Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

The Grotto

Latitude, Longitude: 31.966760, -104.791030

As you continue your hike beyond Pratt Cabin to the Grotto, the forest becomes denser as the trail runs parallel to the stream. Rainbow trout are visible in the clear water. At the junction ahead (approximately 1 mile), take the left fork to go to the Grotto. There, the dripping water percolates through the limestone, methodically redistributing calcium carbonate into stalagmites and stalagmites in the tiny "cave." Rock benches and tables await you in the deep shade, a tempting location for a picnic. Follow the stone path from the Grotto to Hunter Cabin, a structure which was once part of a hunting retreat. Look up the canyon slope and see the steep switchbacks where the trail continues to McKittrick Ridge. Round-trip distance from the contact station to the Grotto is 6.8 miles.