Sunday, May 7, 2017

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Just an hour or so off of I-40, southeast of Amarillo, is the second largest canyon in North America…Palo Duro Canyon, a Texas State Park.  It cost $5 per person to enter, and you can come and go all day. 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

This is a panoramic view as you enter and descend down into the park.  Since you are going to descend all the way down…you are going to lose cell phone coverage, which means Internet coverage (although we were told there is a WiFi at one building down there somewhere.)

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

In the panoramic view, be sure to get a good picture of Lighthouse Rock to the far right.  I have a red arrow showing it in the picture to the right.  It is a 2 1/2 mile hike to get a better picture of it, and most people won’t be doing that hike which is suppose to be a moderate trail, but in the heat I would say it could be very strenuous for many people like me.  (Don’t be confused by the very first picture in blog which is not lighthouse rock.)

Palo Duro Canyon State Park    Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park    Palo Duro Canyon State Park

After you descend down (10% grade) into the canyon, you drive about six miles to where the road starts a few miles loop, then you head back.  There are lots of areas to pull out and take shots…or even just stop in the road for a quick one as we did a time or two. 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park    Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park    Palo Duro Canyon State Park

We were here on a Sunday, early May, and it was not that busy.  Temps were in the mid-80s, and we took along plenty of water for us and for Skruffy (Bubba stayed at the motorhome).  We left our RV park in Canyon at 10:30, and we were back by 1:30.  Of course, for those who wish to hike, you will need water, sun protection, and proper walking gear.  The trails, for the most part, are dirt.

Skruffy at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

We put Skruffy in charge of watching for wildlife.  Well, the only wildlife we saw, besides a snake I nearly ran over, were…

Road Runner at Palo Duro Canyon State Park     Road Runner at Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Road Runner at Palo Duro Canyon State Park    Road Runner at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

..three different Road Runners.  The bottom two are the same bird.  The upper left one was ‘cleaning itself’, hence the puffiness.  We also saw some hawks, perhaps eagles, flying in the canyon…but that was it.  No deer, no signs saying ‘watch for deer’, just no wildlife signs at all.  Of course, snakes, spiders (tarantulas) and scorpions abound out there in the fields and rocks.

Camping at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

There are a number of camp grounds within the park.  This one is Juniper Campground, and our drive through showed water and electric and even a few with sewer.  There was a Class A, a few Class Bs and Cs and trailers, and some with just tents.  The cost is around $28 per night, plus the $5 park entrance fee per person per day.  But, no cell service, no Internet service, no TV unless you have a dish.

Camping at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Juniper Campground also has this nice bathroom, with showers, very modern and very new.  The State of Texas has dumped a lot of $$$$ into Palo Duro over the past few years, and about the only thing missing is the modern convenience of Cell and Internet service.  Some people don’t want that type of service…I say, let them turn it off, some of us can’t live without it.

Palo Duro RV Park     Palo Duro RV Park

So for us, we stayed at the Palo Duro RV Park in Canyon, Texas, just off I-27.  There are lots of people who live in the park…they even have a special student rate for those going to college at West Texas A&M University.  It is $25 a night if you have Good Sams, AAA or AARP, and that is for electric, water, sewer, Internet (although we are on our aircard) and over-the-air TV with around 20 stations.  There is a Walmart, many restaurants, and other things found in college towns here in Canyon.  And it is only 10 miles to the Palo Duro State Park, at 70 mph on the state highway…so it is an option, if you can put up with having neighbors close by.  There is another RV park near the state park, but I had a weak signal on my cell phone as we passed by.


  1. I just loved Palo Duro although I never stayed overnight. That was the first place I saw a dung beetle!

    1. I have wanted to drive the canyon for sometime now. Not sure I would want to drive the RV down into, but 5th wheels and Class A's were down there so I guess it is doable. Would probably unhook the car though.


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