Heavy Rains Lead To Closure Of Guadalupe Mountains National Park In Texas

Heavy rains brought flooding Thursday across Guadalupe Mountains National Park. These photos were taken in McKittrick Canyon and on the Salt Basin Dunes. NPS photos.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas was closed Thursday afternoon due to heavy rains that were causing flooding in the park.

Rangers were working to get visitors out of the Pine Springs Campground. Other areas in the park that were closed by the storm, according to Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez, were McKittrick Canyon, Frijole Ranch, the Pinery, the Pine Springs Campground, Williams Ranch, the Salt Basin Dunes, Dog Canyon and all backcountry areas, unpaved roads and trails.

However, the Pine Springs Visitor Center remained open to provide information and assist motorists.

The Texas Department of Transportation was reporting that FM 1437, FM 2249 and FM1575, in the Dell City area were all closed due to high water and flooding. The New Mexico Department of Transportation was reporting that NM 137 to Dog Canyon is closed between mile marker 1 and mile marker 54.

The National Weather Service reported that the Bowl had recorded 12.41 inches of rain during the last 24 hours, while Dog Canyon recorded 9.50 inches, McKittrick Canyon 7.32 inches, and the Pinery 5.12 inches. Most of the creeks and arroyos in the park were showing high water and flooding.

“We have not seen rainfall like this in a long time. Creeks and arroyos are running very high and unpaved roads are impassible at this time. As always, our primary concern is for the safety of park visitors and staff, and for the protection of park resources," said Superintendent Vásquez. "With current conditions and the continued forecast for heavy rain and potential for even higher waters and flooding, I have decided that the best course of action, at this time, was to close the affected areas of the park.”

Park information, including park conditions, closures or restrictions, weather and program information, may be found on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/GUMO/, on the park’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Guadalupe.Mountains/, or by contacting the Pine Springs Visitor Center at (915) 828- 3251 x2124.