If you are looking to escape the heat during the summer months at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, you will want to take a short drive to Frijole Ranch, which is also part of the National Park.
We attempted to hike Smith Spring Trail at Frijole Ranch but ended up turning around due to the fact there was no tree coverage and we had a hard time determining if we were on the correct path. The trail is a loop but is not very well marked.
Before leaving we stopped at the ranch house which was turned into a museum.
The ranch was built about 1876 by the Rader Brothers and has seven buildings: the ranch house, a bunkhouse, a barn, a double outhouse, a springhouse, a shed, and a school house.
The Ranger on duty was extremely helpful, answered any questions we had, and gave us an extensive and interesting history lesson. In fact, Frijole Ranch has an extensive history, way too much for me to blog, so instead you can read it here.
Even if you have a park pass, you still need to sign in at the trailhead. If you don’t have a park pass, you will need to pay your entry fee (cash only).
Bring a camera, you will want pictures of your visit.
Talk to the park volunteer and let them give you a history lesson.
From the Pines Springs Visitors Center, turn left onto 62/180 and go about 1½ miles. It will be on the left-hand side.
The Museum is generally open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The grounds are always open, with picnic tables under the large shade trees in the courtyard.