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McKittrick Canyon Trail

 4.3 (9)
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Map Key

Length


11.0 Miles 17.7 Kilometers


3,200' 975 m

Ascent

-572' -174 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

51%

Max Grade (27°)

7,813' 2,381 m

High

5,011' 1,527 m

Low

Shared By cade michael

Conditions


Unknown

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

cade michael

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.

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Your Check-Ins

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
Nov 11, 2017
Chris Allcorn
3.5mi
Oct 30, 2017
Kenny Landrum
16.3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 9 votes

#4209

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

#66

in Texas

#4,209

Overall
130 Views Last Month
3,228 Since Mar 23, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
13%
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75%
13%
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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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