Walk through Clarity Tunnel with bats overhead and a coachwhip underfoot

 

Clarity Tunnel is a great part of a railroad-turned-trailway.  It is an amazing site to watch free-tailed bats during late March through October when our research has found the number of bats present to be between 40 and 300 thousand free-tailed bats with populations likely swelling to close to half a million bats at the peak of utilization in August or September.  You can view the emergence on your own by hiking in from Monk’s Crossing but prepare for a 10 mile round trip.  Also allowed on the trailway are bikes and horses and the flat surface of the rail trail makes these modes of transport popular and relatively easy.  Be kind to the critters in the Tunnel, keep lights dim as possible as light disturbs the bats.  This video was filmed using infrared light which is invisible to both us and the bats but is picked up by our video cameras.  You can also access the Tunnel from the trailhead at the town of South Plains but this is closer to an 11 mile trip 1 way.  If you are up to this hike, bike or ride you will be rewarded by beautiful canyon views, riparian corridors, soapberry trees, and lots of wildlife.  Remember to take lights and plenty of batteries if you want to stay until dark or travel through the tunnel.  Contact Caprock Canyons State Park for any questions you may have.  Entry fees are required to utilize the trailway.

2 thoughts on “Walk through Clarity Tunnel with bats overhead and a coachwhip underfoot

  1. Fun place to hike! There was a follow-on video where Jessie is hand-catching the coachwhips. My kids and I loved that one the best. You guys make a great team. 😀

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