Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area to Open

Carlsbad, NM (April 16, 2012) – Sitting Bull Falls Day Use Area will reopen Saturday, April 28, 2012. Facilities damaged by the Last Chance Fire, closed for almost a year, have been repaired and the site will be open on a limited schedule this summer.

District Ranger Jim Gumm has set the initial operating hours as 12:00P.M. to 6:00 P.M., Friday through Monday. “I have set these hours to allow the public as much use as possible, while taking into account the limited regrowth and precarious nature of the recovery that has occurred in this area and because of the increased possibility of dangerous mudslides and high water events in the surrounding canyons. Trails leading into Sitting Bull and Last Chance canyons will remain closed until conditions improve because of the increased danger to our visitors and the potential for further resource damage,” he said.

As a result of the 2011 fire, several ramadas, powerlines, and much of the vegetation around Sitting Bull Falls were damaged. Site Manager Dennis Brockman said “that without the help of numerous volunteers and the pitching in of all Guadalupe District employees, we would not be anywhere near ready to reopen”.  Paul Buck, District Recreation Staff noted “that the local Lions club donated eight trees which have been replanted in the area. We have planted an additional  twenty-one trees and restored over seven acres of riparian area in the lower canyon .”

Located about 47 miles west of Carlsbad, the original recreation area named Sitting Bulls Falls was a Civilian Conservation Corps project that included two ramadas for picnicking. Recent improvements include eight more ramadas, constructed in the 1990s, a flush toilet system, drinking water, and handicapped parking.  With high rock cliffs, pools of water, a waterfall, rock climbing, and hiking, this site is unique in the Guadalupe Mountains and a favorite destination for local and out-of-town visitors alike.

Sitting Bull Falls Day Use Area will be open Fridays through Mondays, 12 P.M. until 6 P.M. until further notice. A use fee of $5.00 per vehicle will be collected at the site. Please contact Paul Buck, Recreation Manager, Guadalupe Ranger District Office at 114 S. Halagueno Carlsbad, N.M. or call 575-885-4181 if you have any questions or comments.