Southern New Mexico & West Texas

September 3-6, 2004

On this trip I visited Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument and the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
I flew into El Paso and spend the night in a Comfort Inn near the airport. The next day, I drove up to check out the Guadalupe Peak trailhead, then continued on to Carlsbad Caverns where I spent the rest of the day. The following day I spent climbing Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. From there I drove west, passing through Cloudcroft and Almogordo before arriving at White Sands. I then drove to the Gila National Forest north of Silver City and checked out the Cliff Dwellings. Returning from El Paso, I got stuck in Houston. My connecting flight got cancelled due to Hurricane Frances which lingered in Florida all weekend while I was gone. I managed to hop on a flight to Orlando, where I got a one-way rental car back to Jacksonville.


White Sands from a distance

Coming down the road from Cloudcroft, the White Sands were visibile as a white band on the horizon

It appears that they must plow the roads

First view of the cliff dwellings

There is a short hike from the parking lot which follows a stream flowing through the bottom of the canyon. It is damp, cool and shaded in contrast to much of the surrounding area. The trail then starts going uphill towards the caves above.

Approaching the cliff dwellings

After a short climb, the trail flattens out

Much of the wood is the original

The dry air helps to preserve the wood, which is over 700 years old. The Park Service restored some of the walls, the restored areas are lighter in color.

A current resident came out to say hello

Interior view