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blueBlack McKittrick Canyon Trail

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Trail

11.0 mile 17.7 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 3,200' 975 m
Descent: -572' -174 m
High: 7,813' 2,381 m
Low: 5,011' 1,527 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by cade michael

A long and semi-technical canyon ascent that has some of the best views in west Texas!

cade michael

Features -none-

Description

Although the lower parts of the canyon are quite gentle and easily accessible, the rest of the trail past Pratt Cabin and The Grotto soon morphs into a full day trek that isn't for the faint of heart or out-of-shape first-time hikers. The climbing involves substantial grades, semi-technical terrain, and tons of switchbacks.

At the same time, all of the effort expended to reach the ridgeline couldn't be more worth it, as the entire trail offers unparalleled views of the canyon! Just make sure to bring plenty of snacks, water, and cover from the sun as you'll be constantly working in little to no shade after you leave the stream behind.

If you're looking for the perfect short overnight backpack, the McKittrick Ridge Campground is a great spot at the edge of the canyon wall. It's located at the top of the main climb around 7.5 miles into the hike. Note that backpacking requires a permit which can be purchased from the park's headquarters. Learn more about backpacking at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, here.

Beyond the campsite, the trail continues to follow the dramatic ridgeline for several miles of rolling terrain until it concludes at the Tejas Trail.

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Check In

Check-Ins

Oct 24, 2018
Birgit Moeller
Oct 13, 2018
Amy Lawrence
Oct 6, 2018
Mark Clements
Jun 22, 2018
Crystal Burchfield
Jun 8, 2018
Marc Schwartz
Jan 1, 2018
Brad Szywala
4.8mi
Dec 28, 2017
Brad Szywala
4mi — 2h 00m
Nov 11, 2017
Chris Allcorn
3.5mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 9 votes

#4465

Overall
  4.3 from 9 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
11%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#75

in Texas

#4,465

Overall
76 Views Last Month
3,630 Since Mar 23, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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This trail is incredible during early November with the leaves changing color - the first part of the trail is fairly easy along the river, but it it is worth it to climb up further as far as you can to get great views from higher in the canyon. I couldn't believe this is in the middle of the desert - most of the hike was in the shade. Nov 7, 2016

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