Hiking Caprock Canyons State Park

I’m planning my next trip to the Texas panhandle and looking forward to hiking some of the great trails in Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway near Quitaque, Texas. Caprock Canyons State Park is one of the most colorful sections of the vast canyon lands in the panhandle. The trails in and around the park are rugged and steep, but well worth the climb. My favorite section is the Haynes Ridge trail which overlooks the entire canyon. The climb is not for the faint of heart however. To get to the best spots to shoot from you’ll ascend over 600 feet and hike about 3 miles.

I’ll be hiking it with a very experienced friend who’s in the middle of making me a custom backpack to carry my camera, lenses, lots of water and my tripod. I’ve tried dozens of packs in the past from light-weight climbing packs with no frame whatsoever to photo-packs with more padding than I’ll ever want to carry. I’ve never been satisfied at the design of any pack except Moose Peterson’s MP-7, which comes closer to my ideal than any other I’ve tried.

My friend Jack is an accomplished hiker and something of a “Renaissance Man”, having lived on his own for past 50+ years. He can tear down an engine, repair an oil well, cook a mean bowl of Texas chili and design and fabricate (sew) a custom backpack. A few months ago I laid out my normal landscape “kit” including camera, lenses, filters, tripod, water, food, GPS, torch and first aid kit, and asked Jack to design and fabricate a custom pack to hold all this in the absolute minimum of space. I showed him what I liked about the MP-7 pack (nice design, quality materials, small footprint, etc.) and what I didn’t (3″ too thick, can’t carry 2 liters of water, waisted space) and Jack went to work.

By the end of next week the pack will be complete and I’ll post some shots of the exterior, interior and load-out. I think this pack will really strike a cord with landscape and nature photographers that hike significant distances to get the best shots. We’ll be giving this pack a thorough workout at Caprock Canyons, Tule Canyon and Palo Duro Canyon just as soon as the colors begin to change in the Texas panhandle. We’ll be using the G10 and 5D2 to film this trip so I hope to have some video to go along with our stills, so stay tuned. . . .

Hiking Caprock Canyons

Hiking Caprock Canyons – Quitaque, 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 29mm, f/16 for 1/40th of a second at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray warming polarizer filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Hiking Caprock Canyons – Quitaque, Texas

12 thoughts on “Hiking Caprock Canyons State Park

  1. I admire how much effort you put into this, but for the level of thought and kit that went into it, I am highly unimpressed by your images.

    Not to promote the idea that more gear makes a better photographer, I would usually expect someone shooting with a 5D to include a focal point or to anchor the foreground?

    Just my opinion, Oli.

    • Oli,

      There are many ways to draw someone into an image and while a foreground object is a one way, there are many scenes that just don’t have this element available. While hiking up the side of a canyon wall, we work with whatever the Lord provides.

      BTW – If you dislike this shot so much, why did you feature it on the Oli Woods Daily?


      • Thanks for the response, you raise a fair point on the availability of foregrounds – I suppose I simply wouldn’t take such a picture.

        The Oli Woods daily is a computer generated collation of the people I follow on twitter’s activity.

        I don’t wish to come across as cutting or rude, I simply find criticism useful for improving my own photography.

        • Oli,

          I don’t wish to be cutting or rude either but using (or aggregating) someone’s copyrighted work without prior permission is illegal here in the US. Linking to an article on my blog is perfectly legal but displaying an image shown on my blog is not. If you chose to ignore this fact then it might be wiser not to tell the author/photographer that you don’t like the images that you’ve just displayed in violation of his copyright.

          I’m just saying . . .

  2. Great idea Jeff, one thing I believe in is making things that are one off and fit the person they are designed for instead of adapting to a compromise solution. Guess that explains the machine shop in the garage. 🙂
    Look forward to seeing the pack but more to seeing the images from this hike.

  3. Good for you on getting a custom made pack! I’ll look forward to the pictures when it arrives, and more of your trip when that unfolds!

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