Snow capped Pinacate stirs curiosity

Rarely ever seen in this area, on the morning of Tuesday, December 29th, the Pinacate range just north of town met the dawn crowned with snow caps.

Curiosity and commotion led to the spread of images of the Pinacate’s snow topped peaks across social networks, which also led to a surge in visitors to the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve.

Even though the reserve area does generally reach extreme temperatures, the last time any snow was registered on the peaks was three years ago. In speaking with many locals, the last time any recall such a visible amount of snow from afar was nearly 15 years ago.

The height of the range, along with a cold front passing through the region, accompanied by a high level of humidity all contributed to condensation on the highest volcanic peak of the Reserve, according to information provided by Miguel Ángel Grageda, Monitoring Coordinator of Natural Resources.

The forest ranger indicated rain was detected during Monday night leading into Tuesday, when temperatures reached down to nearly 0°C.

He remarked curiosity in the snow topped peaks led to an increase in the number of visitors to the Reserve, particularly for residents from Puerto Peñasco as well as from Tucson and Phoenix.

For their part, staff at the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve – which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 – recommend those interested in visiting the Pinacate at this time of year be sure to bundle up in order to combat the intense cold.

[Photos courtesy of Fausto Soto and Pinacate Biosphere Reserve]

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