Haynes Ridge and Upper Canyon Trail Loop is a 6.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Quitaque, Texas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.3 miles
856 feet

dogs on leash




mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing




wild flowers





washed out

no shade

A great trail climbing up to Haynes Ridge and an amazing scenic overlook. Although rated as moderate, the middle portion of this trek can be a bit strenuous from the canyon onto the ridge. The North Prong is less strenuous than the South Prong.

1 hour ago


2 months ago

Beautiful amazing hike! Even saw a wild Bison! Hike was more on the moderate side imo but because of the heat I highly recommend you bring a liter of water per person. Main downfall is the trail can be difficult to follow, so make sure you have the offline maps downloaded. Lastly if you're looking to visit the fern cave and doing this trail clockwise, ignore the first "fern cave .2 mi" sign you see, this sign is wrong. Just continue along with the loop and you'll eventually run into another "fern cave" sign that'll point you towards a 100ft spur to the cave.

2 months ago

We hiked the loop clockwise, up the Haynes Ridge, down to the fern cave, and back through the Upper North Prong Trail. The initial climb to the top of Haynes Ridge was exhilarating and view from the top was an amazing reward.

The few trail markers we saw showed distances that did not match the park map. Apparently, there is an old map and a new map - you can get copies of both from the park station. The trail markers could be improved.

Halfway between B3 and B4 (Haynes Trail is marked as trail B) look up and east. You can scramble to the top of the caprock and find some more spectacular views from 3100 ft.

You can miss the Fern Cave if you aren't looking for it. Again, the trail markers could be improved here.

The Upper North Prong Trail was a long slog back through a dry creek bed but the beautiful views from the canyon floor, including interesting rock formations and strands of gypsum lining the red rock, made it worth it.

Bring sunscreen, bug spray, and water...you'll need it.

3 months ago

This trail has great vistas. Make sure you have enough water, especially in summer months. Some of the distance signs along the trail are certainly incorrect.

4 months ago

One of my favorite trails in Texas. You have to drive out into the middle of nowhere to get there, but it is so worth it. Temps were 105-115F, middle of the afternoon in late June--probably not the most"ideal" time for a 7 mile hike, but it really wasn't too bad at all. The trail is excellent in some places and tough to find in others, although they do have many signs which are helpful. Bring lots of water anyway, at least a gallon if you can and I'd wear protective clothing from the sun--it's brutal until 8 on this time of year.

Wildlife..I saw a LOT of buff scat but no animals were to be found on the trails today..Likely because a big herd of them were sitting in the pond up the road. The colors and topography of the canyons here are downright majestic. Suffice to say, I enjoyed my time hiking here (and a major plus--there's hardly anyone here AND the snack shop right up the road is open until 6:30 PM! :) Definitely thankful for this after my hike ended at 6..

5 months ago

Hiked the route clockwise and was happy for it. Getting up for the view at the beginning makes for a motivated climb, and coming down through the canyon was a great time. Would recommend to most all, but would be best to start in the AM unlike as I did.

5 months ago

Intense climb up but the view is well worth the steep and rugged trek up the trail. Brings as much water as you can carry, you will need every ounce on hot summer day.

5 months ago

We really enjoyed this hike. We took the upper Canyon first around to the Haynes Ridge and back. We thought it was really easy going until very near the intersection to turn onto Haynes Ridge. It was pretty serious around that spot. Th ridge was easy until coming back down a steep rocky path to get back to the home stretch. The thing that made it all enjoyable was the variety between easy and challenging, rocky/sunny and shaded/trees. We took snacks and a quart of water. Started at 7am (70 degrees) ended about 10 (85 degrees). Can’t imagine doing this hike any later or in hotter temperatures. Start early and ENJOY!!!

7 months ago

The Haynes overview trail is more of a rocks scramble up the Mesa. It is fun and not too difficult and plenty of built rock steps along the way to help out and prevent erosion. Beautiful views on the upper rim and a fun descent into the canyon floor. The hike out of the north prong canyon floor is fairly flat and easy hiking. Some awesome almost slot canyons and riverbeds to explore too.

7 months ago

Being a newbie to Texas I was unsure about Caprock Canyon overall but this park was breathtaking. This was my first camping/hiking trip since moving here a few months ago. With that being said I didn't know what to expect. I camped at the Honea Flats with primitive gear for a night and enjoyed it so much I did not want to leave. Really friendly and knowledgeable staff. As for the trail, I parked at the North Prong parking lot and then hiked up to the Haynes Ridge right away then came back around to Upper Canyon Trail and then to the parking lot. Amazing sight seeing opportunities and a hike challenging and enjoyable at the same time. It took me roughly 4 hours with a 50 lb ruck sack and plenty of time for pictures. Got up to 100 F in the canyon but I had 2 gallons of water and the sweating was worth it especially when the breeze blew! Great experience for my first time hiking in big ole Texas.

8 months ago

We started at Upper Canyon Trail then hiked to Haynes and came out at Lower Canyon trail and walked back to our car at the South Prong camping Area. Started the video a bit late but it took about 2.25 hours. After an easy and beautiful walk you will have a climb, its a bit rough but that was the only challenging section aside from duration. We didn’t detour to the cavern because we were afraid it would get dark on us. But its only a .20 hike off trail. Weather was perfect. We packed only 2qt and it sustained my daughter and I pretty well. Our overall hike was about 5 miles. View is spectacular and the trail is very well marked!

