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FATMAP difficulty grade
Paired with the [Pinery Trail](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2688240/pinery-trail) and [Indian Meadow Nature Trail](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2688238/indian-meadow-nature-trail), the McKittrick Canyon Nature Trail is one of *the* classic short hikes in the Guadalupe Mountains.
The trail is less than one mile and rated as moderate since it is not entirely flat.
On average, most hikers can complete the loop in less than one hour. If you're new to hiking in the desert, this is an excellent option as "trailside exhibits describe common plants, and reference wildland fire." From the highest point on the trek, you will also have an excellent vantage point to look down into the canyon, as an adjacent trailside kiosk highlights the Permian Reef geology - [also seen here](https://www.nps.gov/gumo/planyourvisit/upload/Permian-Reef-Trail-Brochure_FINAL.pdf).
Portions of this hike also offer more shade than sun, which allows significant diversity in plant life depending on which side of the slope you are on. For anyone seeking a longer adventure in the backcountry, two other classic hikes depart from this trailhead: [Permian Reef](https://fatmap.com/routeid/136142/permian-reef) and [McKittrick Canyon](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2688236/mckittrick-canyon-trail-greater-mckittrick-ridge-backcountry-campgroundtrail).
Those planning a longer adventure may find it useful to warm up on the Nature Trail to make sure they have all of their gear dialed before heading further into the backcountry. [Source](https://www.nps.gov/gumo/planyourvisit/mckittrick.htm)