Friday, June 6, 2014

Palo Duro Canyon State Park - 6/02/14

This 30,000-acre park is the location of the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon (after the Grand Canyon) in the US.  It's located about 25 miles from Amarillo near the town of Canyon, TX.  With the wide-open plains in the area, it is hard to believe that a canyon more than 1,000 deep even exists here.

It was truly a breath-taking experience to view the canyon for the first time. The colorful walls of the canyon are gorgeous, particularly against the blue sky.  Unlike the Grand Canyon, you can drive through a large portion of the canyon in the park.  There are many activities that tourists and locals alike enjoy in the park: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing.

The park opened in 1934 with Depression-era labor building the primary entry road (winding down into the canyon) as well as the beautiful visitors center that overlooks the canyon. They also built three cabins (now modernized) that provide an amazing view of the canyon and can be rented.  With five camp areas, over 20 miles of hiking or riding trails.

Views from the visitors center.

The park is also well-known for TEXAS - the musical that is performed in their Pioneer Amphitheater in its 49th year this summer. We saw the show on 6/03. There is another post regarding entertaining musical.

The most popular is the Lighthouse Trail which we explored during our first visit.

All kinds of crazy rock formations.

Leaping lizards!

My hiking companions, John and Sadie.

Some shade for me and Sadie!

Mountain bikers on Lighthouse Trail

This is one of those places that you have to see to believe. The pictures do not do it justice!  Admission fee is $5/adult for the day. Camping information can be found at their website.  This is the top site to see if you are ever in the Amarillo area.

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