by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved

Guadalupe Mountains

National Park - Texas

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in the vast Chihuahuan Desert of western Texas. It’s known for its bright-white Salt Basin Dunes, wildlife-rich grassland and fossilized reef mountains. The Guadalupe Peak Trail weaves up through a conifer forest to the state’s highest summit, with views of the rocky El Capitan peak to the south. In the north, the McKittrick Canyon Trail is known for its colorful fall foliage.

maps

Visitor Map of Brokeoff Mountains Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Brokeoff Mountains - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Brokeoff Mountains Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Official visitor map of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Guadalupe Mountains - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Map of Devil's Den Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Devil's Den Canyon - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Devil's Den Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of Lonesome Ridge Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Lonesome Ridge - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Lonesome Ridge Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in New Mexico. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/gumo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalupe_Mountains_National_Park Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in the vast Chihuahuan Desert of western Texas. It’s known for its bright-white Salt Basin Dunes, wildlife-rich grassland and fossilized reef mountains. The Guadalupe Peak Trail weaves up through a conifer forest to the state’s highest summit, with views of the rocky El Capitan peak to the south. In the north, the McKittrick Canyon Trail is known for its colorful fall foliage. Come experience mountains and canyons, desert and dunes, night skies and spectacular vistas within a place unlike any other. Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects the world's most extensive Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation and survival. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located on the north side of US Hwy 62/180. If you are traveling east from El Paso, TX, we are 110 miles East of the city. Follow US Hwy 62/180 North to the Pine Springs Visitor Center. If you are traveling from Van Horn, TX, you will travel north on US 54 and make a left hand turn at the junction of US 62/180 to arrive at the park. If you are traveling west from Carlsbad, NM, you will travel on US Hwy 62/180 South and cross into Texas. Follow signs to the park. Dell City Contact Station A storefront office in the Trails West facility provides brochures and information after hours. On occasion staff may be present. Dog Canyon Ranger Station Visitors can pick up brochures and maps from the Dog Canyon Ranger Station when staff or volunteers are available. The Dog Canyon Ranger Station is open intermittently depending on staff availability. Staff and volunteers may be in the area and not necessarily inside the station. For more information call 575-981-2418. Coming from Texas: Traveling north on Highway 62/180 you will cross the state line into New Mexico. About 27 miles after crossing the state line, you will come up on the junction of Dark Canyon Rd-408. Turning in to Dark Canyon Rd-408 N follow the road for 22 miles to the junction of NM-137 N. At the junction, turn into NM-137 N and follow for 35 miles to the entrance of Dog Canyon. McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center Visit the contact station at the mouth of McKittrick Canyon (staffed during peak seasons in the spring and fall). Pick up a park brochure, and view the outside exhibits and video. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in far West Texas on U.S. Highway 62/180. The driving distance is 110 miles east of El Paso, Texas, 56 miles southwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico or 62 miles north of Van Horn on Hwy 54. The McKittrick Canyon access road is seven miles north of the Pine Springs visitor center. The McKittrick Canyon visitor center is at the end of the McKittrick Canyon access road. Pine Springs Visitor Center Pine Springs Visitor Center is the park's main visitor center and headquarters. Visitors can pay entrance and camping fees, tour the museum, purchase items from the park store, pick up brochures and maps, and obtain overnight wilderness use permits here. Following US Hwy 62/180, you will see signs along the highway pointing you to our center. The visitor center is on the north side of the highway. Blue Ridge Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. Blue Ridge campground is surrounded by ponderosa pine and Douglas fir; wild roses and grassy areas are nearby - a beautiful location and very remote. The distance from Pine Springs trailhead: via the Tejas & Blue Ridge trails is 7.8 miles, via the Tejas & Bush Mountain trails is 8.9 miles. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Blue Ridge campsite A hardened surface for a tent among rocks and trees Blue Ridge campsite Blue Ridge Campsite A hardened surface for tent in a forest Blue Ridge Campsite Blue Ridge campsite A hardened surface for a tent on a slope Blue Ridge campsite Blue Ridge campsite A hardened surface for a tent in a forest Blue Ridge campsite Blue Ridge campsite A hardened surface for a tent in a forest Blue Ridge campsite Bush Mountain Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. A favorite of many for the exceptional vistas and western sunsets. Though the campsites at Bush Mountain are semi-protected from high winds, backpackers will find hiking on the exposed trails to reach the campground difficult during periods of high wind activity. Bush Mountain campground is 6.2 miles from Pine Springs trailhead via the Tejas and Bush Mountain trails. Five designated campsites are defined by tent pads. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Bush Mountain tent pad A hardened surface for tents in grass and forest Bush Mountain tent pad Bush Mountain tent pad A hardened surface for tents in a forest Bush Mountain tent pad Bush Mountain Tent pad A hardened surface for tents in grass and forest Bush Mountain tent pad Bush Mountain tent pad A hardened surface for tents surrounded by trees Bush Mountain tent site Bush Mountain campsite A small cliff rises above a hardened surface for a tent Bush Mountain campsite. Dog Canyon Campground The Dog Canyon Campground sits at 6,300 feet in elevation and has 9 tent and 4 RV sites. Beginning Thursday, September 30, 2021, all campsites in the Dog Canyon Campground will be reservable through recreation.gov and campsite cost will be $20 per night, per site. There is one group site at Dog Canyon that can be reserved for a group of 10-20 individuals. Campground amenities include drinking water and flush toilets (there are NO hookups, dump stations or showers). Charcoal and wood fires are not permitted. Individual Tent Sites 20.00 Individual sites can accomodate 8 people with 2 tents. Sites include a single tent pad measuring 10' x 10' and a picnic table. RV Sites 20.00 Each RV site will have a parking spot that can accommodate a 40 foot RV. Each site will have a picnic table in the spot. Group Campsites 60.00 Groups must stay in designated group sites at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds. Group site occupancy is limited to a minimum of 10 persons and a maximum of 20 persons per site. Vehicles parked here cannot block traffic. Dog Canyon Campground The trail in between campground sites. The Dog Canyon Campground offers shady camping sites. Accessible Tent Campsite Accessible campsite and tent pad. Dog Canyon accessible campsite Dog Canyon Tenting Site A typical tenting campsite at Dog Canyon Tenting site and the Dog Canyon Campground Dog Canyon RV Campground Dog Canyon RV campsites Dog Canyon RV Campground Horse Corral Camping Horse corrals at the campground Dog Canyon horse corrals and campsite Frijole Horse Corral Campground Camping is authorized for overnight horse users only at the Frijole House Campground. The visitor horse corrals and campsites must be reserved up to 60 days in advance of the visit. This camping area is immediately adjacent Highway 62/180 on the Frijole Ranch access road. The Frijole Horse Corrals have a capacity of 10 animals. Horse corral and camping fee 15.00 Horse corral fees are $15.00 per night. This fee is in addition to the required entrance fee. Frijole Ranch Horse campsite corrals A fenced horse corral compound with desert mountains in the background Frijole Ranch Horse campsite corrals Frijole Ranch Horse Campsite Tent sites with desert mountains in the background Frijole Ranch Horse Campsite Frijole Ranch horse campsite tent pads Fenced campsite areas Frijole Ranch horse campsite tent pads Guadalupe Peak Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. This primitive campground is located on the Guadalupe Peak trail, 3.1 miles from the Pine Springs trailhead, and 1 mile below the Peak. The elevation gain from the trailhead to the campsites is 2,200 feet. The campground is on a small knoll and only minimally protected from high winds. Five designated campsites are defined by tent pads. These sites are exposed and high winds are common. