Yucca Canyon

Whites City, New Mexico 88268

Yucca Canyon

Yucca Canyon Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A day hike or overnight trip into the Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness with views of rugged Slaughter Canyon.

The trail follows the dry desert canyon upstream all the way to the crest of the escarpment. It climbs out of the canyon abruptly about 2 miles from the trailhead, giving dramatic views northeast and southwest of the Guadalupe Mountains’ steep escarpment. As the trail tops out, it gets really faint. Old landmarks such as the Yucca Canyon cabin and a fenced deer exclosure have been removed, making navigating harder.

Dogs are not allowed."

More Yucca Canyon Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Hikes in New Mexico (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Martin
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"Although spectacular, Carlsbad Caverns can leave visitors eager for an escape from the crowds. One solution is to hike one of the park’s backcountry trails, such as the Yucca Canyon Trail. Few make the trip to this distant corner of the park, and hikers will most likely have about 10 square miles of desert mountains to themselves. Permits are not required for day hiking in the backcountry, but hikers planning an overnight stay need to stop at the Carlsbad Caverns Visitor Center for a free permit. Note that a user fee is charged to enter the park."
Hiking Carlsbad Caverns & Guadalupe Mountains National Parks (Falcon Guides)
Bill Schneider
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"This is, perhaps, the most dramatic and scenic trail in the park. It might also be the most rugged. Yucca Canyon is suited for a long day hike or an overnighter. If you day hike, get up early and plan on getting back late. If you backpack, you can spend the night up on the ridge above Yucca Canyon. This is a special treat, but you have to earn it. It's a rough uphill grind (more than 1,500 feet in about 3.5 miles!) with a overnight pack to get there. Staying overnight gives you the time to do several splendid side trips in the area."

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Trail Information

Whites City
Nearby City
1,450 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
3–4 hours
Fall through spring
4,570 feet
Trailhead Elevation
6,010 feet
Top Elevation
Additional Use
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, 3225 National Parks Hwy., Carlsbad, NM 88220; (575) 785-2232
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated: Carlsbad Caverns National Park; Grapevine Draw and Gunsight Canyon 7.5-minute USGS quads
Local Maps

Trail Log