I had never heard of this place, but leave it to my bride to always find really cool places. Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, TX must be one of the biggest state parks in the country, is listed as the second largest canyon in the country, and clearly one of the most interesting and pretty.
Canyon you say? In the middle of miles of flatness? No way! This land is so flat that except for maybe a few cows, a wind turbine, and maybe a corn silo or two, you could probably see our house back in Georgia. So how could there be a canyon in all this?
Well, there is, and it is really cool. We stayed in the Hackberry campground, although there are 4-5 other campgrounds on the floor of this canyon within the state park. The weather was superb. We came from 95-degree temps in Corpus Christi and here the temps were from the 40’s – 70’s.
There are seemingly endless hiking and mountain biking trails throughout the park. We biked all around the floor of the canyon, but just on the roads. Just off the park, there are places to rent horses (1,500 acres of dedicated horse trails), and there is a zipline place as well that zips you out over part of the canyon. For me, not in this lifetime, but apparently it is popular for those who aren’t so rooted to terra firma as I am.
For those who prefer a more exquisite camping experience, the park offers “glamping” – luxury camping in tricked-out huts.
Because it is a short drive from Amarillo, on the weekends it appears to be a popular destination, as measured by the line of day-use cars trying to get into the park. Because the park is primarily in the canyon itself, there is only one way in and out.
This is clearly a place we would come back to in a heartbeat!