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Guadalupe Peak tent pad A hardened pad for a tent in a sparse mountain landscape with few trees Tent pads on Guadalupe Peak have little to no cover ore break from wind. Guadalupe Peak tent pad A hardened surface for a tent overlooks a steep rocky mountain landscape Guadalupe Peak campsites have great landscape view but little shade or cover from the elements. Guadalupe Peak tent pad A hardened surface for tent camping is outlined by rocks Guadalupe Peak tent pads are in the open. Guadalupe Peak tent pad A hardened surface for a tent lined with wood Some tent pads have shade. Marcus Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. From Dog Canyon, hikers travel through grassy areas then cross Manzanita Ridge to view West Dog Canyon before descending to an elevation equivalent to the starting point. Not frequently used; pay attention to the trail and rock cairns marking the way. The campground is in pinion and juniper, shaded and protected from the wind. The distance from Dog Canyon is 3.7 miles. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Marcus campsite A hardened surface for a tent below a few trees Marcus campsite Marcus campsite A hardened surface for a tent is located between small trees Marcus campsite Marcus campsite A hardened campsite below a few trees Marcus campsite McKittrick Ridge Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. Travel through the beautiful McKittrick Canyon before beginning the very steep climb up to the ridge. From McKittrick Canyon trailhead, the distance is 7.6 miles, with the elevation gain (significant for quite some distance) of over 2700 feet. If you'd like to visit this beautiful ridge without quite the workout, begin instead at Dog Canyon. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. McKittrick Ridge tent pad A hardened surface for a tent in a forested location McKittrick Ridge tent pads are located in cover a distance from the ridge McKittrick Ridge tent pad A hardened surface for tents is located in dense cover The tent pads have generally good shelter from the elements McKittrick Ridge tent pad A hardened surface for a tent in a forested setting The Mckitterick Ridge camping area is a short distance from the ridge. McKittrick Ridge tent pad A hardened pad for a tent in full shade from trees. McKittrick Ridge tent pads are in the trees a short distance from the ridge McKittrick Ridge tent pad A hardened pad for a tent in the full shade of trees McKittrick Ridge campsites have shade and shelter from some of the elements. McKittrick Ridge tent pad A hardened surface for a tent under the trees McKittrick Ridge campsites have tree cover. McKittrick Ridge Tent Pad A hardened surface for tents in the midge of a forest McKittrick Ridge tent site McKittrick Ridge Tent pad A hardened surface for a tent in a forest McKittrick Ridge tent site Mescalero Wilderness Campground A Wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. This campground is near several trails leading in different directions, making it an excellent choice for a "base camp" while exploring the high country. (Listen for wild turkeys off in the distance.) Mescalero is situated in ponderosa pine and brush, and is on a slope overlooking a small drainage. Located on the Tejas trail, Mescalero is 6.2 miles from Pine Springs trailhead or 4.7 miles from Dog Canyon. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Mescalero Wilderness Campground A metal sign directs hikers off the trail to the Mescalero campsites A sign directs hikers off the trail to the Mescalero campsites Mescalero campsite A hardened surface for a tent is outlined by rocks in a forest Mescalero campsite Mescalero campsite A hardened surface for tents in a forest Mescalero campsite Mescalero campsite A hardened surface for a tent surrounded by pine trees Mescalero campsite Mescalero campsite A hardened surface for a tent surrounded by trees Mescalero campsite Mescalero Campsite A hardened surface for a tent surrounded by rocks and trees. Mescalero campsite Pine Springs Campground The Pine Springs Campground has 20 tent and 13 RV sites available.Beginning Thursday, September 30, 2021, all campsites in the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds will be reservable through recreation.gov and campsite cost will be $20 per night, per site. There are 2 group sites for groups of 10-20 people. Campground amenities include drinking water and toilets (NO hookups, dump stations or showers). Charcoal and wood fires are not permitted. Individual Tent Sites 20.00 Campsites include a 10' x 10' tent pad and picnic table. Sites can typically accommodate 8 individuals with 2 tents. Beginning Thursday, September 30, 2021, all campsites in the Pine Springs Campground will be reservable through recreation.gov . The fee is $20.00 per night per site, $10.00 for Senior and Access passholders; there is no discount for Annual, Annual Military, Annual 4th grade, Volunteer or Guadalupe Mountains National Park passholders. RV Sites 20.00 RV sites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length and include a picnic table. Beginning Thursday, September 30, 2021, all campsites in the Pine Springs Campground will be reservable through recreation.gov and campsite cost will be $20 per night, per site; $10.00 for Senior and Access passholders; there is no discount for Annual, Annual Military, Annual 4th grade, Volunteer or Guadalupe Mountains National Park passholders. Group Campsites 60.00 Groups must stay in designated group sites at the Pine Springs and Dog Canyon Campgrounds. Group site occupancy is limited to a minimum of 10 persons and a maximum of 20 persons per site. Vehicles parked here cannot block traffic. Pine Springs Tent Site Tent site at the Pine Springs Campground Pine Springs tenting site Pine Springs Campground Registration bulletin board at the Pine Springs Campground Pine Springs Campground Pine Springs RV Site RV site at the Pine Springs Campground RV campsite in Pine Springs Pine Top Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. Pine Top is the backcountry campground in closest proximity to the Bowl, and offers excellent views of the park's highest peaks. Pine Top is an excellent choice for a single night backpack trip. It is 4.2 miles from Pine Springs trailhead via the Tejas and Bush Mountain trails. Elevation gain is 2300 feet. Though secluded in trees, Pine Top is susceptible to high winds & lightning. Eight designated campsites are defined by tent pads. Backcountry Use Permit Required 0.00 A free backcountry use permit is required for this site. Pine Top tent pad A hardened dirt surface in a rocky mountain landscape The tent pads allow for camp sites to limit impact on the landscape of the park. Pine Top tent pad A hardened dirt surface for tents with rocks beyond and a tree above Tent pad areas are cleared of rocks to create level surfaces for camping. Pine Top tent pad A square hardened surface in a forested area Camping must be confined to the provided tent pads. Pine Top tent pad a trail leads to a shaded square surface for a tent in a forested area Some tent pads are more private and have shade Pine Top tend pad mountains can be seen in the background of a hardened surface fore a tent Some tent pads have views of the surrounding area. Shumard Canyon Wilderness Campground A wilderness use permit is required for all use of these campsites. If you enjoy arid Chihuahuan desert or you find yourself fascinated by the geology of the Guadalupes, consider a backpack trip to this remote location. Though it is 9.2 miles from Pine Springs trailhead, the elevation gain is much less significant than many of the other trails—though it's by no means flat. Do make sure you are prepared for sun, wind, and weather exposure. The trail is not protected by trees along the way. