I made my hike into the wonderful McKittrick Canyon to see the fall color of the canyon up close. After having seen the canyon from above, I wanted to get into the heart of it and walk among the maple trees.
I arrived at the canyon trailhead and was the only car there. Started the hike and began to follow the creek into the canyon. At first there is no sign of color and it seems to just be a canyon. You cross the dry gravel stream bed a few times and as you get into the canyon a colorful tree appears. Then another. Soon you pass small areas of several trees and some water crossings. When you get into the canyon where the north and south forks meet you enter the zone where the color is brightest and you have been transported from a desert canyon to a maple forest.
The vivid colors of the trees are just as amazing seeing them like this as they are from above.
I hike clear back to the Grotto and have a snack before photographing my way out of the canyon. On the trip into the Grotto I encounter ZERO other parties. Peak fall color, spectacular canyon, national park and zero other people. It must be what it was like for John Muir in Yosemite. I think he would approve of this canyon.
On the way out we finally encounter a few other people coming in. The weather which has been partly cloudy turns to rain. I pull out the rain gear for the last stretch. I have some images and have seen some great fall color in what is often called the prettiest spot in Texas.
It is a good day.