The Guadalupe Mountains are are one of the best examples of a marine fossil reef. The mountain range is built from the ancient Capitán Reef, formed during the Permian Period 260-270 million years ago. A tropical ocean covered parts of the area and over millions of years, calcareous sponges, algae, and other organisms built up to form the 400 mile long horseshoe shaped Capitán Reef. Once the sea evaporated, the reef was buried in thick blankets of sediment and minerals. Tectonic uplifting exposed a giant block of it and thus, we have the Guadalupe Mountains.
We already hiked to the top of Guadalupe Peak, and out McKittrick Canyon, this time we did the Bear Canyon/Bowl/Tejas loop. It was another doozy of a hike at 9.6 miles with 2696′ of climbing. This loop was harder than Guadalupe because almost all the climbing happens in a 2 mile section. It’s steep with rocky steps and towering cliffs. There is no let up for those two miles but there is plenty to gawk at. At the top the wind was really whipping and we kept going up to the Bowl which is a big meadow. To get to it, we past through highland forest with trees and grasses. Once again, it was hard to believe we were in Texas!
The descent was more gradual than the climb thankfully, but still very dramatic. We didn’t see any other people this entire hike, only a few deer and tons of birds. It’s nice to have these remote experiences. Now I’m tired.