Sunday, January 3, 2010

Guadalupe Mountains N.P., Salt Basin Overlook Trail

The Salt Basin Overlook Trail is a wonderful 11.5 mile hike through some great west Texas country. It starts out in some very nice short-grass prairie which is frequented by...

...various grass eaters:

From a distance the country that the first few miles of the trail covers looks pretty flat but, in fact, is dissected by numerous streams originating in the Guadalupe Mountains. Here we are in a nice little hidden canyon:

As we hike higher, we get nice views of the limestone peaks of the Guadalupes:

Descending into Guadalupe Canyon with views into the huge-ness of west Texas:

A bit of snow hangs on in the shady areas:

Coming-around-the-bend, we see in front of us some foothills and the salt basin beyond.

Turn around and we see the iconic El Capitan peak:

One our favorite spots was this unexpected outcropping of sandstone - whimsically weathered into rounded boulders with...

...water-holding pockets:


Why attempt to explain this crazy weathering? Use your imagination, you'll probably be right!

Signs of man's hopeless romanticism - a water tank for cattle in a place where (some think) cattle may not be the best idea:

Another sign - an introduced critter - the Barbary Sheep. Well, they seem to do o.k. here although they are blamed for the demise of the native bighorn sheep (although we wonder if the latter's demise may have had a bit to do with cattle as well?). Sort of like blaming kudzu for eating a barn. Maybe we'd stop making messes if we'd claim the one's we've already wrought? More power to 'em...

A wonderful hike! Tired (well-exercised) and happy, we don't ask for much...

4 comments:

  1. Wow, looks like a great hike. Amazing scenery!

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  2. I cannot wait to do this!!

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  3. You guys really helped my with my report!!! Thank you!!!

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    Replies
    1. Great! It's an excellent place to hike. :)

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