The Western Trail is quite an interesting hiking trail that runs through some beautiful scenery. It is a long distance multi-use trail that runs between Canada and Mexico via the valuable spine of the west coast. It meanders its way through canyons, high bluffs, and forests along the Pacific Ocean and the Continental Divide.
In early May, hikers will be able to enjoy their trip on the Western Trail as it follows the old Mexican trail right beside the Dodge City Trail. You can stay on the Mexican trail and walk the length of the trail or you can stay on the western trail and go through Dos Cabas, Puerto Vallarta, and Guadalajara. Hiking the entire trail is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. In addition, those with backpacks are not recommended to hike on the trail without the necessary safety and emergency equipment for hiking.
The trail starts out in Ocotillo Preserve just east of San Diego. At the start of the trail, you will see two cacti in bloom. These tall California natives are called the California Longhorns. It is believed that the trail was formed when the Native Americans and some settlers came into contact with different herds of cattle on the Western Trail. Over time, the ranchers managed to get their herds to move west and across the Mexico border, leaving behind their fences to mark their passage on the western trail.
Just before the first drainage on the western trail, you will see a very steep climb up to your first campsite. This is the site of the historic Dodge Ranch. Many trips begin at this point as the ranch offers wonderful camping accommodations. Just south of the campground, you will find the ruins of what was once the largest cattle ranch in southwest Texas. The ruins include a storeroom, several structures made of stone and corrals, as well as a giant corral house and the ruins of the chateau that was built by the last of the Dodge family members, W.H. Dodge.
Following the path of the ranch, you will pass three points of interest before you reach your first campsite on the western trail. First, there is the Rockin’ Horse Falls where the water has carved a massive rock formation into the floor of the falls. Next is the Bridalveil Falls where the water has carved a huge rock into the face of the falls. Finally, at the end of the trail, you will come upon another set of obstacles. To finish, you will be greeted by the beautiful Skylight Tower with its two peaks and the Conical Rock formation.
Just north of the Skylight Tower is the Conical Rock formation. It is also known as the Pahana Slabs. It is the second highest natural formation in all of Texas. The Conical Rock formation is also known as the first white sandstone formation in Texas. There are also several other structures along the western trail across the prairie dog town fork. One of these formations is the Tower of Friends.