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McKittrick Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

(70+ reviews on the web)
Canyon
McKittrick Canyon is a scenic canyon within the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and Eddy County, New Mexico. The steep towering walls of McKittrick Canyon protect a rich riparian oasis in the midst of the Chihuahuan Desert. The majority of McKittrick Canyon is part of Guadalupe Mountains National Park but is separated from the main park area and managed as a "day-use only" area with limited visitation hours. However, a large part of North McKittrick Canyon is located in the Guadalupe Ranger District of Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. Access to McKittrick Canyon is via a 4.2-mile (6.8-km) gated side road that leads to the mouth of McKittrick Canyon from U.S. Route 62/180. Here the National Park Service maintains a parking area, restroom facilities, and visitor center, which is staffed most of the year by volunteers.McKittrick Canyon TrailMcKittrick Canyon Trail begins at the visitor center and initially follows a dry stream, crossing the stream bed several times as it works its way up the canyon. At first the vegetation is more typical of the Chihuahuan Desert with various species of yucca, agave and cacti, such as Spanish Dagger, Ocotillo, Lechuguilla, Century Plants, Prickly Pear. Scattered among these desert plants are a few hardy pines, juniper, and the occasional Texas Madrone, an unusual tree with red-colored bark that tends to curl-up and peel off each year.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Carlsbad Caverns was the real destination but we spent more time in the Guadalupe Park and this trail is a jewel. The thought of someone building a stone home in this canyon years ago is daunting. The...  more »
  • I felt like this hike allowed a good overview of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. It took me, at 62 and in pretty good shape, most of the afternoon. The temperatures changed a lot during the hike, s...  more »
  • We decided to hike in this area of the park based on the recommendation of a Park Ranger. The trails are very good, well maintained, and the sceneries are beautiful. From the parking lot at the McKitt...  more »