McKittrick Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

4.5
#2 of 6 in Things to do in Guadalupe Mountains National Park
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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McKittrick Canyon Reviews
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86 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • I try to go to McKittrick as much as I can. Because of the leaves changing, and the hike up to the grotto. I would say if you finished hiking from the highest peak of Texas, and still want to hike wit...  more »
  • This place has such a beautiful view of the mountains. We did the nature hike and the Permian trail. It's a must visit. There are restrooms as well as a little video to watch.  more »
  • Flat, well-groomed trail, but follows the canyon for several miles, and the best scenery starts almost two miles in. Given our time, and the fact that it started to rain (rare, but does happen), we ha...  more »
Google
  • The trails are beautiful. Very easy hike. Recommended for everyone, even kids. The facilities were clean. The trails were packed down and well marked.
  • Serious hiking with gorgeous scenery. Lushness if the vegetation depends on the amount of water flowing through the canyon recently. Has been very dry lately.

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