Doug & Barbara Peterson

Doug & Barbara Peterson
Barbara & I at a scenic overlook on the skyline drive in the Rocky Mountain National Park, 8-13-2016

Friday, May 24, 2019

Summer Vacation 2019, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, TX

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro is the home to the second largest canyon in the country located southeast of Amarillo, Texas. It was a bit surprising after traveling through relatively flat farmland and coming to the 1,000 foot vertical walls of this canyon that is over a 100 miles in length. The park road descends into the canyon along a steep 10 percent grade road to the canyon floor where several campsite circles are located. There is electric, water, shower facilities and bathrooms that are clean and comfortable.    

Our campsite at Palo Duro Canyon State Park
View from our campsite at Mesquite Ridge

Day Hike on one of the many trails in the park

This is a beautiful park surrounded by lovely rock formations and colorful cliffs that surround you on all sides.



One of the many rock formations in the park

Red sand stone creates a fascinating landscape 
Cave in the cliffs with a cool interior to hide from the springtime sun
Visitors Center at Palo Duro built by the CCC in the 1930's
View from the rim of the Canyon at the Visitors Center

It is also home to the play, Texas ,which is given every night in the summer at the parks extensive amphitheater that is built to accommodate hundreds of people. The play is a wonderful musical that depicts the history of this area of Texas from the very early days of pioneering with families that settled near this special place in northwest Texas. Many of the scenes had horses, well built sets and fireworks that added to drama of the play.



The Amphitheater at Palo Duro 
Seating for the play Texas that 4,000,000 people have seen over the years
We enjoyed the springtime flowers and cactus that were in bloom in the park along with interesting wildlife.


Cactus blooming in the late spring sun after a wet spring


Aloe Plants in bloom were common in the park


We saw many exotic birds


Wild flowers were everywhere
We had a wonderful time at Palo Duro State Park. Summer time can be hot in the canyon with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees in the afternoon. This is our second visit to Palo Duro. It is a great place to visit when you travel through this part of Texas. It is south of Amarillo, TX about 25 miles off of I-40 on the route to New Mexico.


Even if you do not camp you can stay at a cabin in the park. 


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