8 months ago

This trail provides a good challenge for those who are looking for a change from the flat terrain many Texas trails offer. We got there around 10am on the last Saturday of February. It was pretty chilly when we started (mid 30s) but got up to the higher 50s by he time we finished. We didn’t run into many other people which was a nice surprise. It took us 4 hours to get through the entire hike, but we stopped many times to take pictures. Without those distractions we probably could have finished in 3 hours. We decided to start with the Haynes Ridge Overview Trail and loop back by going on the North Prong of the Upper Canyon Trail. One of the reasons why we decided to go that direction is the steep and rocky portion right at the beginning of the Haynes Ridge Overview Trail from the Canyon Ridge Trail. If you don’t like strep descends you may want to consider going clockwise so that you won’t have to end with finishing up your hike having to worry too much about your steps. There are many stops along the way that provide a great photo op. Make sure to bring some all purpose shoes as you’re going to walk on rocks, sand, mud, and in our case a small section with shallow water. Per weather reports, it didn’t rain for a few days, but it left enough water along a small portion of the trail that runs along the water drainage. Don’t forget to check the weather before heading out. On windy days, the gusts can be really strong at higher elevations. Fern Cave is a short detour from the trail and about halfway through the hike regardless of which way you decide to go. It’s a great place to rest or eat lunch under the shade of the fern covered rocks. All in all, this hike had a lot of variety that will provide a nice challenge for the average person.

9 months ago

This is a fantastic hike! Definitely recommend.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Pretty easy for the most part though the last portion is difficult because of the climb. Take plenty of water, you’ll need it. We only hiked the south portion of the loop and back the same way but the views will make for beautiful pictures to brag about.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Trail is in pretty great shape despite heavy rains 2 days ago. The park has added tall white poles to aid tail navigation in addition to the T Posts with arrows. Everything is SO GREEN this year and fern Cave is glorious.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Great trail. It is one of the toughest trails in the park. You're going to need that gallon of water the park wants you to have for each person/pet. Advice: pay attention to the trail. 2 seconds of a wandering mind while hiking = broke ankle. This trail takes great effort with rocky and sandy sections. There are steep inclines/declines. Even after my bad ending on my first visit, my husband and I have gone back multiple times. If you want a little bit of a challenge, this is a good trail.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Bring at least a gallon a person/dog. We took the east side up from the South Prong campground and it was gorgeous. Fairly rocky and a little steep getting to the "cave," but well worth the climb. The eastern portion of the Upper Canyon Trail is much flatter, but almost wide open to sun with little breeze in the canyon. Take shade and water breaks when you can.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Really difficult on the first stretch but totally worth it. The personal challenge and the views make this worth it. Bring lots of water.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Probably my favorite trail in the park. I went in and did the upper canyon trail and took the Haynes back - seemed like most people did reverse and had to climb up a big pile of rocks that is now a trail down. Hurt the knees a little but not terribly. Glad I had trekking poles.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

We stayed at the South Prong Primitive camp.
Was nice place just can't have campfires. That was the only bummer.
Can get pretty crowded during peak times too.
It's close to the Haynes Ridge trail and the Fern Cave.
We hiked to the Fern Cave and had some pretty rough spots but loved it.
Take water.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The upper canyon trail at the beginning is cake! A couple miles in you will be able to view "the last dance" - a pair of hoodos. As you get closer to fern cave the trail starts to gently climb in elevation and you will see some trees, mossy rock and a cooler shaded part of the trail. The trail is well marked with orange painted rods. Fern cave was the perfect spot to cool off and have lunch. The upward climb is slightly difficult from the fern cave. In my opinion the ascent to the ridge is easier from fern cave than from the beginning of canyon trail. With a few breaks my 9 yr old daughter, husband, friend and 3 month old husky were successful. The trail is easy going with magnificent views the next 2 miles. The trail headed down the canyon can be slightly treacherous if you don't watch your step, there are lots of washed and loose parts. The entire hike took about 5 hrs to complete (with a child and pup).

Friday, February 10, 2017

Very nice little trail. Highest point in the Park's canyons is midway through Haynes Ridge I believe. Fern Cave is a must see, which allows the excuse for having to take either Upper Canyon trail or Haynes Ridge back. Neither disappoint.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We took the north prong to the fern cave, then took a wrong turn and ended up scrambling our way up a gully hoping we were on the right path. Once at the top of the gully we met up with the trail. Don't know what sign we missed but I was happy to be on the right path again. Once atop the ridge its a nice stroll on top of the world.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Friday, May 27, 2016

Did the Lower and most of the Upper Canyon Trails. We were there after some late spring rains so the foliage and desert flowers were in full display. Was practically lush and a great reminder of just how adaptable desert plants are. The green of the trees and the deep red canyons made for beautiful contrasts. Will definitely be going back!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Great experience with my grown son. Able to spend time together in nature. God lives in the fern cave area. "Be still and know that I'm God". Sit under the ferns and relax with your eyes closed and all your worries just float away. Some places on the trail are a little confusing on which way to go so be careful. If you get aways down a trail and it suddenly drops off then turn around and go back. Other than that very good trails and most of the time just when you start to think you went the wrong way you see a marker that confirms your on the right trail. There's just enough challenge at the top of the mountain to make it fun and challenging but not so much that you feel insecure. Just don't forget to take enough water. Start out with a heavy pack. It'll be a lot lighter at the end once you drink.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Awesome trail! I hiked the upper and lower canyon. Take your camera!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

We had a great trip to this park. We hiked the north prong to south prong primitively site on the first night. The second night we hiked the Haynes ridge. The only negative thing I have to say about this park is that the trails are not marked well. My GF and I walked off the trail a few times. Other than that, I had a great time here. It's a scenic park with lots of great views!! I recommend it!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Great canyon hikes.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Desert scenery is a welcome change for a boy from Missouri. Overall an easy hike. It did get steep past Fern falls and the descent was very steep and washed out descending Haynes Ridge. highly recommend.

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