Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Part 3: McKittrick Canyon Trail

My last day at Guadalupe Mountains National Park I hiked the 6.8 section of the McKittrick Canyon Trail to the Grotto. Leading through the canyon, the trail is mostly flat and affords spectacular views of the mountains the rise on either side before becoming densely forested and paralleling a rushing stream. Although most popular in the Fall when the leaves change, the trail was truly beautiful in late December. I turned around at the Grotto, a small cave with stalactites and stalagmites formed from dripping calcium carbonate though the trail continues and connects with a backpacking loop I have hopes to do when I return.

Mouth of McKittrick Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Mouth of McKittrick Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

The wash, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

The wash, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

The mountains and the stream, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

The mountains and the stream, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

The Grotto, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

The Grotto, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Me at the Grotto, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Me at the Grotto, McKittrick Canyon Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas