Celebrate wilderness with Guadalupe Mountains National Park

VHA PHOTO-DB
View along the Guadalupe Peak Trail, in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
VHA PHOTO-DB
View along the Guadalupe Peak Trail, in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

By Elizabeth Jackson

Chief of Interpretation, GMNP

September is National Wilderness Month! September was designated as National Wilderness Month to recognize the anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 3, 1964. The Wilderness Act created the legal definition of wilderness and created the National Wilderness Preservation Act.

In celebration of National Wilderness Month, Guadalupe Mountains will dedicate all programming to topics relating to Wilderness. All ranger patio talks, amphitheater programs and ranger-led hikes will be wilderness themed. The park will also host a ranger-led weekend Backcountry Wilderness Adventure! On September 21st -22nd Guadalupe Mountains will host a ranger led experience in the backcountry of the Guadalupe Mountains. The park is now accepting applications for this upcoming Backcountry Wilderness Adventure. Participants will join rangers on an overnight camping trip in the park’s designated wilderness area. This experience will include guided hikes through the “Island in the Sky,” a beautiful coniferous forest of pine and Douglas fir that covers the high ridges of the southern Guadalupe Mountains. Participants will overnight at the Pine Top backcountry campsite, where a ranger will lead an astronomy program, weather permitting and present informative programs regarding conservation and Wilderness topics.

Applicants should keep in mind that travel to the backcountry campsite requires a strenuous hike of approximately four miles with an elevation gain of over 2000 feet. There are no facilities or water sources in this wilderness area, and campfires are prohibited. Participants will be responsible for bringing their own food, water, and camping gear. Participants will receive a recommended supply list prior to the event. This event has limited availability. Applications can be downloaded from the park website at Backcountry Wilderness Adventure; the deadline to apply is September 13. There is no fee to apply, but participants will be required to pay a $7.00 entrance fee when they arrive. For additional questions or concerns, contact 915-828-3251 ext. 2311 or 2312, or email gumo[email protected] with the subject line “Backcountry Wilderness Adventure.”

For updates on status of National Wilderness Month programs and the campout at the park follow Guadalupe Mountains National Park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/guadalupe.mountains, Twitter at http://twitter.com/GuadalupeMtnsNP and Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/guadalupemountainsnps/ .