studied these sites, says, "The known stages of the culture sequence in
the area cover a period of ten or twelve millennia. Folsom hunters
occasionally penetrated the mountains from the Pecos drainage to the
east and Crow Flat to the west. Basket Maker II people occupied the
dry, corridor-shaped caves as hunters and seed collectors; later they ac-
quired maize and agricultural techniques. Remains of two horizons of
the later Pueblo-Mogollón phase are of common occurrence on shoul-
ders of the foothills and around springs of water holes in the canyons.
'Mescal Pits,' hollow rings of burnt limestone, often contain habitation
debris manifested by a surface sprinkling of potsherd and flint chips;
most sand dune areas were used as camp sites; hearths, broken pottery,
worked flint, and grinding stone speak of seasonal occupation by a semi-
sedentary group of Indians who were subject to culture influence from
the Plains tribes to the east. A few half breeds are all that remain
today of the aggressive Mescalero Apache, best known through the
activities of their powerful chief, Gerónimo."
The Butterfield Trail, a main route to California during the gold
rush days (see Tour 10b), rounds the southern point of these mountains.
The limestone caves, partly hidden and easily defended, were favorite
haunts of bandits who preyed upon wagon-train shipments of gold and
merchandise; later the same caves served as hideouts for cattle rustlers
and outlaws, including Billy the Kid (see Tour 12b), whose name ap-
pears on the wall of one of the canyons.
At 111.6 m. is the REGISTRATION STATION (see General
Information) on the Texas Line, at a point 85 miles northeast of Van
Carlsbad—Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 27.5 m. US 62-285, Cav-
Two-lane, bituminous-paved road throughout
Accommodations: hotels in Carlsbad, tourist camps along route.
US 62-285 goes south from Carlsbad to a point, 2.7 m., where US
285 turns (L); then straight ahead on US 62 to the junction with the
Caverns Road (R) at White City. The Caverns Road goes up Walnut
Canyon through rocky mesas covered with Spanish-dagger (yucca),
pricklypear, soapweed, and other species of desert flora, including
chiefly cholla, cane cactus, ocotillo, and mesquite. In the spring the
snowy-clustered blossoms of the Spanish-dagger and the clear magenta