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Permian Reef Geology Trail

Intermediate
 4.3 (3)

This is a great trail that represents the unique geologic history of the area.

Liz

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Map Key

4.8

Miles

7.7

KM

Point to Point

7,046' 2,148 m

High

4,994' 1,522 m

Low

2,165' 660 m

Up

195' 59 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views

Family Friendly While the full trail might be a bit long to tackle, families can easily choose a shorter out-and-back, and kids will love learning about the geology in the area.

No overnight parking at McKittrick Canyon Trail without free permit.

Description

This is a great one for all the geologists out there! Before heading out, make sure you stop in at the park's Headquarters Visitor Center and pick up a comprehensive geology guide. There are top markers along this trail that can be used with the guide that will tell you about the unique geology of the Permian Reef. There are 30 stops along this trail and the guide is not for the faint of heart. However, even if you aren't a geology buff, you can still enjoy the unique scenery and excellent views into McKittrick Canyon.

This trail starts at the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center and heads north crossing a wide wash. Just after the wash, McKittrick Canyon - Permian Reef Connector will connect from the left. As you continue on, the trail begins to head uphill, passing the Geology Loop Trail before long (it's a nice alternative if you're following the guide).

The trail steepens a bit as you climb the ridge. There are a few switchbacks that help make the grade more manageable. After about three miles of climbing, the trail levels off and winds along the ridge top. Enjoy the excellent views of the McKittrick Canyon as you continue on.

You'll pass Camp Wilderness at about mile four and the trail ends at the park boundary. If you continue on from here, you enter the Lincoln National Forest - the trail becomes the Camp Wilderness Ridge #45 trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Liz with improvements by Todd Shelley

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#7812

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#140

in Texas

#7,812

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9 Views Last Month
784 Since Mar 13, 2018
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Photos

Panorama of McKittrick Canyon, viewed from west of Wilderness Ridge Backcountry Camp. My new favorite spot at GUMO.
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX
Off trail, admiring the view of McKittrick Canyon after the rain
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX
The view into McKittrick Canyon, just west of Wilderness Ridge Backcountry Camp
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX
Hiking the Permian Reef Trail at Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX
Northbound on the Permian Reef Trail, about half a mile from the visitor center
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX
Texas/New Mexico border of Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX

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Check-Ins

Nov 9, 2018
Adventurous Way
2562ft 9.4mi
Sep 7, 2018
Todd Shelley
Best views in GUMO! Looking south into McKittrick Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight. Camp at Wilderness Ridge Backcountry Camp (free permit required). 4.8mi — 2h 15m