Permian Reef Trail Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"The Permian Reef Trail, climbing 2,000 feet from the McKittrick Canyon Visitor Center to Camp Wilderness Ridge, ascends the south face of Capitan Reef, an ancient fossil reef from the Permian geologic period over 260 million years ago.
The strenuous trail, climbing 3 miles to a high ridge and 4.6 miles to the park’s northern boundary, offers not only marvelous views into deep McKittrick Canyon but also allows geologists and students the opportunity to study the reef’s fossils and rock formations. Before doing the hike, pick up The Permian Reef Trail Guide, a free 14- page booklet available at the park visitor center that details fourteen key geological points on the trail. The trail markers explain the story of Capitan Reef and highlight various fossils and geologic features, helping hikers understand the unique reef."