“A long and semi-technical canyon ascent that has some of the best views in west Texas!”
— cade michael
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