Wilderness Ridge

Part 1:  Walking along Trail 45 from the West toward McKittrick Canyon

Page One: Orientation

Started on this trail once before.  This time got much further, but still not to the end where the trail dips down into McKittrick Canyon.  Have to be off the ridge before dark, of course, mainly because without daylight there is no sense in trying to take pictures, but also for safety's sake both walking and driving.  All the critters come out at dusk and many stay out all night, and walk on the road.  I don't like running into or over anything that has eyes.

So this map shows where I went, Trail 45 follows the words Wilderness Ridge.  I crossed the boundary into Texas which is also the boundary of Guadalupe Mountains national Park, so will also show the trail on that side of the boundary (T45 is the Permian Trail in the national park):


On this walk we stop about where the W is in the word Wilderness (just before the campground).  [In Part 2, linked below, we walk up the Permian Reef Geology Trail onto the plateau, just to the right of the word Ridge.]

We start where the previous hike ended, about here.  That is North McKittrick Canyon below us, a tributary drainage that feeds into the main canyon about where the Pratt Cabin is on the map above.  As this canyon turns right, so do we, staying on top of side-by-side ridges that make up the northern wall of the canyon:

The trail is still a dirt road at this point, Road 3008 in fact (see map above):

As we trudge along, the views to the south, toward the main body of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, are very nice:


On the next few pages we will continue this walk toward McKittrick Canyon.

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

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

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

Go to Part 2, Page One: McKittrick Canyon start

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

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

Go to Part 2, Page Four: Backside of high cliffs and switchbacks

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

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

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