Black Mesa [#2] (Brewster County)

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Black Mesa, in southern Brewster County, is southwest of the Chisos Mountains and about 5½ miles north-northeast of Castolon within Big Bend National Park (at 29°13' N, 103°29' W). This mesa, which rises 2,775 feet above sea level, is composed of massive, hard, dense basaltic lava of the Chisos Formation surrounded by softer Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. It derives its name from its dark color. Mammalian tooth and bone fragments that date from the Eocene have been found in tuff deposits on the southeast corner of the mesa. The local vegetation, which includes scattered shrubs such as creosote bush and ocotillo and various semisucculents such as lechuguilla, sotol, and yucca, is characteristic of Chihuahuan Desert scrub.

Ross A. Maxwell et al., Geology of Big Bend National Park (Austin: Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas, 1967). A. Michael Powell, "Vegetation of Trans-Pecos Texas," in New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook (Socorro, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, 1980).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Black Mesa [#2] (Brewster County),” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994