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.
40th Anniversary Celebration
Contact: Karl Pierce, 915-828-2351 ext 2300
(Pine Springs, TX) Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez announced that the park will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its establishment on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. The park was authorized on 1966, but was established on September 30, 1972. The day's activities will include musical performances, hay rides, pony rides for the children, special guest speakers and delicious BBQ at Frijole Ranch, living history at the Pinery Butterfield Stage Ruins and lectures, films, and special photograph and mural exhibits at the Pine Springs Visitor Center.
Confirmed, so far, are Ceiba from El Paso (Latin American folk music), the Muletones from Dell City (Country Western music), muralist Brother Boko from the Carlsbad Mural Project, historian Dr. Jeffrey Shepherd from the University of Texas at El Paso presenting about the history of the Guadalupe Mountains and Guadalupe Mountains National Park and landscape historian Julie McGilvray of SWCA Environmental Consultants in Austin, presenting about the Butterfield Overland Mail. There will be a special photo exhibit from local photographers in the Pine Springs Visitor Center Auditorium. More to be added, so contact the Pine Springs Visitor Center or visit the park's website (www.nps.gov/GUMO/), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Guadalupe.Mountains/) or Meetup page (www.meetup.com/Guadalupe- Mountains-National-Park-Meetup-Group/) for updates.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park will also formally launch the Peak Fitness Challenge (www.texasmountaintrail.com/hike/) on October 6, along with partners Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/franklin-mountains), the Texas Mountain Trail (www.texasmountaintrail.com), one of ten Texas heritage trails, and GeoBetty, that day. The Peak Fitness Challenge is a new partnership effort to encourage people to enjoy the many spectacular trails in both Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Franklin Mountains State Park to achieve their peak fitness level and enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of hiking in America's Great Outdoors.
Said Vásquez, "this is a momentous occasion, and we hope old friends of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and new, will join us for a full day of family fun as we go into our fifth decade. With more than 80 miles of hiking trails through some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is very much a hiking park. We are proud to launch the Peak Fitness Challenge with our partners and encourage everyone to use the park to exercise and become more fit and healthy. We hope that those that visit on October 6th will continue to visit, hike, camp, watch wildlife, photograph and enjoy Guadalupe Mountains National Park."
Park information, including park conditions, closures or restrictions, weather and program information, may be found on the park's website at www.nps.gov/GUMO/, on the park's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Guadalupe.Mountains/, or by contacting the Pine Springs Visitor Center at (915) 828-3251 x2124. Ranger-guided hike and other interpretive program information is also available on the park's Meetup page at www.meetup.com/Guadalupe- Mountains-National-Park-Meetup-Group/. The Pine Springs Visitor Center is open daily (except for Christmas) from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM (8:00 AM until 6:00 PM from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend). Be sure to stop by to get a map, site bulletins, brochures, post cards, books or film about Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The McKittrick Canyon, Frijole Ranch House, Dog Canyon and Salt Basin Dunes (Dell City, TX) Visitor Contact Stations are open intermittently. Please call the Pine Springs Visitor Center at (915) 828- 3251 x2124 to find out whether they are open. For Dog Canyon, call the Dog Canyon Visitor Contact Station/Ranger Station at (575) 981-2418.
Did You Know?
The long narrow leaves of the desert willow (Chilopsis linearis) gives it its common name, but it is not a true willow. It is beautiful when in bloom, and provides valuable nectar for hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other insects.