The Sand Hills
Mapped by U. S. Government, 1849, for gold seekers and settlers. Known earlier to Indians and many Spanish explorers. A 100-mile belt of sand in Winkler and 4 other Texas counties and in New Mexico. Width varies from 3 to 20 miles; outer dunes are held by dwarf oaks. Water at 2' depth supports willows, cottonwoods, and a plum thicket. (The plums gave food to early settlers.) Many dunes more than 70' high. Heavy, shifting sands a natural barrier to travel. Campsite and game reservation for Indians. Now part of expansive cattle ranges and rich oil fields.