Haynes Ridge and Upper Canyon Trail Loop

HARD 43 reviews

Haynes Ridge and Upper Canyon Trail Loop is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Quitaque, Texas that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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.

6.5 miles
849 feet

dogs on leash




mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



washed out

A great trail to go and climb onto Haynes Ridge and hike out to the scenic overlook. The major hurdle is the climb about halfway through from the canyon onto the ridge. The North Prong is less strenuous than the South Prong.

26 days ago

This is a fantastic hike! Definitely recommend.

3 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Great trail, beautiful scenery and challenging elevations at some points. I loved it. It's probably not the best trail to bring your dog or pet on however. I had my 2 dogs who hike with me all the time, and though they did very well through the climbing and descent and most of the trail, they were worn out by the back 2 miles which is very arid and under the direct sunlight was extremely hot. I would like to go back in the future without them so I can do the whole trail system.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Great hike in a great park. The trip up the north prong presented wonderful views of the canyon. The trek up to the Fern Cave was fairly smooth. After a short break we continued up to the Haynes Ridge. We got a little off track here and had to free style back to the trial. The hike along Haynes Ridge was very nice with great vistas of both north and south prong. The view from Haynes Ridge Overlook is fantastic. This is where things got a little bit challenging. The hike down from the Haynes Ridge overlook is very steep with lots of loose rock. Take your time and watch your footing. All in all a great trek with rewarding surroundings. Take bug spray, the biting flies were hungry.

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