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McKittrick Canyon Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (12)

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


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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

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

  4.5 from 12 votes

#756

Overall
  4.5 from 12 votes
5 Star
58%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#9

in Texas

#756

Overall
63 Views Last Month
5,466 Since Mar 23, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
17%
17%
8%
58%
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

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Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 3, 2021
Jeffrey Sponder
12h 00m
Apr 8, 2021
Nathan Forkner
7mi — 3h 13m
Apr 8, 2021
Suzanne Parker
7.6mi — 3h 13m
Oct 23, 2020
Jean-Claude Linossi
4.8mi — 2h 15m
Sep 9, 2020
Rachel Pierstorff
Pratt Cabin out and back 4.8mi
Dec 30, 2019
Trent Caldwell
Nov 17, 2019
Bear Rinehart
Oct 14, 2019
Jim Beninati