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Shumard Camping area sign A metal sign marking the camping area rises above the desert landscape. The Shumard campsites are in a high desert landscape Shumard tent pad A hardened surface for a tent in the desert. The Shumard sites are located in the desert on the west side of the Guadalupe Mountains. Shumard tent pad A hardened pad for a tent below high desert mountains. The Shumard campsites provide dramatic views of the west face of the Guadalupe Mountains. Shumard campsite A hardened pad for a tent is located in an open desert environment. The Shumard campsites are in the open desert with no shade or break from the wind. Shumard tent pad A hardened surface for a tent surrounded by sharp desert vegetation. The Shumard tent sites are in desert vegetation. Shumard tent pad A hardened surface for a tent is below tall desert mountains The Shumard campsites are below the western escarpment of the Guadalupe Mountains Shumard campsite A hardened surface for a tent is locate before a desert ridge The Shumard campsites can be dangerously hot during the summer months. Tejas Wilderness Campground A backcountry use permit is required for all use of these campsites. The extra distance to the Tejas Wilderness Campground is worth the time for those who wish to stay in a more densely forested surrounding. The tall trees provide deep shade in the morning and late afternoon and protection from high winds aloft. Centrally located, the Tejas campground is 5.5 miles from Pine Springs trailhead or 6.2 miles from Dog Canyon. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Tejas Campground sign A metal sign directs hikers to the Tejas campground A metal sign directs hikers to the Tejas campground Tejas tent pad A hardened surface for a tent in a forest Tejas campsites feature good cover from wind and the elements. Tejas tent pad A hardened dirt surface for a tent in the forest Tejas tent pad Tejas tent pad A hardened dirt surface for a tent in the forest Tejas tent pad Tejas tent pad A hardened surface for a tent in near an old metal water tank The Tejas sites are located near an old ranch era water tank Tejas tent pad A hardened dirt surface in a forest Tejas tent pad Tejas tent pad A hardened dirt surface for tent in a forest Tejas tent pad Tejas Tent pad A hardened dirt surface on a forest slope Tejas tent pad Wilderness Ridge Wilderness Campground A backcountry use permit is required for all use of these campsites. An interesting hike along the Permian Reef geology trail meanders up 2,000 feet to Wilderness Ridge where the sudden transition from rock to trees is refreshing. Once on top, the trail is level through forested and open areas and takes you to the edge of the escarpment where the view is outstanding. Wilderness Ridge campground is in trees, and worth the extra distance to save the resource from unnecessary damage. Backcountry Permit required 0.00 A no-fee backcountry permit is required for use of any backcountry or wilderness camping. Wilderness Ridge Campground sign Metal sign along a trail A metal sign marks the location of the Wilderness Ridge Campground Wilderness Ridge tent pad A hardened dirt surface underneath a tree Wilderness Ridge tent pad Wilderness Ridge tent pad A hardened surface for a tent is located on a slope with trees behind it One of the five tent pads at Wilderness Ridge Wilderness Ridge tent pad site A hardened surface for a tent with pine trees around it The Wilderness Ridge tent pads are sheltered from the wind Wilderness Ridge tent pad A hardened dirt surface for a tent under a pine tree Wilderness Ridge tent sites have shelter from wind and elements El Capitan El Capitan with blooming claret cup cacti Blossoming claret cup cacti add a splash of color to the Chihuahuan desert. Flooded Salt Flats the slat flats become flooded during monsoon months after large rain events. After the monsoon storms, the salt flats will often become flooded creating a seasonal lake. Devil's Hall Fall Colors Fall colors in Devil's Hall Changing maple trees line the Devil's Hall trail during the fall months. Pratt Cabin Pratt Cabin in McKittrick Canyon Pratt Cabin is nestled in McKittrick Canyon with abundant trees and The Bowl wildflowers wildflowers blossom along The Bowl trail During the spring months, wildflowers are a common sight along The Bowl trail. Entrance Sign A metal and stone entrance sign stands in front of a building and desert mountains Entrance sign at Pine Springs It’s Alive! Biological Soil Crusts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts It might come as a surprise to learn that in the sublime expanses of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, some of the most interesting life around can be found in the dirt right in front of your feet! Biological soil crusts form a living groundcover that is the foundation of desert plant life. Soil crust at White Sands National Monument Climate Change and the Chihuahuan Desert The Chihuahuan Desert Network is currently developing protocols to monitor several vital signs that may reflect current and future impacts of climate change. This brief offers a summary of how Chihuahuan Desert Network monitoring will detect future change. Smith Springs is one of many springs that serve as a water source for plants & animals in the CHDN. World War II Plane Crashes in National Parks During WWII, more than 7,100 air crashes involved US Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft occurred on American soil. Collectively these crashes resulted in the loss of more than 15,599 lives (Mireles 2006). Many of these military aircraft accidents occurred in remote, often mountainous, areas managed by the National Park Service. plane crash at base of grassy hill Air Quality Monitoring in the Southern Plains and Chihuahuan Desert Networks Both the Clean Air Act and the National Park Service Organic Act protect air resources in national parks. Park resources affected by air quality include scenery and vistas, vegetation, water, and wildlife. Over the past three decades, the National Park Service has developed several internal and cooperative programs for monitoring various measures of air quality. Cactus and clear skies at Tonto National Monument Air Quality in the Chihuahuan Desert Three park units in the Chihuahuan Desert Network, Big Bend National Park (NP), Carlsbad Caverns NP, and Guadalupe Mountains NP are designated as Class I air quality areas under the Clean Air Act. Class I areas receive the highest protection under the act, and degradation of air quality must be minimal. Air quality concerns include atmospheric deposition effects and visibility impairment from fine particle haze. Rugged landscape under a partly cloudy sky at Big Bend National Park NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. rock cliff Monitoring Upland Vegetation and Soils in the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert Networks Vegetation and soils are two of many natural resources monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Learning about vegetation dynamics helps us to better understand the integrity of ecological processes, productivity trends, and ecosystem interactions that can otherwise be difficult to monitor. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor vegetation and soils using the scientific protocol described here. Quadrat used for biological soil crust sampling Park Air Profiles - Guadalupe Mountains National Park Air quality profile for Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Guadalupe Mountains NP as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Guadalupe Mountains NP. Fall colors in McKittrick Canyon Efficient Response to El Capitan Fire The lightning-ignited El Capitan fire was detected in Guadalupe Mountains National Park on May 26, 2012. The fire was located approximately one mile east of historic Williams Ranch and approximately three miles southwest of Pine Springs, Texas. Red flag conditions, terrain, and desert fuels added to the potential for rapid wildfire spread. Interagency and international cooperation was essential to controlling the fire in just three days. fire in the desert landscape Module Conducts Wildland-Urban Interface Projects Throughout the Intermountain Region In 2013, the Saguaro Wildland Fire Module (WFM) managed multiple projects simultaneously in AZ, TX, and NM. WFMs are highly skilled and versatile fire crews that provide expertise in long-term planning, ignitions, holding, prescribed fire preparation and implementation support, hazardous fuels reduction, and fire effects monitoring. With their help, fire fulfills its natural or historic role to meet resource and management objectives and create fire-adapted communities. The Archeology of Buffalo Soldiers and Apaches in the Southwest After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African American military regiments were established, called the Buffalo Soldiers. On the Texas and New Mexican frontiers U.S. troops, comprised mostly of Buffalo Soldiers, encountered fierce opposition from the Lipan, Mescalero, and Warm Springs Apache, as well as the Comanche and Kiowa. Archeologists investigated the interlaced record of Apache and military activities at Pine Springs Camp, on the mountains' eastern slopes. Archeologists mapping at Guadalupe Mountains National Park Guadalupe Mountains National Park Reptile and Amphibian Inventory Guadalupe Mountains NP includes the highest point in Texas (8,749 ft.), reliable springs, sand dunes, and forests. This inventory focused primarily on McKittrick Canyon, a very diverse riparian area, and the Salt Basin Dunes area, characterized by creosote flats, gypsum and quartz dunes. Desert box turtle Exotic Plants Monitoring in the Southern Plains and Chihuahuan Desert National parks, like other publicly managed lands, are deluged by new exotic species arriving through predictable (e.g., road, trail, and riparian corridors), sudden (e.g., long distance dispersal through cargo containers and air freight), and unexpected anthropogenic pathways (e.g., weed seeds mixed in with restoration planting mixes). Landscape with a uniform, green foreground consisting of invasive kochia Sand Dune Mammals at Guadalupe Mountains National Park Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a critical location for understanding the distribution of mammals in the Chihuahuan Desert. Situated along the Texas-New Mexico border, the park includes representative habitats from desert lowlands to mountainous highlands. Situated at the base of the western escarpment of the Guadalupe Mountains in northern Hudspeth County, Texas, are a series of gypsum and quartz dunes of which the park recently acquired approximately 10,000 acres. White gypsum dunes against a mountainous backdrop Wildland Fire in Ponderosa Pine: Western United States This forest community generally exists in areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. Extensive pure stands of this forest type are found in the southwestern U.S., central Washington and Oregon, southern Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. Recently burned ponderosa pine forest. Ship on the Desert Cultural Landscape The Wallace E. Pratt Residence, also known as Ship on the Desert, was designed in 1941 by the New York City architecture firm of Milliken & Bevin and construction was supervised by Newton P. Bevin and his wife, Elizabeth Hopkins Bevin, between 1941 and 1943. The Ship on the Desert is significant as an early modernist house in an astonishingly dramatic and remote high desert landscape. Ship on the Desert (NPS) Survey of Winter-resident Grassland Birds In winter of 2002 and 2003, an independent researcher began conducting a two-year inventory of winter-resident birds in grasslands in two parks in the National Park Service’s Chihuahuan Desert Network. The objective of this study was to inventory selected grassland habitats in Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains national parks for the presence, diversity, and abundance of wintering bird species. Rufous-crowned sparrow at Guadalupe Mountains National Park Southwest River Environments In the arid Southwest, water means life, and prehistorically, rivers were the lifelines of the people. The Colorado River flowing through a canyon Southern Basin and Range The Southern Basin and Range is an extension of the Basin and Range Province centered on Nevada and the Great Basin and extending from southern Oregon to western Texas, and into northwest Mexico. Mountains and Desert in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Guadalupe Mountains Violet The Guadalupe Mountains violet, a perennial, yellow-flowered violet, is an extremely rare endemic plant of the Guadalupe Mountains. The violet is known only from Guadalupe Mountains National Park, where it grows at high elevations on vertical limestone faces. Guadalupe Mountains violet Climate Monitoring in the Southern Plains, Sonoran Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert Climate is one of many ecological indicators monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Climate data help scientists to understand ecosystem processes and help to explain many of the patterns and trends observed in other natural-resource monitoring. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor climate using the scientific protocol described here. Kayaking across a fl ooded parking lot, Chickasaw NRA, July 2007. POINT takes on Guadalupe Peak For most visitors, hiking to the summit of Guadalupe Peak is a very challenging day hike. Imagine attempting the same feat in a wheelchair. In July 1982 a group of six paraplegics, members of a Dallas-based organization known as POINT (Paraplegics on Independent Nature Trails), set out to climb Guadalupe Peak in wheelchairs. Three men touch a pyramid shaped summit monument together. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Chihuahuan Desert Network Reptile and Amphibian Inventories In 2003 and 2004, the University of Arizona conducted an inventory of reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna) in six National Park Service Chihuahuan Desert Network parks. Primary objectives of this inventory were to document reptile and amphibian species, map the distribution of all species found, and determine a rough relative abundance for each species. Trans-Pecos ratsnake Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Series: Seasonal Inventory of Birds in Low Elevation Chihuahuan Desert Riparian Habitats In 2004, independent researchers began conducting a three-year inventory of birds in low-elevation riparian (stream-side) habitats in the National Park Service’s Chihuahuan Desert Network. The goals of this study were to (1) document the presence, richness, and abundance of bird species; (2) compare results to existing information about park birds and update park checklists; and (3) provide baseline data and site evaluations that may be used to develop bird monitoring programs in the Network. Bird survey site in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Permian Period—298.9 to 251.9 MYA The massive cliffs of El Capitan in Guadalupe Mountains National Park represent a Permian-age reef along the supercontinent Pangaea. The uppermost rocks of Grand Canyon National Park are also Permian. flat-top mountain Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Climate Monitoring at Guadalupe Mountains National Park Climate is the primary driver of ecological processes on earth, affecting soil-water relationships, plant-soil interactions, plant productivity, cycling of nutrients and water in an ecosystem, and the occurrence and intensity of disturbances. The Chihuahuan Desert Inventory and Monitoring Network monitors climate over time at Guadalupe Mountains National Park to detect changes that could have cascading effects on park ecosystems. A dusting of snow on the Guadalupe Mountains and plants and rocks in the foreground. Groundwater Monitoring at Guadalupe Mountains National Park Groundwater is one of the most critical natural resources in the American Southwest, including