Our group set out on Saturday. March 14 2009 we hit the trail way at around 2 pm. We had two vehicles so we left one at South Plains and took the other to Monks Crossing. We left water and food in the truck at Monks. When we reached Monks we retrieved the vehicle in South Plains and moved it to Turkey. The parks service does have water at all the camps with exception to Mullins rise. They however do not put water in the tanks until after the last freeze of winter, so the tanks where dry on our trip. I would not recommend this trip in the summer months as the temperature can rise into the 100s. The trail is open to hikers backpackers and mountain bikes year round.
The trail way will take you through the City of Quitaque (Kitty-Kay). The town has 2 restaurants The Sportsman’s Bar and grill and the Caprock café. There is an Alsup’s convenience store across from Sportsman’s, and a Grocery Store Right next to the Caprock Café. Take Cash. The grocery store only accepts cash.
All the people in town are really nice, and very helpful. My youngest son was standing in line at the store and a really sweet lady paid for his bubble gum.
This is a true Texas treasure. The trails is not very physically demanding, but was rather hard on our feet I have hiked the Guadalupe Mountains and never got a blister but managed to get 3 on this trip. The old train rail was bedded in lava rock. Make sure you have good insoles for your boots.
Good luck and have fun if you choose to do this trip.