The Canyon Wall

Exploring Palo Duro Canyon is more than just visiting the state park. In fact, most of Palo Duro Canyon lies outside the park’s 20,000 acres in Randall and Armstrong counties. There are three main highways running into the northern parts of the canyon; Highway 256 near Silverton, Highway 86 near Quitaque and my favorite, Highway 207 near Wayside.

Highway 207 runs roughly northeast from Wayside to Claude and meanders through the canyon bottom as it crosses the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River*. At each end of the canyon there are several spots to pull off the road and photograph the canyon in the early morning or late evening.

Sunrise in Palo Duro Canyon comes abruptly as the sun climbs over the canyon wall and illuminates the mist rising from the river. Sunset arrives at a much more leisurely pace as the sun slowly sinks in the west and highlights the canyon wall with it’s beautifully, warm glow. Add a few late afternoon clouds and you’ve got a recipe for a classic canyon photograph.

Georgia O’Keeffe, the famous painter who lived in nearby Amarillo wrote of Palo Duro Canyon stating: “It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color.”

* According to the US government, this main tributary of the Red River is properly called the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River, and should not be called the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River (Seriously?)

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

As the Clouds Move In

As the Clouds Move In – Palo Duro Canyon, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on Aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 28mm, f/16 for 1/5th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter and 3-stop graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

2 thoughts on “The Canyon Wall

  1. Love these images Jeff. If I lived there I’d probably own horses again just to see all of it the way the first folks did. Wonder if there is a market for a saddle mount tripod?

    • Thanks Ray.

      Too darn hot to ride in the summer but in the spring and fall you can rent a nice quarter horse and wander the trails. I might do that in the spring so Josh can come back and wear his white Stetson again. YeeHa!


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