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Texas State Parks

MONAHANS SANDHILLS STATE PARK

Monahans, Texas

I-20/US 80

Book Hotel Here > Monahans Hotels
Camel riders in Monahans Sandhill State Park
Camel riders in Monahans Sandhills State Park.
Photo by Doug Baum
5 miles East of Monahans is one of the most interesting arboreal oddities in the United States - a miniature forest of (Havard Oak) trees that only reach waist high. The sandhills themselves comprise 4,000 acres of sand dunes, while the "forest" occupys 40,000 acres, making it technically one of the largest oak forests in the U.S. The park opened in 1957 and is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
800-792-1112
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.htm

Historical Marker
(Visitors center in Sandhills State Park
US 80/I-20
About 6 miles E. of Monahans) :

Monahans Sandhills State Park and Museum

"In these shifting seas of sand, rich in stone evidences of primitive men, today's visitors find flint points, sandstone metates and manos of peoples who were here as early as 10,000 years ago and late as the 1870s. Bones of great mammoths and gigantic bison prove that this desert was in post-glacial times a land of lakes and tall grasses.

Cabeza de Vaca in 1535 and Antonio de Espejo in 1583 encountered Jumanos, historic tribe which hunted here. In 1590 Castaño de Sosa found a tribe he called Vaqueros because they lived by hunting cows (buffalo)--the tribe later called Apaches.

For more than 100 years at this stop on great Comanche War Trail extending into Mexico. Apache fought Comanche for pools of water and acorns of dwarf Shinnery oak. The California or Emigrant Trail through the Sand Hills started with the gold rush. Was first mapped in September 1849 by Capt. Randolph B. Marcy, U.S. topographical engineers, and in 1854 by Capt. John Pope, who explored a railroad route toward the Pacific Ocean.

3,000 acres of Sand Hills were designated in 1957 as a state park, after acquisition and construction of museum by Ward County. Has picnic facilities."
1964

In Quercus Veritas

by Mike Cox
"When cartoonist friend Roger T. Moore, a West Texan with a sense of humor as big as one of the dozens of wind turbines looking down on his ranch, told me that the largest oak forest in North America covers some 40,000 acres near Monahans, it sounded like a setup.... Not many people know it, but Ward County does indeed have the U.S.’s largest concentration of a species called the Havard oak... For those who are interested, the “forest” is readily accessible from the paved roadway that winds through the park....more"


Monahans Sandhills State Park
History Cartoon by Roger Todd Moore


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