Hiking Project Logo

McKittrick Canyon Trail

Difficult
 4.4 (10)

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


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

11.0

Miles

17.7

KM

Point to Point

7,813' 2,381 m

High

5,011' 1,527 m

Low

3,200' 975 m

Up

572' 174 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

51%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs No Dogs

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

cade michael

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 10 votes

#5262

Overall
  4.4 from 10 votes
5 Star
50%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#83

in Texas

#5,262

Overall
25 Views Last Month
4,545 Since Mar 23, 2017
Difficult

0%
0%
22%
0%
78%
0%

Photos

About halfway up to the top of the canyon - you can see the fall colors around the lower portion of the trail below.
Nov 7, 2016 near Pine Sp…, TX
McKittrick Canyon Trail
Sep 30, 2015 near Pine Sp…, TX
Eastern ridge of McKittrick Canyon as you enter.
Dec 15, 2016 near Pine Sp…, TX
McKittrick Canyon
Dec 15, 2016 near Pine Sp…, TX
Dry creek bed in the early portions of the McKittrick Canyon Trail.
Dec 15, 2016 near Pine Sp…, TX
McKittrick Canyon
Sep 30, 2015 near Pine Sp…, TX

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Dec 30, 2019
Trent Caldwell
Nov 17, 2019
Bear Rinehart
Oct 14, 2019
Jim Beninati
Oct 25, 2018
Cody Hendrix
Went to Grotto and back.
Oct 24, 2018
Birgit Moeller
Oct 13, 2018
Amy Lawrence
Oct 6, 2018
Mark Clements
Jun 22, 2018
Crystal Burchfield