The incredible majesty of Caprock Canyons State Park was created over millions of years by wind and water. Wind, the Texas Plains have plenty of. Water, they do not. At least not on the surface. The park sits at a natural transition between the high plains of the Llano Estacado to the north & west and rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country to the south & east. Most of the water that created these wonderful canyons ran underground in a process called “piping”. More on this next week for you geology buffs.
For you history buffs, this is a place with a long and rich history. Archeologists have found evidence of human occupation dating back over 10,000 years. Coronado explored the region in the mid 1500’s and the Apache Nation dominated the area until the Comanche pushed them out in the 1700’s. The Comanche made these rugged canyons their last stronghold prior to being forced onto reservations by the government in the late 1800’s. And yes, this whole area looks like the backdrop for a John Wayne or Henry Fonda western.
Hiking and photographing the canyons for the first time was a wonderful experience but the late June heat was tough to deal with. The views from around the park are spectacular, especially if you hike to some of the more remote spots. Bring plenty of water, a good GPS or compass and your walking shoes. The strong winds along the rim of the canyon cease almost completely on the canyon floor and the bright red rock reflects a lot of heat back at you. Shade is almost nonexistent so come prepared. Even my carbon-fiber tripod became almost too hot to handle in the late afternoon sun.
This is one spot that I’m sure to visit again and again!