Dog Canyon to Devil's Den Loop
ElevationAscent: 643' 196 m
Descent: -644' -196 m
High: 3,097' 944 m
Low: 2,512' 766 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 26% (14°)
Current trail conditions
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“A combination of two canyons on the north side of the park that are seldom frequented.”— Nathan Carroll
The middle third of the route is all navigating open terrain, off trail. It is rough scrub country that almost requires pants, as the desert flora isn't friendly. This portion is where your route-finding skills will come in handy, as you'll be working your way over open terrain to reach Devil's Den, a tight canyon that resembles the slot canyons found throughout the American wet. To do so, you'll keep a prominent ridge to your right (west), and then continue working your way through the scrubby terrain on your way south. The latter part of the middle third has a decent grade and without clear waypoints its hard to know where Devil's Den is. The feature itself is obscured by the eastern ridge that you've been keeping on your right. Devil's Den has a fairly evident start on the canyon's east side. You'll enter the narrow split in the ridgeline, and head west. Before long, several (three?) drop offs need to be navigated. Devil's Den is narrow through out, providing an unusual and scenic trip through the area. There are some nice boulders to be explored and climbed on once the drop offs are cleared. As you continue heading west, you'll follow the Devil's Den Wash, whch makes for fairly easy navigation.
The last quarter of the loop can be negotiated by finishing out the Devil's Den Wash, and heading back north to the Dog Canyon Trail, but we elected to use the map and head straight to car. You'll be able to follow the wash for quite a ways before making your exit to head almost straight west. The scrub brush is much lighter than the middle third of the trail, making this open-country hike an easy finish.
Land Manager: NPS - Big Bend National Park