We have been hearing lately that Lubbock has no family-friendly places or activities. The purpose of our website has always been to prove those people wrong. Lubbock is full of family-friendly activities. The Night Hike at the Lubbock Lake Landmark is one of those… and it is free!
What to Expect:
We experienced our first night hike recently and had a blast. We packed up a backpack with water, bug spray, sunscreen, a flashlight and, of course, a camera. All of that may have been a little unnecessary but it was fun feeling like an adventurer. We arrived about 10 minutes early to make sure we had time to prep and get instructions. You are given the option of a shorter loop (about 1.5 miles) or the longer loop (about 3+ miles). We opted for the shorter loop since it was our first time and did not know what to expect. The trails are very easy which is great if you want to bring kids or just want a low impact exercise. There were not any steep inclines or things to crawl over. Along the trail, the guide explained the different plant species and the history of the Yellowhouse Draw. Along the trail we saw lizards, a horned toad, and birds. The evening was clear so we were able to get some beautiful pictures of the sunset. It is cool to think this is similar to what our ancestors saw in this exact same area. The hike ended with a view of the archaeological dig site. Fossils from bison have been discovered along with evidence of the Singer Store which was a trading post for settlers. The hike lasted about 45 minutes.
The Lubbock Lake Landmark is also home to a museum that showcases the history of the area and the types of natives who inhabited the land.
From the Lubbock Lake Landmark website:
Lubbock Lake is located in a meander of an ancient valley, Yellowhouse Draw, near ancient springs. For thousands of years, people on the Southern High Plains used the water resources in the draw until those resources went dry in the early 1930s. Years of sediment covered the traces of human activity from the surface until 1936 when the city of Lubbock dredged the meander in an effort to revitalize the underground springs.
The first explorations of the site were conducted in 1939 by the West Texas Museum (now the Museum of Texas Tech University). By the late 1940s, several Folsom Period (10,800-10,300 years ago) bison kills were discovered. In a location of an ancient bison kill from a then unidentified Paleoindian group, charred bison bones produced the first ever radiocarbon date (currently the most accurate form of dating) for Paleoindian material (9,800 years old). The Landmark currently serves as a field laboratory for geology, soils, and radiocarbon dating studies, as well as being an active archaeological and natural history preserve.
Excavations today are conducted on an annual basis. The Museum of Texas Tech University has been involved with the discovery, preservation, research of, and education about the Lubbock Lake Landmark for over 65 years.