Dog Canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Dog Canyon is located on the north side of Guadalupe Mountains National Park at an elevation of about 6,300 feet. It is a secluded, forested canyon on the edge of the wilderness about 65 miles from Carlsbad. It lies in Texas near the border of New Mexico as well as the border of the park – at the southern point of Queens Highway coming out of Carlsbad.

There are three hiking trails in the area – Indian Meadow Nature Trail, Bush Mountain Trail and Tejas Trail.

Indian Meadow Nature Trail – A .6 mile trail through the Chihuahuan Desert that starts at the Dog Canyon Campground. It is an easy trail with one arroyo crossing (a steep sided gully formed by fast moving water, also called a wash). There are free trail guides at the visitor center. From the trailhead, it proceeds north for .1 miles before forming a loop (you can take either direction).

Bush Mountain Trail – It passes over the summit of Bush Mountain, the second highest peak in the state of Texas with an elevation of 8,631 feet. It is about nine miles from the Dog Canyon trailhead to the summit. On the south side, it connects with the Tejas Trail at its intersection with the Bowl Trail. There are four smaller peaks between Bush Mountain and the Tejas Trail.

Tejas Trail – A north/south trail across the national park which connects the Pine Springs area with the Dog Canyon trail. It is 12 miles one way. From the trailhead at Dog Canyon, it passes through a meadow before traveling through Dog Canyon. It is just over three miles from the trailhead to Lost Peak, where the Tejas Trail meets McKittrick Ridge Trail nearby.

Dog Canyon Campground

There are nine tent sites and four RV sites (must be no longer than 23 feet). Restrooms have sinks and flush toilets but no showers. Dog Canyon is at a higher elevation than Pine Springs and protected by steep cliff walls, so it is cooler in the summer and sheltered from the strong windows in the winter and spring. Wood and charcoal fires are not permitted.