11 October 2010

Palo Duro Canyon

11 Oct 2010--Went out to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a place in Texas we had never heard of all these years living here. We are in what is called the "Texas Panhandle", which is totally flat in every direction as far as the eye can see, so it is surprising that this Canyon is here at all.

Right inside the entrance we saw this guy just standing around. He looked pretty skinny, but I think he was really old. The most impressive thing was the span of his horns...from what I read they can stretch up to 6 ft in length.

The roads/buildings in the park were 1st established by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930s. I wonder if the people of that time thought the CCC was a case of "big goverment"?

Inside the visitor's center above, they had info on the age of the rocks, animals of the time, indians and settlers, etc. I took this pic because I don't recall ever seeing an animal like this with the big horn on his nose. And then you have the actual tusks from a mastodon.

Here they posted lots of info on the early explorers and battles between the Indians and settlers. This tells us that there were a lot of dead horses and Indians ending up on reservations after this particular battle.
This is the main road down into the canyon.
This is a replica of a building lived in by one of the original canyon settlers. Notice how in the kast pic it shows the roof of the building, with the rest of the building built under and in the side of the canyon wall.

These are "cabins" you can rent here if you want to stay overnight. They are one room buildings, no bathrooms, and go for about $60 a night...Hallie? Interested? You could have a heck of a picnic here!

We saw a couple deer here, and then we saw these 2 wild turkeys.

There were several trails marked on the map we got from the ranger, but this was the only place just off the side of the road to go for a quick hike and a few pics.

And now just a bunch of pics I took riding around. In sum, I would say that while Palo Duro is by no means a threat to the Grand Canyon or any of the National Parks in Utah, it was probably the prettiest part of Texas I have been to.


  1. I would love to camp out one night as long as it is cool at night

  2. It was definitely cool here last night, Hallie. Probably down in the mid 40s...is that cool enough for you? haha

  3. I am sorry you didn't get to do the play there in the canyon. It only runs in the summer and its in the out door arena. We really enjoyed it. We took the jeep down in the canyon and that was a bump of a ride.