McKittrick Canyon and Salt Basin Dunes Closed
McKittrick Canyon and the Salt Basin Dunes area is closed until further notice. Heavy rains have caused flooding and trail damage in the park. For more information on closures call 915-828-3251.
Trees and Shrubs
NPS Photo - Michael Haynie
In much of the Chihuahuan desert, shrubs, succulents, and cacti, dominate the landscape, while trees are few in number and in total number of species. Trees generally need more water, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity than the desert climate has to offer, and that restricts them to ridge tops, canyons and riparian zones. Those that do grow in the lower desert elevations, such as honey mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa, often grow no taller than shrubs and are easily confused with shrubs because they possess similar physical characteristics such as small leaves and sharp spines.
Shrubs, on the other hand, are numerous and widespread in the Chihuahuan desert. Average elevations in this desert (above 3000’) allow for colder winters which many shrub species can tolerate, while most cacti and succulents cannot.
Did You Know?
The Pinery Station, located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, was one of the most favorably situated stage stops on the original 2,800-mile Butterfield Overland Mail route, and the highest, located at 5,534' in Guadalupe Pass. More...