at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It provides drinking water, irrigates crops, and sustains rivers, streams, and springs throughout the region. Groundwater interacts either directly or indirectly with all key ecosystem features of the arid Chihuahuan Desert Ecoregion. The Chihuahuan Desert Network monitors groundwater at six wells on the park. Two people in National Park Servie uniforms lowering a cable into a well. Springs Monitoring at Guadalupe Mountains National Park We monitor six sentinel springs at Guadalupe Mountains National Park to detect broad-scale changes in these important resources. Springs are relatively rare but ecologically important natural resources in the American Southwest. Despite their small size, springs tend to be hot spots of biodiversity in arid lands. A pool of water surrounded by boulders and grass. Series: Climate and Water Resource Monitoring at Guadalupe Mountains National Park Climate and water dramatically shape ecosystems, especially in arid and semi-arid places like Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The Chihuahuan Desert Network monitors climate, groundwater, and springs at the park each year to detect changes that could be detrimental to park ecosystems. Climate change is an emerging stressor on springs in the American Southwest and a diverse array of plants and animals depend on these sparse water resources in the park. A lake with sandbars and desert plants and desert mountains in the distance Tribal Cultural Landscapes: Beyond Archeological Sites Mescalero Apache Tribe have a lot of natural resources: a fish hatchery, timber, etc. The Apaches were mobile hunters and gatherers, covering most of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, of three bands: Chiricahua, Lipan and Mescalero. Mobility was not allowed to occur anymore and also hunting and gathering were restricted, they were forced to farm. This affected culture in many ways, yet, the culture persists and remains strong today. Mescalero Apache tribe members have a mescal roast, to roast harvested agave in a pit. The Living Landscape of the Guadalupe Mountains Our Park film was very old and the 50 year anniversary is 2022. In creating a new film, how do we make a wilderness park relevant in the 21st Century? A cultural landscape concept for the new Park film will tell the stories of the landscape at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We connect visitors to the park interpretive themes through education and awareness. Visitors connect where their interests begin. A man stands at the highest point in Texas at sunset, mountains below. Bringing New Voices to Cultural Landscapes The National Parks Conservation Association uses the cultural landscapes framework to bring a wider audience and new voices to historic preservation and help protect these sites for current and future generations. A century later, we have 1.3 million members and supporters across the country, who use their voices to support Parks, speak up for those stories and iconic landscapes. The Last Traditional National Park: Guadalupe Mountains This article considers Guadalupe Mountains National Park and its meaning and place in the history of national parks, as well as in American culture and society. A woman and a park ranger walk toward tall mountains in the bright sun A 1920s Attempt at Preserving the Guadalupes While Congress authorized Guadalupe Mountains National Park in 1966 and the National Park Service established the park in 1972, attempts to set the area aside as either a national park or monument date back to 1924, if not earlier. And yet, 50 years passed before the park was established. This article explores why the early interest came to nothing. A mountian ridge rises above a desert landscape Buffalo Soldiers in The Guadalupe Mountains The Guadalupe Mountains were one of the last strongholds of the Mescalero Apache who had been fighting for nearly three centuries to preserve their lands and their way of life. IN the late 1970s the US Army established a force projection camp garrisoned by African American soldiers at Pine Springs in present-day Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Costumed interpreters recreate a scene of Buffalo Soldiers camped in desert mountains Series: The Early Movements to Establish a Park in the Guadalupe Mountains At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, to most Americans this remote corner of the Southwest was little more than windswept desert, a dry and brittle void on the national landscape. Until the year of the great stock market crash, there was no paved road connecting El Paso with Carlsbad. During this time, the surrounding region witnessed early attempts at oil and gas exploration, struggles with development, transportation, the impact of the Great Depression, and incipient tourism. An automobile of the 1940s parked below a prominent peak. The Proposed Extension of Carlsbad Caverns Concurrent with the Texas legislative efforts, the National Park Service investigated the possibility of extending the boundaries of Carlsbad Cave National Monument, which at that time encompassed only one square mile. On May 14, 1930, Congress gave the area national park status and authorized the extension of the boundaries. The proximity of these lands to the scenic splendors of the Guadalupe Mountains raised the issue of extending the Carlsbad Caverns boundaries. Judge J.C. Hunter and Early Park Plans Judge J. C. Hunter was a prime mover in the group boosting the idea of a park centered on McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains. In 1924 he had visited the inaccessible but spectacular canyon for the first time. Hunter was from Van Horn, Texas, a ranching community approximately halfway between Carlsbad and El Paso, and 65 miles south of the southern end of the Guadalupe range. The 1938 Revival For three years the Guadalupe park proposal received little attention. Then, in April 1938, Herbert Maier and a team of four resource specialists investigated the entire Guadalupe range, to its southern extremity in Texas. Maier and the survey team concluded that except for the southern extremity of the range, the mountains provided little in the way of scenic or wildlife values. They recommended against extending the boundaries of Carlsbad Caverns to include the area. The 1940s and 1950s In spite of the depressed state of the national economy, the 1930s had been a time of expansion and improvement for the parks; the work performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps had been particularly beneficial. The optimism of the park officials who investigated the Guadalupe extension to Carlsbad Caverns was part of that wave of expansion and improvement. The 1940s, however, brought a new Director to the Park Service and new attitudes toward the national park system. The Early Park Movements From 1925 to 1945 a relatively sustained effort existed to establish a park in the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas. The effort, however, was highly fragmented. Little substantive exchange took place between interested citizens and park agencies. Boosters were interested in expanding tourism because their communities would experience economic benefits. The Forces at Work During a period of fifty years a number of social, political, and economic factors combined to bring about the establishment of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Three of those factors might be singled out as crucial. One was philosophical and the other two factors were economic. The El Paso Boosters and the Texas Legislature Although Texas had set up a state parks board in the mid-1920s, by 1930 it still did not have a state park system. The National Park Service and the Grisham-Hunter Ranch In January 1934 Toll returned to Texas and toured the proposed park land with J. C. Hunter. Hunter indicated his interest in creating a park and offered the Grisham-Hunter Corporation's 43,200 acres to the federal government for $237,600, which was the corporation's cost for acquiring the land. Toll had been advised, by sources he did not reveal, that Pratt had no interest in the park idea and preferred to see the land used for private summer homes. Hardscrabble in the Guadalupes The grizzled mining prospector, on a quest for that one fabulous strike that will transform him from subsistence miner to man of wealth and status, is one of the many colorful characters that walk the pages of Western history. The remote recesses of the southern Guadalupe Mountains were prospected in the 1890s, and small-scale mining for valuable minerals was attempted briefly at a few locales. A mine entrance in a hillside features a metal gate to allow bats to come and go freely.