|Cumbres de Majalca National Park|
|Nearest city||Chihuahua, Chihuahua|
|Area||4,772 ha (18.42 sq mi)|
|Established||September 1, 1939|
|Governing body||Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources|
The Cumbres de Majalca National Park is a national park in the Mexican state of Chihuahua located 88 km northwest of the city of Chihuahua. The park showcases extraordinary rock formations that have been shaped by wind and water erosion. The park was created by presidential decree in 1939 encompassing 4,772 hectares to protect the endemic flora and fauna. The park is characterized by pine and oak forest. The park is one of the few areas in Mexico that are inhabited by black bear.
Chihuahua, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Chihuahua, is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is located in Northwestern Mexico and is bordered by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the southwest, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east. To the north and northeast, it has a long border with the U.S. adjacent to the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. Its capital city is Chihuahua City.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most widely distributed bear species. American black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food. The American black bear is the world's most common bear species.
The park is frequented by residents of the state capital city. The area is popular with rock climbers, hikers, and campers; there are 53 km of roads for hiking and mountain biking. Camping including backcountry camping is permitted and there are rental cabins available. Access to the park is by federal highway number 45 that goes from Chihuahua to Ciudad Juárez.
Ciudad Juárez is the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The city is commonly referred to by locals as simply Juárez, and was known as Paso del Norte until 1888. Juárez is the seat of the municipality of Juárez with an estimated population of 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande river, south of El Paso, Texas, United States. Together with the surrounding areas, the cities form El Paso–Juárez, the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico–U.S. border, with a combined population of over 2.7 million people.
The Cumbres de Majalca National Park was created by the federal government on September 1, 1939. The protected zone encompassed an area of 4,772 hectares (11,790 acres). The park was created to help preserve natural habitat for many species of animals and plants. After the creation of the national park during the mid 20th century, the park underwent a reforestation of different coniferous species.
Cumbres de Majalca National Park is located in the central part of the state of Chihuahua near the city of Chihuahua. The park is found in the Sierra de Majalca mountain range a subdivision of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Mountain peaks in the park reach an elevation of 2,600 meters above sea level. The park is part of the dominant Transition Bavícora-Bustillos Transition which is characterized by many small elevated valleys surrounded by volcanic mountains. The mountains in the park are not of notable rank in the state, but the highest peaks in the park are: Cerro Las Escobas, Cerro La Puerta, Cerro Los Almíceres, and Cerro del Agua. The park is almost completely covered by volcanic rocks that have been shaped into amazing formations by wind and water erosion.
The Sierra Madre Occidental is a major mountain range system of the North American Cordillera, that runs northwest–southeast through northwestern and western Mexico, and along the Gulf of California. The Sierra Madre is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western 'backbone' of North America, Central America, South America and West Antarctica.
Sierra de Majalca is the point of origin of the Sacramento River that flows towards the state capital city. The Sacramento River empties into the Chuvíscar River before reaching Chihuahua.
According to the Köppen climate classification, the park has two different climates. A (BSk) semiarid climate occurs in the lower elevations in the park where temperatures can reach 35 °C (95 °F) in the summer and temperatures fluctuate largely in the winter from cool to hot. The steppe zones in the park have a rainy season at the end of the summer and few winter snowfalls. A (Cwa) humid subtropical with hot summers and cold winters occur in the higher elevations where temperatures can fall to −10 °C (14 °F) in the winter and averages 112 days under 0 °C (32 °F). During the winter in the higher elevations, snowstorms come frequently increasing in the at the end of the season.
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.
|Climate data for Majalca (1951-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)|| 29.0|
|Average high °C (°F)|| 14.4|
|Daily mean °C (°F)|| 4.8|
|Average low °C (°F)|| −4.7|
|Record low °C (°F)|| −18.0|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)|| 14.2|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||3.2||2.5||1.9||2.0||3.7||7.6||14.2||14.4||11.2||3.7||2.8||2.8||70.0|
|Source: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional|
Pine forests are found from the high elevations to the transition zone between the mountains and the steppe. The main species of conifers found in the park are: Pinus leiophylla, Pinus cembroides, Pinus engelmannii , and several species of Abies . The lower elevations have a steppe vegetation with a variety of grasses and small bushes. Several species of Juniperus dot the steppe and the transition zone.
Pinus leiophylla, commonly known as Chihuahua pine, smooth-leaf pine, and yellow pine, is a tree with a range primarily in Mexico, with a small extension into the United States in southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico. The Mexican range extends along the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre del Sur from Chihuahua to Oaxaca, from 29° North Lat. to 17°, between 1600 and 3000 meters altitude. It requires about a rainfall 600 to 1000 mm a year, mostly in summer. It tolerates frosts in winter.
Pinus cembroides, also known as pinyon pine, Mexican pinyon, Mexican nut pine, and Mexican stone pine, is a pine in the pinyon pine group, native to western North America. It grows in areas with low levels of rainfall and its range extends southwards from Arizona, Texas and New Mexico in the United States into Mexico. It typically grows at altitudes between 1,600 and 2,400 metres. It is a small pine growing to about 20 m (66 ft) with a trunk diameter of up to 50 cm (20 in). The seeds are large and form part of the diet of the Mexican jay and Abert's squirrel. They are also collected for human consumption, being the most widely used pine nut in Mexico. This is a common pine with a wide range and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".
Pinus engelmannii, commonly known as the Apache pine, is a tree of Northern Mexico, in the Sierra Madre Occidental with its range extending a short distance into the United States in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. This pine is a medium-sized species with a height of 20–30 m (66–98 ft) and a trunk diameter of 35–80 cm (14–31 in).
The park is part of a fragile ecosystem which includes a few endangered species like: American black bear and cougar . Other mammals that can be found in the park are: white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail, North American porcupine, bobcat , and coyote . There are few reptile species that inhabit the lower elevations mostly small lizards. One known reptilian species is the Northern Mexican Pine Snake, Pituophis deppei jani. The most common avian species observed in the park are: peregrine falcon , golden eagle , wild turkey , common pheasant , Arizona woodpecker , strickland's woodpecker , and ladder-backed woodpecker .
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