Outstanding place to hike, grandeur amazing

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User: aggiehiker92 - 9/5/2006

Location: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 4stars  Solitude: 5stars
Miles Hiked: 15.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A

Comments: I took my three older boys (12,8,6) on the trails from Dog Canyon Campground to McKitterick Canyon Visitor's Center with an overnight stay at McKitterick Ridge Primitive Campground, about halfway. The weather was in our favor; it quit raining the night before we hiked out, which made for some beautiful wildflowers along the trail. The trail up from Dog Canyon is a steady climb; we gained about 1900 feet in elevation before stopping for the night. The trail is good, and though strenuous, the views make up for the pain and suffering. The next morning, we hiked solid switchbacks for roughly 4 miles, dropping a whopping 2,600 feet in elevation before we reached the Grotto in McKitterick Canyon. Made a nice place for a lunchbreak. Large flagstone picnic tables are there, and McKitterick Creek flows nearby with clear, cold water (be sure you filter or treat it, and only use what you need). The hike from the Grotto to the Visitor Center is level and well maintained. Seven or eight creek crossings make for wet shoes if the creek is running high, as it was after the rains. Otherwise, the creek normally runs beneath the outwash gravel for most of the trail. As this is a desert, the most important thing to carry is water, and plenty of it. The recommended amount is 1 gallon per person per day, and I promise that you will use every drop of it, even when the weather is cooperative and cool.

Area around Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Recommended Item
Recommended Item Hiking Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks
Bill Schneider
Your price: $6.93 Buy Now
As the first and only comprehensive hiking guide to all 130 miles of trails in these two national parks, this book features Carlsbad's improved above-ground hiking trail system as well as routes in the caverns and Guadalupe's wild backcountry. It also includes written trail descriptions, elevation charts, photos, and detailed topographic maps. Hiking Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park is packed with all the information you need to plan your next trip in these two uncrowded and remote national parks.