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Guadalupe Ridge Trail (GRT)

Difficult
 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

100 Miles of the Guadalupe ridge with a side trip to Sitting Bull Falls.


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Map Key

102.7

Miles

165.2

KM

94%

Runnable

8,665' 2,641 m

High

3,651' 1,113 m

Low

14,062' 4,286 m

Up

13,060' 3,981 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Back country camping permits required for Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Cavern National Park.

Overview

Starting from the highest point in Texas, this trail leads through Guadalupe Mountains National Park into Lincoln National Forest as you cross into New Mexico. An excursion to Sitting Bull Falls gives you the complete GRT experience and then returns to the ridge to finish through Carlsbad Cavern National Park to Whites City, NM.

Run Sections

Need to Know

This route requires some clever logistics not only with permitting, but also with water placement. It helps to have a support vehicle. If you stage water at Dark Canyon Lookout Tower, you can get by not needing more than 2.5 day's worth of water at any time. Coordinate your trip with the extremely friendly rangers at Lincoln National Forest. If traveling north, no camping permit is required for CCNP as there is a patch of BLM land 12 miles from the finish that is perfect for the final night.

Description

Permits and water logistics are required for the first portion through GMNP. Once you cross into Lincoln National Forest at the state line, things get easier in a way, as you have more freedom to camp and easier access from 4x4 vehicles for resupply, but you are also in very remote territory. After Dark Canyon Lookout Tower, you leave the ridge trail for a route around Queen, NM to run through Sitting Bull Falls before returning to the ridge for a strong finish into CCNP and out to the trailhead in Whites City, NM.

Flora & Fauna

Cactus, agave, junipers, and pines abound. Lizards, snakes, scorpions, and all manner of interesting desert critters can be seen throughout the run. Deer, mountain goats, and domestic cattle are common in the middle portion before returning to the high desert toward the end.

Contacts

Shared By:

Devin Brown

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1643

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#26

in Texas

#1,643

Overall
28 Views Last Month
85 Since Dec 28, 2020
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Photos

Panorama of McKittrick Canyon, viewed from west of Wilderness Ridge Backcountry Camp. My new favorite spot at GUMO.
Sep 17, 2018 near Pine Sp…, TX
Sunset at Wilderness Camp
Dec 28, 2020 near Pine Sp…, TX
About halfway up to the top of the canyon - you can see the fall colors around the lower portion of the trail below.
Nov 7, 2016 near Pine Sp…, TX
Elevation: 6981 feet!
Sep 30, 2015 near Pine Sp…, TX
Guadalupe National Park
Sep 30, 2015 near Pine Sp…, TX
The views from the trail are unbelievable.
Apr 7, 2016 near Pine Sp…, TX

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