Haynes Ridge and a Rattlesnake!

a0628h0427 has not uploaded any photos with this log entry.
User: a0628h0427 - 7/21/2008

Location: Caprock Canyons - Upper Canyon Trail

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 3stars  Solitude: 5stars
Miles Hiked: 3.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


I hiked this on a hot July morning. Knowing I didn't have time for the whole loop hike, I decided to try to get to Fern Cave by way of Haynes Ridge.  Big mistake!

After the approximately 400 foot climb to the top of Haynes Ridge, I started out toward Fern Cave. The views from the top of the ridge were beautiful in all directions, and I got some wonderful panoramic photos of both the North and South Prong Canyons.

About a mile toward Fern Cave, I happened to look down... and I was about a foot and a half from stepping on a 4 foot long rattlesnake sunning itself on the trail. I backed off and pulled out my camera and attached the telephoto. The snake never became alarmed. It just slithered off the trail, curled up and watched me to see if I posed a threat. I got some amazing closeups of it with the telephoto lens.

After it disappeared when I turned my back to change lenses, I realized just what a bonehead move I had pulled to hike in shorts. All I had thought about was the heat.... not about any slithery critters I might encounter. I aborted my attempt for Fern Cave as it was getting late and my encounter with the snake had spooked me, and I hiked back down to the parking lot.

I think I was the only person in the park that day. The only other car I saw was the Park Ranger, and even the Visitor's Center was closed when I went by at lunch!

Area around Caprock Canyons - Upper Canyon Trail
Recommended Item
Recommended Item Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites
Laurence Parent
List Price: $27.95 Your price: $20.78 Buy Now
Since it was first published in 1996, Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites has become Texans’ one-stop source for information on great places to camp, fish, hike, backpack, swim, ride horseback, go rock climbing, view scenic landscapes, tour historical sites, and enjoy almost any other outdoor recreation.