El Capitan Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,150' 655 m
Descent: -1,243' -379 m
High: 6,464' 1,970 m
Low: 4,983' 1,519 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
Current trail conditions
Popular runs nearby
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Rattlesnake Canyon Loop
6.1 mi 9.9 km • Loop • 676 ft Ascent 205.99 m Ascent
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Chihuahuan Desert Nature Trail
0.8 mi 1.3 km • Loop • 66 ft Ascent 20.08 m Ascent
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“This trail will take you through the Chihuahuan desert and along the base of El Capitan.”— Seth Lawder
The El Capital Trail is rarely traveled, is overgrown, and can be hard to follow. The weather in the park is extremely unpredictable and runners should plan accordingly. The first three miles of the trail climbs a moderately steep hill to the ridge. After the first junction with the Salt Basin Overlook Trail, the El Capitan Trail dips in and out of a couple small valleys to the end of the trail at the junction with Guadalupe Peak Trail.
There is nearly no shade along this trail, so sunscreen and hats to protect your skin are recommended. Although most runners turn around at the base of El Capitan, you can take the trail all the way to Williams Ranch.
Land Manager: NPS - Guadalupe Mountains National Park