In the state of Texas, 179,188 visitors (2003) visit the Guadalupe Mountains National Park annually. This lies on an area of 349 km² in part of the mountain range of the Guadalupe Mountains and therefore has its name. The park was established on October 15, 1966. See a2zdirectory for tourist attractions in Texas.
History of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The Guadalupe Mountains are visually an extreme difference to the Chihuahua Desert around the area.
The mountain with the sonorous name of El Capitan and the highest point in Texas, the 2,667 meter high Guadalupe Peak are also in the park. El Capitan in particular used to be a landmark for travelers. So they knew which way they were and how far it was still. The remains of a stagecoach station from that time can still be found near the Pine Springs Visitors Center.
Archeologists found that the first humans lived in what is now the park area 12,000 years ago and hunted with arrowheads and spears.
Later, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the first Europeans came to Guadalupe. Spaniards landed in the area where the warlike Apache people lived at that time.
The Apaches knew how to skillfully use their nature and the foods that resulted from it. For example, they roasted agave hearts as a staple food. They also brewed a brandy from agave juice. We know this today as mescal or tequila. The Spanish gave the Apaches the nickname mescaleros or mescal maker. However, the Apaches did not simply want to give up or share their land. Raids and attacks by the Indians on European immigrants occurred almost daily.
To protect the settlers, forts were built for defense. After the end of the American Civil War in 1864, the area of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park became heavily populated. Cowboys also settled here and shared their territory with Indians, blue coats, cattle and horse thieves. The area made a name for itself with its Wild West stories and travelers now feared not only attacks by Indians, but also by cowboys and thieves.
Animals and Plants in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Mules and elk deer are particularly common in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The elk deer were resettled around 1920 because they had been exterminated in the area of today’s national park. Elk deer were originally represented in large numbers and so the aim was to reintroduce the animals to the wild. According to fewer sightings, there are also said to be black bears, bighorn sheep and mountain lions here.
Visitors can especially see bobcats and porcupines. In contrast to other wild animals, some of these can also be found near the park roads.
Large birds such as the turkey vulture, golden eagle and eagle owl are also represented here in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. There are also another 200 species of birds.
The animals have adapted to the rough environment. For the typical climate you will also find the appropriate plant species here. Desert cacti, opuntias, agaves, yuccas and sotol thrive here. Higher up on the mountain slopes are the Mexican stone pine, cherry juniper and Texas mandrons, among other things. However, these are rarely found.
For plant lovers, there is a special treat in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. This is because plants stand next to each other, which can actually only be found separately from each other. For example, plant species that are otherwise found in the eastern part of America thrive here alongside plants that are usually native to the western half of the continent.