Caprock Canyons State Park is about 100 miles southeast of Amarillo on the western edge of Palo Duro Canyon. The park is big, red and hot! It covers over 15,000 acres including a 65 mile multi-use trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The park is also home to a protected bison herd thought to be the most pure-bred bison left in the US.
Caprock Canyons State Park is an area of stark contrasts. The average temperature in January is only 19F while the average high in July is 91F. The park gets only 20″ of rain per year but most of it comes down all at once from thunderstorms in the plains. The area is most noted for the bright red sandstone and siltstone of the caprock escarpment as you can see in the image below. It’s hard to believe just how “red” this canyon is unless you see it up close and personal. It’s also hard to believe how much heat this red sandstone will absorb during the heat of the day. Hikers had better bring plenty of water to this park. I went through three liters in less than four hours during my hikes.
If you can stand the heat the park offers an amazing array of photographic opportunities during the early morning and late afternoon. If you’re traveling through the Texas panhandle, this is a great place to explore.
View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Caprock Canyons State Park, Texas