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Visitor Guide 2015 summer/fall Find Your A Sky FullAdventure of Wonder and a Mosaic of Biodiversity Through the Seasons, The Beauty of the Guadalupes Remains Spring By Michael Haynie The interplay of light and shadow and their changing proportions through the seasons act as the warp and weft of the beautifully complex landscape of the Guadalupes. Nature, the master weaver who stitches it all together, has saved her most valued yarn to make sure it does not unravel. The silver thread of water hidden in remote canyons, running through scattered springs, and saved for a seasonal flourish when many would assume the desert would be at its hottest and driest, the summer, becomes the strength and support of a delicate fabric that we must handle with care. Easily torn, and time-consuming to mend, the varied environments of Guadalupe Mountains National Park are part and parcel of a precious heirloom that we bequeath to future generations. Such variety offers delightful surprises throughout the year as the seasons turn, some because they contradict what we would expect for a desert, and others because they do not mesh with the archetypal division of the year into four NPS Photos/M. Haynie On the Guadalupe Ridge Trail Summer Fall Winter seasons. Spring temperatures can be mild or extremely variable, accompanied by high winds. April showers are sporadic and often are measured only in the hundreths of an inch. Summer with increased light and heat, splits in two…before the monsoon rains, and after. Adding a little water this way has a transformative effect, bringing dormant seeds into their fullness. Fall brings welcome respite from the heat, and one of the greatest surprises of all…a beautiful display the sunset’s palette of colors held gently for a few weeks in the leaves of maples, ash, walnut, and sumacs. Bright orange, yellow, and scarlet deepen to amber, gold, and crimson from mid-October to mid-November. Winter’s shorter days range from cool to cold, but the nights are often freezing. Snow is rare, and high winds are again common. While the night sky here is always dazzling, the longer nights and clearer air of winter make for excellent viewing of the ancient light of stars and galaxies. For those with telescopes, this time of year offers excellent views of the Orion and Crab nebulas. For those without, extra gear is not needed to enjoy the seasonal highlight of the Geminid meteor shower in mid-December. cooler. Most nights will have freezing temperatures. Visibility is often better, so hikes to the highcountry offer distant vistas and viewing the night sky is often at its best. Before you visit, be sure to check out our safety information regarding the weather (page 5) and bring everything you need. With adequate preparation, Guadalupe Mountains National Park can be enjoyably visited all year long. Spring and fall are the busiest seasons. Visiting during these times allows you to avoid the more extreme temperatures of the summer and winter and to see some spectacular seasonal phenomena, whether its the bursting forth of new life in mid- to late-spring (April May), to the winding down of the year with one last hurrah of color in the fall. The first part of summer is the hottest, with afternoon and evening rains (usually short-lived thunderstorms) common in the latter part of summer. Flowers are more abundant, and as the monsoon rains become more reliable, a renewed burst of growth occurs, greening the grasses and freshening the air. In winter, temperatures may be mild during the day (50s or 40s), but winds can make them feel much The park has limited driving opportunities, but if you are willing to explore some of our trails, which range from accessible nature trails, to moderate canyon hikes and strenuous mountain hikes, you can discover one of the most biologically diverse areas in West Texas and experience a wilderness landscape preserved in perpetuity. Inside Got a Wild Question About the Park? Ask Lupe the Ringtail! The Other Side of the Mountain Hiking Information Prepare for Changeable Weather Wildlife & You Wildland Caving & Sitting Bull Falls (Lincoln National Forest) Nearby Attractions 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 The National Park Service was created in the Organic Act of 1916. The new agency’s mission as managers of national parks and monuments was clearly stated. “....to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” To support that mission, the collecting of natural and historic objects is prohibited. Telephone and Web Directory Greetings Welcome to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects one of the world’s best examples of a fossil reef, diverse ecosystems, and a cultural heritage tha
Guadalupe Mountains National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Visitor Guide 2015 summer/fall Fall/Winter 2019 Find Your A Sky FullAdventure of Wonder and a Mosaic of Biodiversity On the Guadalupe Ridge Trail Photo by Artist in Residence Ethan Smith Greetings W e lc o m e t o Gua d a lu p e M o u n ta i n s National Park. Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects one of the world’s best examples of a fossil reef, diverse ecosystems, and a cultural heritage that spans thousands of years. Our park staff are here to help make your visit a truly memorable event and will be happy to help you plan your visit in the park and surrounding areas. Guadalupe Mountains National Park has over 80 miles of hiking trails to explore, ranging from wheelchair accessible paths to strenuous mountain hikes, including an 8.4 mile roundtrip hike to Texas’ highest mountain, Guadalupe Peak (8,751'). As you travel and spend time in the area please remember to keep safety in mind. Deer and other wildlife are plentiful—enjoy watching wildlife, but remember they often move across roads, especially in the evenings; be vigilant while driving during twilight hours. Hikers should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Hikers can become dehydrated in our dry climate, so carry plenty of water (one gallon per person per day is recommended). Always check with a ranger before venturing into the backcountry. We wish you a rewarding experience in every way. Sincerely, Eric Brunnemann Superintendent By Elizabeth Jackson Guadalupe Mountains National Park is full of wonderful surprises. From the disappearing streams of McKittrick Canyon to the Sky Island coniferous forest and meadow of the Bowl trail, no matter where you hike in the park, there is always something unique to experience and learn. One area of the park that is often overlooked is the Salt Basin Dunes. Located along the western area of the park, they are tucked away, down a secluded, rugged road. This is an area where expensive cars fear to travel. The Salt Basin Dunes glisten in the sun, beckoning the adventurous to trek into its white, shifting landscape. Although these sand drifts originated in an area once covered by water 1.8 million years ago, they have no water current to change the ripples now. The wind and wildlife are tasked to paint patterns in the sand here. Created by a fault in the crustal rocks some 26 million years ago, the gypsum grains cover almost 2,000 acres on the western range of the park. This stunning, austere beauty calls the visitor who is looking to explore more remote areas. The Salt Basin Dunes picnic area and trailhead are located 50 miles from the Pine Springs Visitor Center. Travel west for 23 miles along Highway 62/180 and turn right on FM 1576 just before you reach the town of Salt Flat. Travel north 17 miles and then turn right on William’s Road. Continue on the dirt packed road for 8.5 miles. Use caution and travel slowly. There is no water, so be sure to bring what you need. An alternate route to the dunes incorporates a visit to Dell City first. Travel west on Highway 62/180 for 30 miles and turn right on FM 1437. Continue for 13 miles, and look on the left