Palo Duro Canyon

You cannot go far in this country without running into a state park. Every state has them and some have 3, 4 or more. Texas, as big as it is, is no different. The Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the cousin of famed wonder of the world—the Grand Canyon. It is the arguable the best Texas State Park and has been luring tourists and residents for 12,000 years. With a reputation like that, it shouldn"t be missed.

This Texas State Park is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide and a depth of 800 feet. It is the second largest in the United States behind the Grand Canyon, which is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a depth of 6,000 feet. The Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River carved Palo Duro Canyon State Park. It has a long way to go to catch up with Grand Canyon, but it is certainly making some headway. It was named Palo Duro meaning "hard wood", because the early Spanish settlers noticed the abundance of mesquite and juniper trees in the area. It is truly a beautiful spot with colorful linear lines passing over the land, while being outlined by the trees of many years ago. Any geologist or enthusiast will find a home here. The early settlers knew how to find great real estate, and it turned out this ended up being the best Texas State Park.

There are many activities to get lost in doing at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Take a scenic drive winding around the canyon and over the Red River in six locations. It's an everlasting viewpoint. You will spend much of your time getting out of your car for more pictures with friends and family. Like any state park, this Texas State Park offers tons of things such as bird watching, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife viewing and geologic study. If you are planning a trip, you are going to have a lot of time on your hands to explore this canyon and you might as well enjoy multiple modes of transportation. Get rid of that car you commute in for once and enjoy the birds at a horse pace in an even trot.

This Texas State park is open year-round, however it is hottest from May to September. If you are thinking of hiking or biking, then it would be a good idea to start early in order to be done by noon. Most trails point to the famous lighthouse formation. This formation is a 75 foot-high shale and sandstone pinnacle towering high above the canyon floor. Expect to see some other travelers along with you, because it is no secret.

The best Texas State Park awaits your arrival, and there are tracks to be made here in Palo Duro State Park. Take advantage of the time on your hands and get away from the lights and sounds of the city, look overhead at the thousands of stars and listen to the silence.

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