Guadalupe Mountains National Park established
On this day in 1972, Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established. The 76,293-acre park in Hudspeth and Culberson counties includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at over 8,700 feet. Indian rock art sites indicate Native American occupation as far back as 12,000 years, and the Apaches lived in the Guadalupe Mountains as late as the 1880s. In the 1920s J. C. Hunter purchased the Guadalupe Mountain Ranch and raised Angora goats there. Efforts to preserve the land as a park date to the 1930s when Hunter’s son offered to donate 300 acres of scenic McKittrick Canyon to the state of Texas. By the 1960s land donations and sales to the National Park Service paved the way for the establishment of a national park. Guadalupe Mountains National Park contains eighty miles of trails, and the maple and hardwood trees of McKittrick Canyon offer brilliant fiery hues for hikers in the autumn.