DISTANCE
64.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,349 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is not inside of Caprock Canyons State Park. Be aware. It is part of the park’s system and they oversee it but don’t expect campgrounds and park staff like you get inside the park North of Quitaque. Some have posted in their reviews about hiking the North Rim or various trails but this is separate.

A friend and I hiked the entire trailway (62-ish) miles from Southplains to Esteline. We took our time and did about 15 miles a day with full packs. Camped 3 nights and walked 4 days. It is a great route if you are looking to get away. There are some nice views and wildlife (deer, hogs, raccoons, coyotes is what we saw). If you hike this during warmer months watch for rattlesnakes. Be prepared to cache water ahead of time. There are outhouse-primitive bathrooms along the route every 10 miles or so but there’s no water available other than the couple towns you pass. We drove the route the day before and cached several gallon jugs of water at certain points. The park staff suggested it and good thing we did. It is rough rock that’s hard on feet and shoes so wear something with a sturdy sole. Railroad base is what the staff called it. The route used to be a rail line and there are several information boards along the way telling you about the history and the area. Very fascinating and adds a sense of the land and region as you walk. There were a ton of old railroad bridges you get to walk over. Very cool.

I recommend hiking this in cooler months. We did it in March and it was a shoulder season. It was ok for temps, warmer days removing layers and cold nights adding them back on. It would be VERY hot June through September in this part of Texas. The park staff are helpful if you have questions.

We also bike packed it but that’s a whole different experience. Massive thorns make keeping air in your tires a challenge but with the right tubeless setup it can be done.

The views and hills are between Southplains and Quitaque, most of the remaining route is pretty flat with occasional canyon views after Turkey. A ton of farmland and private property surround the trail so your camping is restricted to on or near the trail itself.