Sierra Diablo Mountains

Sere, desolate, forbidding would all be proper adjectives to describe the Sierra Diablo Mountains. Bounded by the Beach and Baylor Ranges to the South and the Guadalupe Mountains to the North, the Sierra Diablos are among the least known of all the mountain ranges in Texas, yet they occupy a special place in Texas History as the site of one of the last great indian battles in the state. Adding to their aura of forbidding isolation and distance is the fact that they are almost entirely privately owned with the exception of the 11,265 acre Sierra Diablo Wildlife Management Area which is itself only accessable by permit.

Ancient, the Sierra Diablo Mountains are 950 million years old formed from Precambrian volcanics with more than a billion year old sandstone redbeds located on the southern end of the mountains. Rising gently from the east near Sierra Blanca, in Hudspeth County, the Sierra Diablos climb to an elevation of 6,610 feet above sea level in Culberson County where they form the western flank of the Culberson County salt basin. The many canyons cutting into the Sierra Diablos are surfaced by shallow, stony soils that support oak, juniper, mesquite, piñon, and grasses; a flora which in turn support a substantial population of mule deer and the last remaining population of bighorn sheep in Texas.

History here has been as hard and unforgiving as the landscape itself. The Apache Chief Victorio, fighting to defend the right of his tribe to roam the vastness of the Trans-Pecos as they had for time immemorial, battled the famed Buffalo Soldiers in a spectacular canyon in the Sierra Diablos, the apaches were defeated but Victorio managed to slip away and escape to Mexico. The Canyon, where the battle took place, was later named for Victorio and carries his name to this day. The mountains also bear the scars of later efforts to extract silver and copper from the sandstone redbeds on the mountains' flanks.

Most people experience the Sierra Diablo Mountains only from the comfort of their cars while traveling north and south on state highway XX, for a closer look at the mountains it requires a bit of effort but there are opportunities to do so. One of the largest Dude Ranches in Texas is found here with the obvious name of "The Sierrra Diablo Ranch", here you can not only penetrate deeper into the mountains but have the opportunity to view a working cattle ranch upclose. The other is the Sierra Diablo Wildlife Mangement Area where the public can camp or hunt with the proper permits.

Sierra Diablo Mountains
The Delaware Mountains
Sierra Diablo Mountains

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