Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument

The Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument protects an ancient quarry, where early American Indians found the raw material for a society based on stone tools and natural resources.  The stone from the quarry, Alibates flint, is a distinctive, workable, multi-colored stone with excellent edge-holding properties.  These characteristics prompted various North American peoples to quarry, shape, and use this stone to construct tools critical to survival: projectile points, knives, scrapers, axes, drills, and awls.  Due to its particular aesthetic and practical properties, Alibates flint was highly prized and traded extensively throughout much of North America.

The over 700 largely unexcavated quarry pits located within the park document at least 12,000 years of continuous resource extraction and use.  Alibates flint projectile points have been found with the ancient remains of mammoths and giant bison, now-extinct Ice Age animals that roamed the High Plains.  Tools made from Alibates flint have been found associated with a variety of cultures over time, including Clovis, Folsom, and Plainview peoples.

If You Go

Visits to the quarries are by ranger-led tours only; advance reservations are required.  The one-mile roundtrip hike takes about 2 hours to complete, with frequent stops along the way to view natural and geologic formations.    

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Threats

Like most of the parks of the National Park System, the national parks of Texas face serious challenges as we move toward the National Park Centennial Year of 2016.  These include the need to acquire adjoining, threatened lands, air and water pollution, under-funding and under-staffing, inappropriate use of off-road vehicles, and the challenges of Texas’s location on an international border. 

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Geologyman

November 7, 2012

I disagree that the park should be scratched...LMAR has sooo many opportunities for education and recreation it is pointless to not further create a management plan to facilitate a DEIS for the water loss.

Ed

July 20, 2012

I just returned from LAMR having spent a few days there working as a VIP. Certainly Alibates Flint is worth keeping as a national monument, but I can't say the same for LAMR. Lake Meredith no longer has enough redeeming features to continue it worthy of the efforts required to keep it as a NRA. The marina has been dismantled, and the boat dock is empty. Not a boat there. As one in a team of seven fire protection professionals I have worked in almost 50 NPS locations, and have done work from home for a lot more. I would pick LAMR and MOJA as being expendable. With DEVA and JOTR nearby, nobody would miss MOJA. So I would support a campaign to cut LAMR and MOJA loose, keeping Alibates as an NM and Kelso Depot at MOJA as an NHS. Another contender would be EUON at Danville CA. It is on a private road, and visitors must be driven to it by NPS bus. O'Neill had another home in the East, which might be a better and more accessible site. Shedding these sites would free up millions. http://www.crmwa.com/FAQ.htm

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