The Outer Loop
brings together the trails of Joe Johnston
, Caroline's Loop
, Sendero Balcones
(north), Far Reaches Trail
and Recharge Trail
to take the rider on an 11.8-mile ride around the GCSNA Backcountry.
Dogs: No Dogs
There are several overlook locations built along the trail. There is a 'rustic' restroom off Joe Johnston
There are NO WATER POINTS!
If riding in the summer months, ensure you bring plenty of fluids on your person. Along Joe Johnston
, if you choose to not take Caroline's Loop
, you'll find dinosaur tracks along the trail. There is a restroom on Little Windmill
near its intersection with Joe Johnston
The Outer Loop
route can be ridden in either direction. Although clockwise seems to be less challenging as you are going down more the rock shelves than climbing them. It begins on Joe Johnston
at the Backcountry Trailhead.
From there, it is either 0.8 miles to go counterclockwise to Recharge Trail
or 2.6 miles to Caroline's Loop
. Caroline's Loop
covers 2.3 miles and reconnects you to Joe Johnston
for 0.7 miles before it turns into Sendero Balcones
starts to draw you the picture of what to expect on Sendero Balcones
(north) in terms of rock gardens and shelves. At the end of the north section of Sendero Balcones
, you'll hit the intersection (marked with signs and a stump marker) of Wildcat Canyon, the continuation of Sendero Balcones
(south) and Far Reaches Trail
Turning onto Far Reaches Trail
, the rocks become a little less prevalent, but still provide for a technical ride. Towards the end of Far Reaches Trail
, it becomes a nice, rolling singletrack that you can open up on as it transitions into Recharge Trail
and the end of the ride.