side for the familiar National Park Service arrowhead signaling the park contact station. Enter the parking lot into the Dell City Contact station to visit the new exhibits and listen to a brief electronic narration regarding park logistics and information on the dunes site. From the contact station, visitors can continue to the dunes by driving north through town and turning right on FM 2249 and then right on FM 1576. Then turn left on William Road (about one mile from FM2249). When visitors arrive to this day use area, they can learn more about the dunes and the western escarpment formation from the recently installed interpretive wayside exhibit that provides visitor information on the geology of the ex- Inside Parks as Neighbors Page 2 Got a Wild Question About the Park? Page 2 Ask Lupe the Ringtail! P.B. King: Geology Giant of the Guadalupes Page 3 posed range. Facilities at the trailhead include accessible parking, RV/bus parking, picnic tables with shade structures, as well as pit toilets. Camping is strictly prohibited in this area. As you begin your 1.5 mile hike to the dunes, you enter ecologically sensitive terrain. The area landscape leading to the dunes is fragile and visitors are asked to stay on the trail. A darkened cryptogamic crust can be observed on the sandy soil alongside the trail. This crust assists vegetation and allows it to take hold, while providing a thinly layered nitrogen source. This delicate layer also helps the dunes resist the strong winds and prevents erosion. Once at the dunes, as you look over to the north end, a sixty foot high dune rises, meeting the nearby western mountain range. Smaller dunes surround the area and soft red quartz grain dunes can be seen north of the Patterson Hills area, giving the illus
If you have... One hour The Pinery Nature Trail Manzanita Springs and/or Smith Springs Trail McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail Indian Meadow Nature Loop (at Dog Canyon) Two - Three hours Smith Springs Trail McKittrick Canyon (to Pratt Cabin) Devil’s Hall Trail Four hours McKittrick Canyon (to the Grotto) Marcus Overlook (at Dog Canyon) One Day Guadalupe Peak Trail The Bowl Trail Permian Reef Trail El Capitan Trail Foothills/Frijole Trail Lost Peak (at Dog Canyon) Pine Springs Visitor Center Trailhead The Pinery Trail 3/4 mile round trip Easy, wheelchair-accessible Discover the desert as you walk from the Visitor Center to the ruins of the Pinery, a Butterfield Trail stagecoach station. The Pinery Trail ends at the Pinery parking area on Hwy 62/180. Modest incline on return trip. Pine Springs Trailhead Guadalupe Peak 8.4 miles round trip Strenuous, 6-8 hours The Bowl 8.5 miles round trip Strenuous, 6-8 hours Devil’s Hall 4.2 miles round trip Moderate, 2.5-3 hours On clear days, the views from the “Top of Texas” (8,749’, 2,667m) are outstanding. the trail is well established and does not require rock-climbing abilities. Avoid the peak during high winds and thunderstorms. Take a high country hike through a coniferous forest, and see how the area is recovering from a wildland fire that occurred in 1990. Recommended route: Tejas Trail, Bowl Trail, Hunter Peak side trip, Bear Canyon Trail, Frijole Trail. After following one mile of constructed trail, turn left and follow the route through the wash. Extremely rocky. Continue for one mile to the Hiker’s Staircase and Devil’s Hall. Do not scramble up slopes or go into caves or shelters. Rocks may be unstable due to flooding that occurred in September, 2013. El Capitan 11.3 mile round trip Moderate to strenuous, 6-8 hours Frijole & Foothills Trails 5.5 miles round trip Moderate, 3-4 hours This trail leads through Chihuahuan Desert to the base of El Capitan at the southern end of the Guadalupe Mountain range. Recommended route: El Capitan Trail, Salt Basin Overlook, and back. The Frijole and Foothills trail make a loop connecting the Pine Springs Campground and the Frijole Ranch. Start at either end. Frijole Ranch Trailhead Smith Spring Trail 2.3 miles round trip Moderate, 1-2 hours Wheel-chair accessible to Manzanita Spring (0.4 miles round-trip). The trail then becomes rocky and is rated moderate. Look for birds, deer, and elk on your way to the shady oasis of Smith Spring. Dog Canyon Trailhead McKittrick Canyon Trailhead National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Guadalupe Mountains National Park Day Hikes Indian Meadow Nature Trail 0.6 miles round-trip Easy Discover the plants and animals of a meadow in the secluded north section of the park. Lost Peak 6.4 miles round-trip Strenuos, 1,500 feet of elevation gain Climb out of Dog Canyon on the Tejas Trail to visit the coniferous forest above. Outstanding views from Lost Peak. There is no trail the last 1/4 mile to the peak. Marcus Overlook 4.5 miles round-trip Moderate, 800 feet of elevation gain Follow the Bush Mountain Trail for 2.3 miles to the ridge top for a view into West Dog Canyon. McKittrick Canyon to Pratt Cabin 4.8 miles round-trip Moderate, 2-3 hours to the Grotto and Hunter Line Cabin 6.8 miles round-trip Moderate, 4-5 hours Follow an intermittent stream through the desert, transition, and canyon woodlands to the historic Pratt Cabin, Grotto Picnic Area, and Hunter Line Cabin. A guidebook is available at the trailhead visitor center. McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail 0.9 miles round-trip Moderate, <1 hour Stroll through the foothills and learn about the natural history of the Chihuahuan Desert. Trailside exhibits. Permian Reef Trail 8.4 miles round-trip Strenuous, 2,000 feet of elevation gain. For serious geology buffs, this trail has stop markers that can be used with a geology guide book available at park visitor centers. There are excellent views into McKittrick Canyon from the top of this ancient Permian structure. Salt Basin Dunes Trailhead Salt Basin Dunes Trail 3-4 miles round-trip Moderate, some of the largest dunes are 60’ high and involve some scrambling Hike to a gypsum dune field with excellent views of the western escarpment. There is no shade, so carry plenty of water and avoid hiking in the midday heat. Visit Safely Bring food and plenty of water. Wear sunscreen and a hat. Carry a trail map. Pack rain gear; sudden weather changes are common. Protect the Park Stay on trails; don’t cut across switchbacks or create new trails. Carry out all trash, including cigarette butts. Report any trail hazards to the Visitor Center.
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Guadalupe Peak Trail Nort ing h - F ac S lo pe Guadalupe Peak d ste Campground re o -F Stock Trail Junction "Around the Bend" Pine Springs Trailhead Stoc k Tr ail Devil's Hall Trail Hall Trail De Ha Peak Stock Trail Junction Guadalupe Peak il Trai l F oot h i lls Trail ! F 9 ! an @ ! it G pe lu a d ua Tr a p Ca il Tra 9 ! ll El Guadalupe Peak Campground 's Pine Springs Trailhead s "Around the Bend" v il ja Te Ü Devil's l rai kT oc St d Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas Tra i l Pine Springs Visitor Center 62 £ ¤ 180 £ ¤ Total Elevation Gain: 2906 feet Guadalupe Peak X 8751 feet XCampground X"Around the Bend" XStock Trail XPine Springs Trailhead February 2015
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas McKittrick Canyon Trail Day Hikes LINCOLN N. F. New Mexico Texas ! Pratt Cabin!( 5 ! The Grotto McKittrick Canyon Nature Loop (1 mile) 5 ! ! Hunter Line Shack McKittrick Canyon Contact i ! i ! _ Station and Trailhead 5 ! The Notch Ship ! on the Desert Ship R d. E Þ E R ID G Ship on the Desert Gate: Admin Use Only McK it tric kR o ad FR IJ O L McKittrick Canyon Gate: Open 8 am to 4:30 pm (Nov - March) Open 8 am to 6:00 pm (April - October) Ü £ ¤ 180 ! ! 62 £ ¤ ion Legend X X eN Th to r ot eG X McKittrick Ridge Campground McKittrick Canyon Trail Designated Wilderness Park Boundary (Elevation Gain: 2,700 feet) Th tt Pra Mc K it tri Frijole Ranch Ca ck C b in on t ac otc h tS t at X X February 2015 McKittrick Ridge Campground The Notch The Grotto Pratt Cabin tt r ick C an yon Trail Mc Ki McKittrick Canyon Contact Station and Trailhead Canyon Trail Fall Color The Notch Pratt Cabin The Grotto McKittrick Canyon from McKittrick Ridge View from The Notch McKittrick Ridge
