“The most difficult and iconic trail in the entire park.”
— Luke Brisk
The first section, which runs from the North Plateau Loop
to the hollow, is very dangerous.
McKay Hollow Trail runs from the North Plateau Loop
to the South Plateau Loop
intersecting the Natural Well
and Bucca Trail
. People in the know break the trail up into two sections: "Death Mile" and "Rest Shelter."
"Death Mile" is the first section of the trail that runs between the North Plateau Loop
and Natural Well
trails. The trail starts off with a great view of a waterfall to your left, which you can climb down to if you so desire. From here, it only gets harder. This first section is extremely rocky and steep. One must be very careful when navigating down this section as one wrong move can send you tumbling down.
At the end of the Death Mile is where the trail's namesake (McKay Hollow) is located. Things open up and flatten out here.. This is also where the trail intersects with the Natural Well
This next section is referred to as the Rest Shelter section because there is a State Park Rest Shelter at the end of the trail. The trail stays down in the hollow for 3/4 of a mile and things are flat and easy. While there are still rocky sections, there are much fewer than on the prior section of trail. At 1.5 miles, the trail starts to ascend toward the rest shelter, getting a bit more rocky. Just before mile 2, the trail intersects with the Bucca Trail
. The trailhead for the Bucca Trail
is not marked. The trail continues on to the old wooden rest shelter that gives this section its name. The last fifty feet to the South Plateau Loop
are some of the rockiest parts of this trail.