Packrat middens radiocarbon dated at 12,280 ± 345 and 12,700 ± 165 yr B.P. record expansions of junipers and papershell pinyon (Pinus remota) into the desert lowlands of Durango and Coahuila, Mexico (26° N). Extralocal trees and shrubs presently occur 24–580 km in nearly all directions including more subtropical areas to the northeast and southeast. An equable Late Wisconsin climate marked by mild winters with increased precipitation and by cool summers with reduced summer monsoons is proposed. The extensive playas of the Bolson de Mapimi probably held water at that time. The Bolson de Mapimi was not a geographical refugium unaffected by glacial climates, although many Chihuahuan Desert plants and animals probably remain in situ as members of equable woodlands. Equable climates, low extinction rates, and repeated, rapid glacial/interglacial climatic fluctuations may have been important in the evolution and accumulation of species at lower latitudes.