Showing posts from November, 2011

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Location: near Carlsbad, New Mexico
Date: November 5, 2011
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico just north of the Texas border in the Chihuahuan Desert.  The Guadalupe Mountains are an ancient limestone reef, once at the bottom of an inland sea, making them very conducive to the formation of caves.  Carlsbad Caverns National Park has 116 known caves, the showpiece of which is of course Carlsbad Caverns.  There are additional caves in the area just to the south of the park in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. See photos from my November 2012 visit here.

The park is located about 35 miles southwest of the town of Carlsbad New Mexico.  There is a seven mile park road from the highway at Whites City that travels through a small canyon to the top of the ridge where the visitor center and cavern entrance are located  The area along the road was recently burned, and there are several pullouts for you to stop and look at the surroundi…

Devil's Hall, TX

Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, far western Texas
Distance: 4.2 miles (6.8 km) round trip
Elevation Gain: ~500 ft (150 m)
Date: November 5, 2011

The Devil's Hall trail is a 2.1 mile long trail in Pine Spring Canyon of Guadalupe Mountains National Park in west Texas.  The park is an exposed limestone reef with unique ecological features in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, and its best known feature is Guadalupe Peak. I also hiked this trail on  November 2, 2012.

The trail departs the Pine Springs trailhead, where water is available and must be carried in.  The first mile of the trail is fairly flat and traverses the lower and fairly wide section of Pine Spring Canyon.  Then the canyon narrows and the trail begins to follow the streambed, which more than likely will be dry no matter when you visit.  As you move up the canyon you will begin to see trees such as bigtooth maple and gray oak that you will not see anywhere else in the region except for these canyons.


Guadalupe Peak, TX

Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, far western Texas

Summit elevation:  8,751 ft (2,667 m)
Distance: 8.4 miles (13.5 km) round trip
Elevation gain: 2,950 ft (899 m)
Class: 1
Date: November 4-5, 2011

Guadalupe Peak at 8,751 feet is the highest point in Texas and located in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in far west Texas just south of the New Mexico border and about 100 miles east of El Paso.  Guadalupe Peak sits at the southern edge of the Guadalupe Mountains, which is an exposed ancient limestone reef, which has led to the formation of the 116 known caves just to the north in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

The Guadalupe Peak trail begins at the trailhead by the Pine Springs campground and steadily gains elevation for all 4.2 miles to the summit.  Water is available at the trailhead, and it is important that you take at least one gallon per person per day with you from this point as there is no water along the trial.  The park is in the Chihuahuan Desert, so conditions…