Chisos Mountains

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Chisos Mountains
Big Bend National Park PB112598.jpg
A photo of the Chisos mountain range from the desert to the east, 22 February 2002.
Highest point
Peak Emory Peak
Elevation 7,825 ft (2,385 m)
Coordinates 29°14′45″N 103°18′14″W / 29.24583°N 103.30389°W / 29.24583; -103.30389
Geography
Map of Big Bend National Park.png
Map of Big Bend showing location of Chisos
Country  United States
State  Texas
Range coordinates 29°16′N 103°18′W / 29.27°N 103.3°W / 29.27; -103.3Coordinates: 29°16′N 103°18′W / 29.27°N 103.3°W / 29.27; -103.3

The Chisos Mountains are a mountain range located in the Big Bend area of West Texas, United States.[1] The mountain range is contained entirely within the boundaries of Big Bend National Park.[1] This is the only mountain range in the United States to be fully contained within the boundary of a national park. It is also the southernmost mountain range in the mainland United States.

The highest point in the Chisos Mountain range is Emory Peak at 7,825 ft (2,385 m) above sea level.[1]

Location[edit]

The Chisos Mountains are located in Big Bend National Park. The range of mountains extends twenty miles from Punta de la Sierra in the southwest to Panther Junction in the northeast. An extensive trail system and permit-required backcountry campsites are maintained by Big Bend National Park for its visitors.[2] The Northeast Rim and Southeast Rim trails are closed from February 1 through May 31 along with some of the backcountry campsites along these trails to protect the local Peregrine Falcon population.[2]

The mountain area is partly forested (recovering from logging and overgrazing prior to the area's inclusion in the National Park System in the 1930s), and surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert. The nearby towns include Study Butte, Terlingua, Fort Stockton, 135 miles north, Alpine, 105 mi (169 km) northwest and Presidio, about 100 mi (160 km) west. Two Mexican towns (Boquillas and Santa Elena) border the park; and cross-border access was reopened in 2011.[3]

Etymology[edit]

One of the multiple possibilities of the origin of the name is the option that it stems from hechizos, a Castilian word meaning "enchantment". Another possibility is the option that the word originated from chisos, a Native American word meaning "ghost" or "spirit".[4]

Peaks[edit]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Chisos Basin, Texas (Aug 1, 1943–Mar 31, 2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 82
(28)
84
(29)
96
(36)
96
(36)
99
(37)
103
(39)
102
(39)
99
(37)
97
(36)
94
(34)
89
(32)
87
(31)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 58.3
(14.6)
61.8
(16.6)
68.7
(20.4)
76.3
(24.6)
82.8
(28.2)
86.8
(30.4)
84.8
(29.3)
83.7
(28.7)
79.5
(26.4)
73.8
(23.2)
65.2
(18.4)
59.4
(15.2)
73.4
(23)
Daily mean °F (°C) 47.6
(8.7)
50.4
(10.2)
56.4
(13.6)
63.9
(17.7)
70.7
(21.5)
75.1
(23.9)
74.2
(23.4)
73.2
(22.9)
69.0
(20.6)
62.9
(17.2)
54.2
(12.3)
48.7
(9.3)
62.2
(16.8)
Average low °F (°C) 36.9
(2.7)
39.1
(3.9)
44.1
(6.7)
51.5
(10.8)
58.5
(14.7)
63.3
(17.4)
63.7
(17.6)
62.7
(17.1)
58.6
(14.8)
51.9
(11.1)
43.2
(6.2)
37.9
(3.3)
51.0
(10.6)
Record low °F (°C) −3
(−19)
1
(−17)
12
(−11)
25
(−4)
37
(3)
45
(7)
53
(12)
52
(11)
34
(1)
19
(−7)
13
(−11)
4
(−16)
−3
(−19)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.68
(17.3)
0.58
(14.7)
0.41
(10.4)
0.62
(15.7)
1.59
(40.4)
2.21
(56.1)
3.39
(86.1)
3.12
(79.2)
2.48
(63)
1.51
(38.4)
0.57
(14.5)
0.51
(13)
17.67
(448.8)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.8
(2)
0.5
(1.3)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.4
(1)
0.3
(0.8)
2.1
(5.3)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.001 in) 3.59 2.99 2.22 2.74 4.51 7.30 9.60 8.88 7.64 4.77 2.90 2.83 60.19
Source: Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute[6]

Wildlife[edit]

  • Ornithology
    • Birds of the Chisos Mountains include 81 total known species that live within six different plant associations.[7] The six plant associations along with the number of known species within them include: the Arroyo-Mesquite-Acacia Association (31 species), the Lechuguilla-Creosotebush-Cactus Association (13 species), the Sotol-Grass Association (32 species), the Deciduous Woodland Association (42 species), the Pinyon-Juniper-Oak Association (32 Species), and the Cypress-Pine-Oak Association (24 species).[7]
  • Myrmecology
    • Ants of the Chisos Mountains include 81 total known species within 29 different genera.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kohout, Martin Donell. "Chisos Mountains". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Chisos Mountains Backcountry Campsites" (PDF). National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  3. ^ David Elkowitz (February 18, 2011). "Proposal to Open Boquillas Crossing". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Chisos Mountains". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  5. ^ "US COOP Station Map". Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ "CHISOS BASIN, TEXAS (411715), Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary". Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Wauer, Roland H. (July 23, 1971). "Ecological Distribution of Birds of the Chisos Mountains, Texas". The Southwestern Naturalist. 16 (1). JSTOR 3670095. 
  8. ^ Van Pelt, Arnold (May 20, 1983). "Ants of the Chisos Mountains, Texas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)". The Southwestern Naturalist. 28 (2). JSTOR 3671381. 

External links[edit]