Mountains and Chihuahuan Desert
According to Acronymmonster, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the US state of Texas. Up to 180,000 visitors come to the sanctuary in western Texas every year. The national park was founded in 1966. Karlovy Vary, El Paso and Van Horn are the closest cities to the national park. The Guadalupe Mountains in the protected area gave the national park its name. The two mountains ” El Capitan ” and “Guadalupe Peak” (2,667 meters high – highest mountain in Texas) are part of the mountain formation, a former underwater reef. The Guadalupe Mountains National Park covers an area of approximately 349 km². Aside from the mountain ranges, the National Park is bordered by the Chihuahuan Desertshaped. It gets very hot there in summer. In contrast, the climate in the mountainous, partially forested part of the national park is somewhat milder.
About 12,000 years ago, Native Americans, most recently the Apache people, lived in the area of today’s national park. Archaeological finds such as arrowheads and rock paintings support this assumption. In the 16th century the Spaniards came sporadically, and later in large numbers, to the area of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. At that time the quite aggressive Apaches lived there. Fierce battles ensued, with much blood and suffering, with numerous casualties on both sides.
Free for all – all against the Apaches
These Native Americans were given the nickname Mescalero Apaches because they made brandy from agaves, the forerunner of today’s tequila. Numerous forts were built in the region by the military. A large wave of settlers finally came to the Guadalupe Mountain area after the end of the American Civil War in 1964. Clashes between the Buffalo Soldiers (African American army units on the side of the Unionists), the Native Americans, the settlers, the cowboys, vagabonds and bandits were quite common. Just like in the ” Wild West “.
Wildlife in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Elk and mule deer are the most striking animals in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Mountain lions, bears and bighorn sheep are suspected there. Porcupines and bobcats are other larger mammals in the national park area. Eagle owls, golden eagles and turkey vultures are the largest of the more than 200 bird species recorded in the reserve.
Plants of the Chihuahuan Desert
Cacti, yucca palms, opuntias, and agaves abound in the vast expanses of the Chihuahuan Desert. The mountainous regions of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park bear pine, cherry juniper, and more rarely the Texas mandron. Due to the different vegetation zones within the national park, the flora is diverse and numerous in species, although the landscape appears a bit dreary and monotonous at first glance.
Highlights im Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The main canyon in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is Pine Spring Canyon. There is a visitor center and a good campsite. McKittrick Canyon and Dog Canyon are other canyons in the national park. Dog Canyon is only accessible from New Mexico. Other protected areas in the vicinity of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park are the Brantley Lake State Park, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, the Sitting Bull Falls – waterfalls and the Lincoln National Forest.
Camping in the national park
The Guadalupe Mountains National Park has several park entrances. There are two campsites in the sanctuary. The first is the Pine Springs Campground mentioned above. The main visitor center is also in the immediate vicinity. The second campground is at Dog Canyon, in the northern section of the protected area. However, the campsites are not very large. Overnight accommodation is limited in the immediate vicinity of the park. Only in the cities of Van Horn, El Paso and Karlsbad are there sufficient overnight accommodations.
Hiking paradise away from the hustle and bustle
Along with Carlsbad Caverns National Park in nearby New Mexico, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is off the main tourist itineraries in the United States. The national park has no central highlights, the whole national park in its diversity is the highlight. The park is popular with hikers and researchers of flora and fauna. The network of hiking trails in the national park is around 130 km long. In the somewhat protected and water-rich regions of the national park, the Indian summer in autumn is wonderful to look at.
Fossils from the primordial sea
In addition to the settlement remains of earlier inhabitants of the region, fossils can often be found in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Scientists and geologists from all over the world visit the Texas region to study what used to be the fossilized reef of a primordial sea, the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas.