Wilderness Ridge

Part 2:  The Permian Trail from McKittrick Canyon to Wilderness Ridge

Page Four: Backside of high cliffs and switchbacks

We are now behind and moving away from the tall cliffs on a very long switchback that gradually climbs to an adjoining ridge.  The main views of interest are the various mini-ridges and drainages that allow views upward and downward where the Visitor Center remains visible (a dirt road is visible between large drainage and Visitor Center).  We are high enough now to be able to look back on the snowy part of the switchbacks we have just traversed:

Along the way there are several views that show we are making slow progress reaching the ridge top, which always seems to be another cliff higher:

 

If you do this hike in warmer weather, be sure and prepare for the fact that there are only about four places along these four miles that offer just a little bit of shade.  The cliff on page two was the first of those shaded places, and this tree nearer the top is the second (note there are cliffs stacked on cliffs toward the top):

 

The trail is good, and stays away from cliff edges by at least a few feet, but there were places where one's fear of heights could made one just a little anxious along the way (view of a cliff and view from the trail above that cliff, keeping focus on the safer-seeming uphill view--Visitor Center is visible below):

 

After every cliff there appears to be yet another one, but it is obvious that we are getting closer to the top when we look back to where we came from and see the switchbacks behind the tall cliffs way below us!

On the next page we will break the suspense and get to the ridge top, promise!

Go to Part 2, Page Five: Coming to the ridge top

Go to Part 2, Page Six: On the ridge top

Go Back to Part 2, Page One: McKittrick Canyon start

Go Back to Part 2, Page Two: Up to the first cliff

Go Back to Part 2, Page Three: Up to the high cliffs

Go Back to Part 1, Page One: Orientation

Go Back to Part 1, Page Two: Road 3008 to Trail 45

Go Back to Part 1, Page Three: Views north, east, and south

Go Back to Part 1, Page Four: Final view into McKittrick Canyon

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