Destination Spotlight – Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark
Did you know that Smithsonian Magazine recently named a Lubbock attraction as one of the top five destinations to see evidence of first Americans? That’s right! The Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark (2401 Landmark Drive) has shown archaeological history dating back 12,000 years! We here at Visit Lubbock like to say we’ve been welcoming visitors now for 12,000 years. As one of Lubbock’s top destinations, I wanted to get an inside scoop on the Landmark and talked with Susan Rowe, Education Program Manager, for more info.
What is the history of the Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark?
For thousands of years, across hundreds of generations, people have come to Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark. The changing water way with springs, stream and marshes, nourished a rich and abundant ecosystem that in turn provided food, shelter, tools and clothing to those who traveled across vast Southern High Plains. Hunter-gatherers, from Clovis to protohistoric age peoples, the Apache and Comanche nations and the founding of a modern city, Lubbock, are each a part of this Landmark. Since the accidental discovery of evidence of early Paleoindian people in 1936, the Museum of Texas Tech University has governed the preservation, research and interpretation of the Landmark. Seventy-five years of research has produced a nearly complete record of human activity spanning 12,000 years as well as intriguing clues that may indicate even early cultures.
Why should Lubbockites and visitors come by the Landmark?
The Landmark, is an active archaeological site, nature preserve and learning laboratory; visitors to the Landmark gain an understanding of life here on the Southern High Plains over the past 12,000 years and observe the ongoing restoration efforts to bring the prairie back to its historic appearance.
What sets the Landmark apart from the other attractions?
Because this is one of the sites in North America with evidence of continuous human occupation over the past 12,000 years, the Landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The opportunity to observe archaeological excavations and learn about ancient animals that roamed North America is always a highlight for visitors. In this urban Greenspace nestled in a meander of Yellowhouse Draw, visitors can observe the natural world along the 4 ½ miles of Lubbock Lake Trail System.
What are important events that visitors and citizens need to know about?
The Landmark offers programs for all ages year-round. Annual events include: National Trails Day in June, Archaeology in Action in July and Fall Fest: A Celebration of Cultural Heritage in October. The Landmark also offers classes for preschool and school-aged students during spring break and summer months, as well as specially scheduled Night Hikes and Wildlife Excursions for all ages and guided tours when arranged in advance.
Is there anything coming up in the future for the Landmark?
The Landmark will host the 2nd Annual Community Hike4Health on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The next Landmark after Dark: Night Hike will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 beginning at dusk (about 7:30 p.m.). Finally, you can’t miss the Fall Fest: A Celebration of Cultural Heritage, which runs October 7 – 11.
What do you love about the Landmark?
I love the wide open space and the opportunity to engage visitors of all ages in the cultural and natural heritage of the region. I love being met by cottontail rabbits at the back door of the building every morning, listening to baby coyotes howl, watching migratory birds, observing the many species of wildflowers each spring and appreciate the opportunity to learn about and share this wonderful regional resource.
Time to plan a trip to the Landmark? Here are the fast facts you need to know:
- Address: 2401 Landmark Drive (north of Loop 289 and Clovis Highway)
- Phone: 806.742.1116
- Website: depts.ttu.edu/museumttu/lll/visitus.html
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.