Texas Guadalupe Mountains National Park map and highlights

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Texas Guadalupe Mountains National Park map and highlights

Map of National Park Guadalupe Mountains in Texas
Guadalupe Mountains, Texas on the map. National Park Guadalupe Mountains (Texas state) on the map of USA.   
Below: The lonesome sound of coyotes barking and howling is a familiar night chorus in the West.    
Guadalupe Mountains, Texas    
Established: 1972   Acreage: 76,293
     
The Guadalupe Mountains stand like an island in the desert,  silent sentinels watching over the most extensive fossil reef complex  known to man. The mountain range resembles a massive wedge—rising in  Texas, its arms reach northward into New Mexico. At its 4V stands El  Capitan, a 2000 foot sheer cliff. The park lies astride these mountains'  most scenic, rugged portions. The highest point in the Guadalupe  Mountains is Guadalupe Peak at 8751 feet (2667 meters). It is also the  highest point in the state of Texas.
     
The Guadalupe Mountains are part of one of the best examples of  an ancient marine fossil reef on earth. About 250 million years ago a  vast tropical ocean covered the area. Over millions of years, calcareous  sponges and algae combined with other lime-secreting marine organisms  and large quantities of lime that precipitated directly from the  seawater to form the 400-mile long, horseshoe-shaped Capitan Reef. The  sea dried up and the reef subsided and was entombed for millions of  years, until a mountain-building uplift in the area exposed a part of  the fossil reef in the Guadalupes.
     
For the past 12,000 years the mountain caves, springs, plants  and wildlife provided shelter and sustenance to various groups of  people. Spanish conquistadors passed near the Guadalupes on trips from  Mexico in the late 1500s and found Mescalero Apaches living there. After  the mid-1800s came explorers and pioneers whose culture conflicted with  that of the Indians. In 1849 the US Army began a campaign against them  which lasted for 30 years. Amidst this conflict, Butter-field  stagecoaches carried mail through the mountains on the nation's first  transcontinental mail route.
     
At the foot of the Guadalupe Mountains lies the Chi-huahuan  Desert. Although only a tiny portion of the desert is preserved within  the park, its vast, arid plains dominate the views from the mountains.  At first glance the desert may appear a barren wasteland, but it is full  of life. Agaves, prickly pear cacti, walking-stick callas, yuccas and  sotol thrive in this hot, dry environment. Wildlife prospers too.  Lizards, snakes, kangaroo rats, coyotes and mule deer are frequently  seen.
     
The many deep, sheer-sided canyons of the Guadalupe Mountains  hold an impressive diversity of plant and animal life, which is perhaps  best seen in the McKittrick Canyon. Situated between the desert below  and the highlands above, McKittrick has a mix of plants and wildlife  found in the desert, canyon woodland and highland forest.
     
In the mountain high country thrives a dense forest of pine and  fir trees, a relic of ancient times, when the climate was cooler and  moister. Throughout this wilderness roam mule deer, raccoons, wild  turkeys, vultures, mountain lions, black bear and elk. A herd of 50 to  70 elk live in the park, the descendents of animals brought down from  Wyoming and South Dakota. The native population was driven to extinction  in the early part of this century when man encroached on the elk's  territory. Today, the elk within the park are protected from all but  natural predators, such as the mountain lion.   
Guadalupe Mountains, Texas on the map. National Park Guadalupe Mountains (Texas state) on the map of US
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