Monday, March 28, 2011

Flowers of the Smith Spring Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Smith Spring trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of our favorite short trails in the region.  To learn why, visit our slideshow of images from the trail or read the park's website page on the area. 

Here's a snippet from that webpage:  "The trail is rated moderate, with a round-trip distance of 2.3 miles. Allow one to two hours.  Look for lizards, mule deer, javelinas, and elk as you walk this loop trail to the shady oasis of Smith Spring. Here, nature weaves a tapestry of life with green and silver threads. Rainfall and snowmelt from the higher elevations flows through a series of cracks in the limestone beds to emerge near the base of the eastern escarpment, forming a shallow creek lined with ferns and sedges, and watering a grove of trees including maples, choke cherry, chinkapin oaks, Texas madrones and ponderosa pines. Take a break here and look for birds such as Cooper's hawks, sapsuckers, and hummingbirds as you enjoy the water that splashes around the rocks creating this incredible desert paradise."

This area of the park is also a wildlife/birding site on the new Far West Texas Wildlife Trail map.  Read more and find a link to purchase the map, here.   The map is only $2 and provides information on 57 sites across Far West Texas!

Today's Feature:  Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn
Newly restored, this 1930s cattleman's hotel in Van Horn just off of I-10, is the closest historic hotel to Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Cycle-friendly, the Hotel El Capitan is also the starting point for the beautiful "El Capitan to El Capitan Heritage Bike Ride," from Van Horn to the foot of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. 

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