username
X
password
register help

Salt Basin Dunes - Guadalupe Mtns NP, TX

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
Fav
Wish
0
details
drive
permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplog
topics
location
11 1 0
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,646 feet
Elevation Gain 23 feet
Accumulated Gain 47 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.56
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
11  2021-04-11 LindaAnn
Author LindaAnn
author avatar Guides 51
Routes 392
Photos 4,092
Trips 1,315 map ( 9,564 miles )
Age 41 Female Gender
Location Ahwatukee, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:54am - 8:09pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water


Exponentially Fertile Soil
by LindaAnn

Overview: Located on the Guadalupe Mountains National Park's far western edge, the Salt Basin Dunes are part of the second-largest gypsum dune field in the United States. This area does not seem to get high visitation; even on weekends, you will likely have the area to yourself.

Hike: From the parking area's southeastern corner, head east on the dirt road/trail. The dunes are not visible yet, but they will be in just a few minutes. It is abundantly obvious that cattle frequent this trail more often than humans. After about a quarter-mile, you will reach the old parking area, which has another interpretive sign explaining the region's geology. The trail continues to the left of the sign and heads toward the northern edge of the sand dunes. The trail surface is covered in fine sand, making walking somewhat strenuous despite there being virtually no elevation change on the trail. Every plant along the trail also seems to have thorns.

As you head east, the dunes rise on your right, and a few side trails lead over to the dunes for exploration. Continuing east on the trail, it "ends" at the old Butterfield Stage route. The Butterfield route runs SE to NW along the eastern edge of the dunes. From here, turn right, and head up into the dunes past some old signposts that no longer have signs. This is the end of the official trail, but you can explore along the stage route and all over the dunes to your heart's content before heading back to the trail. The dunes on the northern side tend to have less vegetation and are taller than the dunes at the southern end.

Notes: Sledding is not permitted on the dunes. If exploring in the dunes, pay attention to your surroundings. It is easy to lose track of which direction you need to head to return to the trail. Bring plenty of water; there is no shade. The dunes are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Gypsum: A great source of calcium and sulfur for plant nutrition. It improves soil structure, improves water infiltration, and helps reduce runoff and erosion. Gypsum is also the primary component in drywall.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2021-04-12 LindaAnn

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    NPS

    Guadalupe Mountains National Park
    check current fees


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From El Paso, TX: Take Hwy 62/180 east to Farm Rd 1576. Turn left onto 1576 and take north approx 17 miles to Williams Rd. Turn right onto Williams Rd and take it east approx 8 miles, to the trailhead. All turns from the highway to the trailhead are signed. Williams Rd is dirt and may be impassable when wet. While the road is generally in good condition, a few spots may require medium clearance.

    From Carlsbad NM or Guadalupe Mtns NP: Take Hwy 62/180 west to Farm Rd 1576. Turn right onto 1576 and take north approx 17 miles to Williams Rd. Turn right onto Williams Rd and take it east approx 8 miles, to the trailhead. All turns from the highway to the trailhead are signed. Williams Rd is dirt and may be impassable when wet. While the road is generally in good condition, a few spots may require medium clearance.
    page created by LindaAnn on Apr 12 2021 1:13 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker