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Haynes Ridge - Fern Cave Loop

Difficult
 4.8 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

See the highs and lows of Caprock Canyons State Park in one hike, with a refreshing stop at Fern Cave in the middle.


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Map Key

6.8

Miles

10.9

KM

Loop

3,155' 962 m

High

2,458' 749 m

Low

764' 233 m

Up

764' 233 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Breathtaking vistas and varying terrain make this hike a fun challenge for older (perhaps age 8-10 and up) kids and adults. Be on the lookout for several kinds of lizards and beautiful wildflowers.

Overview

Pleasant, level trails are combined with brief sections of more technical grades to make this a fun, slightly challenging hike for beginners. Enjoy beautiful scenery, catch glimpses of local wildlife, and take a refreshing rest at Fern Cave.

Need to Know

During warmer months, start your hike early to avoid the scorching mid-day sun and heat. Pack a snack and plenty of water. Consider bringing water filtration and purification equipment should you wish to refill water bottles at Fern Cave.

Description

Warm up with a short jaunt on the Canyon Loop Trail before turning west to begin the climb up to the Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail. The climb is short but quite steep, ascending nearly 500 feet in about a quarter of a mile. This is not your average "walk in the park"; you'll need just a bit of both cardiovascular and muscular stamina to enjoy the climb. Stop frequently to observe how the view of the landscape to the east changes as you ascend.

Head west and north, and descend to Fern Cave, where you'll usually find a spring of cold water trickling from the rock and forming a small pool.

Cool off and take a rest before beginning the return hike along the Upper Canyon Trail and Canyon Loop Trail. These are largely level, flat trails, allowing you to observe the impressive landscape all around as you make your way back to the trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joseph Ellis

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 8 votes

#1149

Overall
  4.8 from 8 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#24

in Texas

#1,149

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Photos

Looking east on top of the Upper Canyon Loop.
Jan 25, 2016 near Silverton, TX
One of the many lizards that may be encountered in the area. This one was particularly stoic, allowing us to get very close for photos.
Jul 29, 2017 near Silverton, TX
View to the northeast shortly after climbing to John Haynes Ridge
Jul 29, 2017 near Silverton, TX
Upper Canyon Trail (trail C) east of Fern Cave
Apr 8, 2015 near Silverton, TX
Canyon Loop Trail passing through the canyon
Apr 8, 2015 near Silverton, TX
North Prong Primitive Campground.
Jan 25, 2016 near Silverton, TX

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Check-Ins

Mar 7, 2020
Josh Shetler
Feb 24, 2020
Carissa Bryant
Pack your poles and plenty of water. 6.8mi
Jun 22, 2019
Emily Hanby
6.8mi
Jun 7, 2019
Jay Abernathy
Steep, rocky and challenging when you turn up the Haynes trail, but so worth the work! 7.1mi — 3h 45m
Jan 6, 2019
Beryl Bils
First time leading OPC trip! 6.8mi
Jul 9, 2018
Mark Clements
Sep 3, 2017
Jenny Lucas
6.8mi