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Hiking in the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas


Aaron Zagrodnick
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Aaron Zagrodnick

Along the edge of an ancient sea, a reef formed. The water was an inland sea, connected to the rest of the earth’s oceans by a narrow channel. The reef grew and grew until it stretched around the horseshoe-shaped shoreline of the sea for a length of over 400 miles, towering high above the ocean floor, similar to the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. This 250-million year old reef is known as The Capitan Reef. It was a tropical ocean, teeming with life – sponges, algae, and other lime-secreting marine organisms. For several million years these organisms built their home in the ocean until the inlet became restricted and the sea began to evaporate. Thick blankets of other sediments then covered the reef, eventually burying it for millions of years. As movements of the Earth’s plates caused the area to rise and these ancient sediments were exposed, they began to erode and reveal the massive reef once again, leaving the resistant limestone standing high above the surrounding softer sedimentary rock. This exposed reef now forms the rugged and beautiful Guadalupe Mountains National Park, which contains the four highest peaks in Texas. In late October 2008, my usual hiking buddy Ward and myself made a trek from Oklahoma to the west Texas Chihuahuan Desert to visit Guadalupe Mountains National Park...

In Issue 37, @Steve Ancik details this trip to the Guadalupe Mountains and the hiking and backpacking opportunities contained within its boundaries, check out the full article in Issue 37 below:

High Above Texas: The Guadalupe Mountains

Hiking Guadalupe Mountains and Peak Texas

Issue 37 Page 1

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