top, about half a mile from Guadalupe Peak we took a left turn thru a water drainage , very loose rock and very step, we hiked down for about 30 minutes, then took a right towards the ridge, the views from the ridge are spectacular, there is a not a good trail , because its not very popular and that's because is a very strenuous hike , my buddy Eric and i build some cairns along the way , to helped us find our way back, (hoping it also help other hikers) Once we made it all the way to the cliff , there is a metal box , where you can register your name , we took a nice break there enjoying the great views toward the East , it took us about two hours to get to the cliff, and about the same time to get back to Guadalupe Peak trail , DON'T ATTEMPT his hike if you are a beginner , this is a very difficult hike, and that's probably the reason few hikers do this hike. We have done most of the hikes in the Guadalupe Mountains, and every time we drove thru there , we always said that someday we would hike to the cliff of El Capitan Peak, and now is DONE!!
Written February 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Archie
Glenmoore, PA4,431 contributions
Absolutely magnificent
Dec 2017 • Family
We were buried in a massive cloud for most of the day. We visited the visitor center. As we were driving away giving up on seeing El Capitan it came up in the clouds right in front of us. It was magnificent. We pulled over at the rest area right opposite along the route. It's a beautiful peak.
Written December 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

barbiewalker72
Lake Wales, FL239 contributions
Majestic
Jun 2017 • Couples
We saw this on the road to the park-stopped at a covered picnic area for a sandwich lunch - El Capitan was the backdrop of our pictures--
Written July 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wewhynot
Salisbury, NC987 contributions
Interesting Rock formation
Jul 2017 • Solo
Although many people are familiar with El Capitan in Yosemite, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park has their own Capitan. It can be seen from a distance when entering the from the northeast side and from within the park; the best overall view requires leaving the park.

At the visitor center, I asked about an overlook of Capitan; they noted there was no place within the park. But, upon exiting the visitor center to go back to the main road; if you took a right and went about 4 miles down the highway, there was a double picnic area where you could get some good pictures. However, you sort of have to do a U-turn on the highway if you stop at the picnic area on the right since the road is divided there with a small curb. According to the staff at the center; arriving during the early evening works well as the sun sets on the western side providing an opportunity for nice shots. I went during the morning so took photos of what I have.

Supposedly you can hike to the top; but I personally wouldn't do it.
Written July 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gabe10101
Lexington, KY900 contributions
Another Review from the Base of El Capitan, not the Summit
Jun 2017 • Family
All reviews on El Capitan here on TripAdvisor are about the views of El Capitan from the ground, not the summit. I guess that's OK, but reviews of Guadalupe Peak are about the summit hike, not views from the ground. I digress. You can climb El Capitan, but there is no trail. It doesn't look too difficult, but would require some scrambling through scrub on the back side. But there is no great reason to climb El Capitan, except because it's there. Guadalupe Peak is much higher with better views, even of El Capitan itself. So, take the advice of other reviewers to get up close from the ground. Or take my advice of views from above. It is a beautiful geologic formation.
Written June 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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