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BULLIS GAP RANGE

BULLIS GAP RANGE. The Bullis Gap Range is a ten-mile chain of peaks running from the northwest to the southeast and is located fifty miles southeast of Marathon in eastern Brewster County (the range's center point is 29°50' N, 102°37' W). The highest point in the range is at its northwest end, where the elevation is 3,073 feet above sea level. From that point the range descends gradually along a series of summits to its southeasternmost peak, with an elevation of 2,500 feet above sea level, then plummets some 1,000 feet to meet the Rio Grande. The Bullis Gap Range consists of Cretaceous (Comanchean) Santa Elena limestone, a thick-bedded gray limestone. Along its western face for its entire length the range is defined by a linear escarpment that rises some 300 to 500 feet above the plain. This may be the topographic expression of one of many northwest-running faults that occur throughout West Texas. The rugged landscape is dominated by vegetation characteristic of Chihuahuan Desert scrub, including several varieties of semisucculents such as lechuguilla, sotol, and yucca, and shrubs such as creosote bush and ocotillo. The range is almost exactly bisected by a deep defile called Bullis Gap. Like several landmarks in the region, the gap and the range bear the name of Gen. John Lapham Bullis of the United States Army. As a cavalry lieutenant, Bullis commanded a detachment of Black Seminole scouts in the area during the late 1870s and early 1880s, and he later became a major landowner in the Big Bend region.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
A. Michael Powell, "Vegetation of Trans-Pecos Texas," in New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook (Socorro, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society, 1980). Clayton W. Williams, Texas' Last Frontier: Fort Stockton and the Trans-Pecos, 1861–1895 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1982).

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Bullis Gap Range," accessed July 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rjb75.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.