Friday, June 22, 2012

Go West IX - Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas  © Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

During our Western road trip, Becky and I encountered surprising and unexpected subjects... massive sand dunes in Colorado, monumental rocks rising above the flatlands of Kansas, and the mysterious and now legendary sighting of shaggy black yaks on ranch land near Ouray.

But perhaps the most astonishing find of all was Palo Duro Canyon. Just the opposite of Monument Rocks in Kansas, Palo Duro (Spanish for "hard wood") is an extensive canyon that carves deeply into the infinitely flat terrain of the Texas high plain.

 It is the second largest canyon in North America (120 miles long and 800 feet deep), and a fascinating environment of brightly colored stone tempered with the soft greens of juniper and mesquite. Historically it was the home land of Native American tribes such as the Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne.

It was here we spent our first day tent camping... with an oven-like temperature of 104˚F! Hot, dry, windy and dusty... but cool in its own way. The "Grand Canyon of Texas" was an excitingly rugged landscape to hike and explore.


  1. I love the way that you framed this magnificent landscape with the dead tree to give it scale Doug... there is so much colour across the canyon... well done....peter:)

  2. So I'm getting my education once again, Doug, because I've never even heard of this canyon. Man! Where have I been all my life?!

    1. We had never heard of it either. We were just looking at a map for the halfway point between Austin, TX and Boulder, CO and look what we found!

  3. I'll bet there are spts down there where humans have never been. Such an enormous landscape.

  4. Beautiful view and excellent photo with description.

  5. ... and again, no human soul in sight! sounds like a great experience and looks like a fascinating place. but 104 degrees? a bit much for my taste ... ;-))

  6. Great view of a majestic landscape!
    God bless you!

  7. very beautiful landscape and composition

  8. Palo Duro? What a name!
    When can I see your dragonfly-eating yaks?
    Do yaks like eating dragonflies?
    And do dragonflies taste yuk to yaks?

    I came across an article about the Colorado River yesterday.
    Saw the Horseshoe Bend in AZ!
    D, that's really really fascinating! :)

  9. it sure looks like a beautiful place.. nice place to stop by too.. :)


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