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Day Hikes Near Pine Springs Pinery Trail Pine Springs Visitor Center Pi n Pinery Ruins e ry The Pinery Trail offers visitors an opportunity to take a quick walk on a paved trail. The trail features signage identifying common local plants. The trail also features ruins of the Old Butterfield Stagecoach Route Pinery Station built in 1858. Elevation Change: 40 feet Tra il @ ! Distance: 0.9 miles (Round-Trip) ! Time Estimate: 20 minutes ! Difficulty: Easy Trail Type: Paved 62 £ ¤ 180 £ ¤ Visitor Center X Visitor Center X Pinery Ruins X R N Sm Smith Spring Trail i th S ES rin Sp Distance: 2.3 miles (Round-Trip) g Elevation Change: 402 feet Time Estimate: 1.5 hours il Tra WI LD E Smith Spring ! Difficulty: Easy - Moderate le Trail Type: Mix ail Tr jo Fri The Smith Springs Loop is paved from Frijole Ranch to Manzanita Spring. It then ascends along a maintained trail to the heavily vegetated Smith Spring. The trail offers dramatic views of the surrounding mountains, foothills, and desert landscape. ! l X X X X X e St ai rc as h TH r in gs Sp @ ! oc En k T te ra i rs l W as e El Ca p it an Trail Pine Springs Trailhead, Parking, and Campground D ri v pe lu Pine ! F i! ! 9 ne il F oothills T rail n nyo Ca a Tr jas The Devil's Hall Trail is a wellmaintained trail for one mile. It then enters a rocky wash, which requires the hiker to scramble over large boulders. The trail offers spectacular views of geologic formations, steep canyon walls, tall trees, and mountaintops. St Trail Type: Mix Trail il Te il Gua da Difficulty: Moderate Teja s Tra l Time Estimate: 2.5 hours Pi a Tr ai Tr Fri jol sT othill rail Fo Trai l X k Ha ll Peak k ea e P Elevation Change: 548 feet Pine Springs Visitor Center De vi l 's c Tra i h nc Ra S E S St o Guad a l up Distance: 3.8 miles (Round-Trip) N Tra il X X Devil's Hall Trail Stock Trail Junction X Fr i j ole Smith Spring À To U.S. Highway 62/180 W I L D E R Tejas The Staircase Trail Enters Wash XM X g le ad as Te j Frijole Ro Devil's Hall ! ! Frijole Ranch O i! ! _! 3 za an n pri aS t i n ijo Fr eR an ch Manzanita Spring X X Devils Hall January 2015
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Texas National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Tejas Trail LINCOLN 137 · Æ Indian Meadows Trail Permian Reef Geology Trail Dog Canyon Ranger Station, Campground, and Trailhead Pratt Cabin ! Tr . il il . Tr McKittrick Nature Trail n Trail n y o Tej a s Kit Ca Mc ck tr i Ship Tr. Bush Juniper Trail Bowl Loop Trail Tejas 9 ! Tejas R d. 9 Mescalero ! Blue Ridge Tr. McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center and Trailhead Tra s Marcu Te ja s Tra Manzanita Ridge Route untain Mo N. F. M cK Bear Canyon Trail Frijole Trail ck R o ad ( / 62 Smith Spring Loop Trail 9 Pine Top ! ittri ( / 180 (Access via Bush Mtn. Trail) Te j Devil's Hall Trail Frijole Ranch as 2 Tr. Guadalupe Peak Tr. Williams Ranch Trailhead ­ El Capitan Trail El Capitan Trail Pine Springs Visitor Center, Campground, and Trailhead Legend 9 ! Campground Tejas Trail Eligible Wilderness Designated Wilderness Salt Basin Overlook Trail Park Boundary Tejas Trail Profile Ra nc 8500 Foothills Trail Pinery Trail Miles Mileage Chart h 1 2 3 4 Mescalero Campground 6000 ! Pine Springs Trailhead Tejas Campground 6500 (0.2 miles to Pine Top CG) 7000 ! ! 5 6 Length (Miles) 7 ! ! McKittrick Trail 7500 Bush Mtn./Bowl Tr. Junction ! ad Elevation (Feet) Ro 8000 8 ! Dog Canyon 9 10 11 12 January 2015
Marker 28 At this highpoint of the trail, you can find evidence that sea levels eventually rose and the reef front moved toward the basin center. The shallow lagoon that would have normally been behind the reef returned. Because evaporation rates were very high in the hot arid environment, the seawater had a high concentration of minerals. Mineral rich water permeated the limestone here, and replaced some of its calcium with magnesium, thus forming dolomite. Note that the reef has been eroded away here, but would have occupied a position a few hundred yards over the edge of the escarpment. Guadalupe Mountains National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior The Permian Reef Trail Guide At this point you are 2,000 feet above the desert floor. You have encountered rocks formed on the seafloor and have seen evidence of the organisms that lived there. You have seen the forces of gravity and wave action working against the reef’s upward growth, and you have found fossils of organisms frozen in the same position they were in millions of years ago. The clues found in the rocks preserved in Guadalupe Mountains National Park tell an unexpected story of life and death hidden in a remote corner of the Southwest. Lagoonal deposits Reef Forereef 14 View from McKittrick Canyon Contact Station Marker 27 The massive cliff at the top of the northeast wall of McKittrick Canyon is a fossil reef that formed approximately 260-270 million years ago. The Capitan Reef grew from the remains of billions of marine animals and plants cemented together by calcium carbonate. You can find another clue that sea levels dropped at this stop. Sheet cracks and teepee structures (tent-like folds in the rocks) are evident along the trail here. Teepee structures may have formed by the expansion of hardening rock between softer layers of unconsolidated sediment. Today, teepee structures are seen in areas around the Persian Gulf in peritidal areas where sediments would be alternately submerged and exposed to the air during tidal cycles. Limy sands and muds were deposited in warm, quiet lagoons behind the reef. These “backreef” layers form horizontal rock beds visible to the left of the reef cliff. A narrow shoal, perhaps consisting of a line of small islands when sea level was low, restricted water circulation between the shallow lagoons and those above and oceanward of the reef. This allowed rapid evaporation of lagoon waters often leading to hypersaline conditions. Fragments of the growing reef edge often broke off and rolled down slope into deep water, mixing with shells, sand, and other sediments to create thick “forereef” deposits. Generations of reef creatures then grew seaward on top of the remains of the old. Sheet crack filled by sediments Water at the base of the forereef deposits was over 1500 feet deep. Fine windblown sand and floating organic debris sometimes crossed the shoal and barrier into the deep, cold water of the Delaware Basin. The organic debris eventually became the source of vast petroleum deposits of the Permian Basin of West Texas. How to Use This Guide... The photos on the following pages were taken near the numbered markers, but not necessarily right next to them, so some searching may be involved. Each stop highlights an aspect of the reef’s story or a fossil from the reef community that will give the user a broad understanding of the Capitan Reef. Fossils are rare, non-renewable resources. Please do not damage or take fossils. Numbered markers not featured in this guide are described in a technical work, written by professional geologists, called Guide to the Permian Reef Trail, McKittrick Canyon, Guadadalupe Mountains National Park, West Texas. This book is available for loan at the McKittrick Canyon Contact Station or for purchase at the Headquarters Visitor Center (Pine Springs). 13 Marker 24 Marker 1 Stromatolites, structures formed by communities of algae, grew only in intertidal areas and they are featured at this stop. Stromatolites are characterized by alternating layers of algae and minerals that formed in mounds. They are an indication that sea levels were somewhat lower for a period of time. After crossing a rocky wash, you will notice beds of rounded rocks cemented together. These rocks pre-date the current downcutting cycle of the stream in McKittrick Canyon. Approximately 40,000 years ago during the Last Ice Age, floodwaters carried rocks to this location. Geologically speaking, the Pleistocene Epoch (11,500 to 1.8 million years ago) was not that long ago. However, the climate was very different than today: rainfall was higher and temperatures were cooler. Rushing streams transported the rocks eroded from the high country. Constant tumbling along the streambed rounded these rocks, and calcium cement in the water bound them together to form a sedimentary rock called conglomerate. Uplift of the mountains and erosion by the stream has exposed them. Stromatolites can b

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