National Park Service Centennial

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, located just outside El Paso, bridges New Mexico and Texas and covers almost 80,000 acres. In addition to sweeping deserts and alpine-forested campgrounds, this lesser-known park offers one of the most stunning mountain ranges in an arid locale known more for tall tales than towering peaks.

This sudden and dramatic panorama rises from the Chihuahuan Desert floor like a mighty vessel raring to set sail. Millions of years ago, this natural wonder existed as a reef thriving beneath the ancient Permian Sea, the same vanished sea that created Carlsbad Caverns. Today, Texas’s limestone mountain range marks one of the most well preserved fossil reefs in the world.

In addition to its historical foundation, this range boasts Guadalupe Peak, the tallest elevation in Texas at 8,749 feet. Despite Guadalupe’s higher stature, it’s the rugged cliffs of El Capitan that truly anchor and captivate the range. Hence the reason it holds the honorary position as Texas’s “signature peak.”

The name El Capitan, Spanish for "captain," signifies its commanding position and sheer cliffs that slice through the sky like a sword. By name alone, El Capitan could be mistaken for its West Coast cousin in Yosemite National Park, but Texas’s version represents desert sprawl and an ancient history that lives on today.

Beyond the towering limestone mountains and surrounding desert, Guadalupe Mountains National Park offers visitors, campers and hikers curved canyons, trickling creeks, valleys blanketed in Ponderosa Pine and Douglas fir and a bounty of wildlife.

Because of this vast and diverse environment and to honor the National Park Services Centennial, Lucchese chose this majestic location to both ground and elevate our fall photo shoot. Shot by photographer and native Texan, Bryan Schutmaat, the campaign features local cattle ranchers who live and work in the countryside adjacent to this historic park.

To learn more about National Park Service Centennial, click here.

These gorgeous images of Guadalupe Mountains National Park were taken by Bryan Schutmaat for a Smithsonian campaign.