Most of the Guadalupe ridge area that has been segregated from livestock production is approaching a climax type of vegetation, based on the particular elements of site, soil, and climate peculiar to this mountain range. Future protection against overuse and forest fires should permit continuation of this ecological process. The rangeland will return, in time, to a condition approximating its natural state.
The terrain is varied, and there are opportunities to provide both roadless sections and developed areas of anticipated heavy public use. Also available are viewpoints along a proposed high scenic drive where roadside exhibits could interpret the Permian reef complex and other geologic features, as well as botany and ecology. The upland sections of the Guadalupes possess a park atmosphere protected by altitudinal differences from the base sections, where headquarters, maintenance, and winter visitor facilities could be located.
The present North McKittrick Canyon donation is not now a comprehensive unit. The addition of South McKittrick Canyon and adjacent suitable portions of the Guadalupe range would supplement the present lands and form a National Park System unit which could stand on its own. It would be desirable to acquire the entire drainage of North McKittrick Canyon, but since upper North McKittrick is part of the Lincoln National Forest, its acquisition must be considered a long-range objective.
Present access to the high Guadalupes is limited to four-wheel-drive vehicles and stock or foot travel. The low-grade road terminating in The Bowl would not be feasible as an access road to that country. It begins its climb to the upland section from El Paso Gap which is, itself, 30 miles from a paved road and 54 miles from the junction with U.S. Highway 285. Primary access should be from the east side to connect with U.S. 62-180. If the Carlsbad-Sitting Bull Falls-Queen-El Paso Gap road is ever paved, consideration should be given to making a connection between it and the high-country road, via Upper Dog Canyon. However, this should not preclude an eventual ridge road connecting with Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Last Updated: 09-Feb-2007