While wine tasting in Lubbock, we received several suggestions for our continued travels in Northern Texas. We gladly took up the first suggestion in Amarillo, and made our way to another – Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas”, Palo Duro Canyon is actually the second largest canyon in the United States. Both its size and the coloration of the rock formations lend to the similarities it shares with the Grand Canyon, but we found it to be  much more sprawling than the narrow passage of GC.

We only had one day in the park, so we chose what is likely the most popular trail to explore – the path to Lighthouse Peak. Check out this site for in-depth trail info. The majority of the path is rather flat, winding through the desert flora with a few ups and downs through dried-up creek beds. But once you reach the base of Lighthouse, things get steep. A sharp incline left many other hikers snapping their pictures from the base, but we made it up (and went further!). I took the normal, still challenging route, and Cory billy-goated his way up what had to be an 85-degree incline.

Above you can see Lighthouse Peak to the left, and Capitol Mesa to the right. We continued up to reach the top of Capitol Mesa for a spectacular view of the canyon.

How amazing is that? Not a bad place to stop for lunch.

It was a bit tricky to reach the top of the mesa – involved some jumping/climbing with the possibility of a loooong fall if you went too far right.

I’m not aggressively lunging (definitely wrote “lunching” here, guess I need to eat something!) in this picture, I’m just trying to stand up and not fall backwards! That’s how crazy the slope was in certain areas.

Palo Duro was beautiful, and we really would have loved to spend more time exploring less populated trails, and getting in some mountain biking (they have several trails for bikes). But, we had to head on to another recommended canyon!

As we were packing up Cricket, a parade of turkeys passed right through our camp.

Yup. That’s a lot of turkeys.

These two brought up the rear, and were the heftiest of the bunch.

Oh, and just in case you forgot which state we were in:

Don’t mess with Texas, y’all.

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One Response to Hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

  1. Anna says:

    Have you seen your sister site, Be Bold Be Bald? http://beboldbebald.org/greatfulheads

    ;)

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