Sunday, April 22, 2012

Palo Duro Canyon

 Yesterday, Joe and I rode the Harley to Palo Duro Canyon. It is about a 30 mile trip from our campsite in Amarillo. The state park opened in 1934 and the roads and buildings that were constructed in the 1930s are still in use today. The cost is $5.00 per person for a day trip.
 The canyon is 120 miles long and as much as 20 miles wide. It is the second largest canyon in the United States.Palo Duro was formed by water erosion from the Prarie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. This photo was taken at the Visitor Center/Museum.
 Humans have resided in the canyon for approximately 12,000 years. Early Spanish explorere discovered the area and named it Palo Duro which is Spanish for "hard woods" because it was abundant in mesquite and juniper trees. The state park is one of the largest with more that 26,000 acres of scenic landscape. Walls plunge almost 1,000 feet to the canyon floor, exposing brilliant multicolor strata.
This formation is "The Lighthouse". There are hiking trails to it.
 The park offers camping (tent and RV sites with water and electric hook-ups), picknicking, restrooms and ahowers, horseback riding and hiking and biking trails. Also there is an interpretive center and amphitheater where shows are staged during the summer season. There are 3 restored cabins (made of stone) located on the canyon rim for rent.  Within the park is also a historic marker citing the last great Native American battle in Texas.
 The road travels from the top to the bottom of the canyon. We took a 16 mile loop into the canyon floor. There are 6 water crossings on the road and number 6 was flooded and impassible which shortened our route.
This is "Capitol Peak".There are biking trails to it.
One of the camping site areas was designated for tent camping with your horse...four pups are enough, can't imagine taking your horse!  

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