highest point in Texas is Guadalupe Peak
at 8,749 feet above sea level. (31°53' N, 104°52' W).
Nearby El Capitan, just slightly less tall at 8, 085 feet,
is the southernmost promontory of the Guadalupe Mountain chain.
(31°53' N, 104°51' W)
Both are in the Guadalupe Mountains
National Park, three miles SW of Pine Springs.
The formations date from the Permian period of geologic time - 250
million years ago when this area was a vast tropical ocean. Marine
life from sponges, bi-valves, even microscopic algae make up the matrix
of the chain.
Gibson has, on his many trips through West Texas, paused
to photograph the peak in various seasons and from various vantage
points. Taken together, these photos demonstrate the awe and majesty
that certain geologic features project. It's one of Texas' most well-known
features, but also one of it's least seen.
Note: Signal Peak should not be confused with Signal
Mountain - a plateau near Big
Peak reflected in a mountain lake
Gibson, May 2004
view of El Capitan from Guadalupe Peak, May 2004
"Hiking from Guadalupe Peak to El Capitan is a challenge. I've
done it once. No trail, just tall grass. The wind made every rustle
sound like a rattlesnake." - BG
The Mayor of
Dear Texas Escapes,
I am elated to find your magazine and your article on Guadalupe Pass.
I was once called the Mayor of Guadalupe Pass. This may seem strange
but it's true. I lived two miles South of Guadalupe Pass for several
years. I also lived at Salt
Flat, Texas and taught (other) young men to fly from the Salt
Flat Intermediate Landing Field. I climbed to the top of Guadalupe
Pass long before it became a National Park and I fell in love with
the entire area. This was back in 1948 and it was a once-in-a-lifetime
experience for me. I flew by (and around?) El Capitan for many years
en route from Midland
to El Paso.
My good friend Bertha Glover and her husband owned the Pine Spings
Cafe.... Mrs.Glover received a letter one day from a lady in Fort
Worth, addressed to "The Mayor at Guadalupe Pass." Mrs. Glover designated
me to be the Official Mayor because she said she had that "authority."
I did answer the letter as I figured a Mayor from Guadalupe Pass would.
I have both of these letters in my files and will try to send them
in when they are found. You are doing a superb service. There is a
lot of lost Texas History and [only] a few of us Ol' timers still
around. I might as well "fess up" - I was 86 years old in November
this year. - Sincerely, David Finnell, Hurst, Texas, The Former
Mayor of Guadalupe Peak, December 8, 2007