Guadalupe Mountains National Park   2 comments

Guadalupe Mountains NP 00Where Is It: The Park is 110 miles east of El Paso, or 56 miles southwest of Carlsbad, NM.

The Birth: From Wikipedia:

Felix McKittrick was one of the first European settlers in the Guadalupe Mountains; he worked cattle during the 1870s. McKittrick Canyon is thought to be named after him. In 1921, Wallace Pratt, a geologist for Humble Oil and Refining Company, was impressed by the beauty of McKittrick Canyon and bought the land to build two homes in the canyon. Both constructions were used as summer homes by Pratt and his family up until 1960. Wallace Pratt donated about 6,000 acres of McKittrick Canyon which became part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which was dedicated and formally opened to the public in September, 1972.

It Happened Here: The Park was the last Apache stronghold in Texas. It also became a campground for the Buffalo Soldiers – all Black Regiments formed in the years after the Civil War. They were called Buffalo Soldiers by the Cheyenne for their dark skin, curly hair and fierce fighting spirit. The Apache Chief Victorio’s last skirmish with the 10th Cavalry occurred in 1880, only 40 miles south of the Guadalupes in the Sierra Diablo Mountains, at a place called Rattlesnake Springs.

Size: 86,367 acres

# Visitors: Only 145,670 people visited the Park in 2013.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

Plants that grow here are tough. They survive not only the components that make up the landscape, but also the extremes of temperature, aridity, and relentlessly powerful winds, all common factors of the park’s desert climate. Plants have evolved elegant methods of tolerating or avoiding desert conditions. Some such as cactus have thick fleshy stems that store water, and spines that not only serve as fierce armor against predators, but also help reflect the sun’s radiant heat.

Animals: From the Park’s website:

Desert animals are often difficult to view since many of them are nocturnal. Many desert animals adapt to the hot, dry environment by coming out after dark, when temperatures are much cooler and conditions are not quite so dry. Nocturnal desert animals include the kit fox, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, badger, Texas banded gecko, and about 16 species of bats. Mule deer, javelinas, and black-tailed jackrabbits are seen early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler.

Desert reptiles include the western diamondback rattlesnake, bullsnake, coachwhip snake, prairie lizard, collared lizard, crevice spiny lizard, and the Chihuahuan spotted whiptail.

Fees: The entrance fee is $5.00 per person for adults 16 years of age and older. This fee is good for 7 days.

Staying There: Walk-in campsites are $8.00 per night.

Contact Info:

400 Pine Canyon Drive
Salt Flat, TX 79847-9400Pine Springs Visitor Center: (915) 828-3251Dog Canyon Ranger Station: (575) 981-2418



National Park Service: Guadalupe Mountains National Park


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