McKittrick Canyon Trail

MODERATE 34 reviews

McKittrick Canyon Trail is a 21 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Carlsbad, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and camping and is accessible year-round.

21.0 miles 5108 feet Out & Back

camping

hiking

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Whites City, NM: Travel south along Highway 62/180

hiking
14 days ago

Nice hike, beautiful views of Guadalupe National Park. Minimal elevation change and well marked trail.

hiking
25 days ago

27 days ago

great vista and foliage. .. the deer just walked up and crossed within a few feet of us

hiking
1 month ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. The madrone trees are fantastic!

4 months ago

Hiked up to the Notch yesterday, last mile up was brutal!! We were hurrying on our way down to get back before 4:30 closing. It was too much! I hiked with 2 teenage boys and they were beat too! I'd just hike to the grotto if I did it again. Leaves were beautiful! Took us 4.5 hrs total with no significant breaks.

4 months ago

My husband and I have been to McKittrick Canyon many times from visitor to Pratt Lodge in October, yet we were always too early for the fall foliage! This year I got to hike to the Grotto and see all the foliage! Beautiful!

4 months ago

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked from the visitor center to the Grotto and back in November. Easy hike with beautiful views of fall foliage. Take a picnic lunch to enjoy at the stone tables adjacent to the Grotto. Oh, and be sure to take your camera.

backpacking
5 months ago

I have been twice in the last month and was wondering has anyone done an overnight???

5 months ago

beautiful for all ages very easy

5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

This hike must be done at the right time to get the best experience. Generally before Dec you check their website/FB page for an update on the color change..when the leaves turn. The first 1/4 of the hike is pretty uneventful, normal southwest terrain & scenery. The trail follows a riverbed until eventually crossing it. The canyon on your left is pretty cool, as are the layers of rock that have eroded in the riverbed. Once across it's just gravel trail for awhile with a few spots to sit. Again, the mountains looming on both sides are pretty neat. Eventually you start heading into the deeper part of the canyon where the whole topography changes. You start seeing the colors. You'll cross over the river bed (this time w/ water) back to the left bank. The scenery is gorgeous & the trail is surrounded by trees. Once again, you cross back to the right side of the bed & that's where the views are best. So much gold, orange & reds. The ranger station is off to the right. We continued on & were just amazed at the scenery. There are many trees like ash that are nowhere else in the region. We stayed to the right at the grotto/lodge junction, where the trail starts climbing the right side of the canyon. Looking down from up high, the whole canyon spread out, it's breathtaking. The trail gets steeper & winds up to the top of the canyon where you can go on to campsites. We were short on time so headed back. On the return we went to the old lodge & grotto. Both great places to rest & eat as there are picnic tables. Definitely recommend heading out early to make the most of the whole day. I will be returning to try & make it to the very top next time.

8 months ago