Palo Duro Canyon - Canyon, Texas

April 5, 2019

The number one item on the bucket list for my Amarillo vacation was Palo Duro Canyon. I was here back in 2006 but I didn't stay long or even drive to the bottom of the canyon and my father was here back in the late 1950s and really wanted to go back because he didn't remember anything. Needless to say we were both excited to visit this Texas state park which is located just south of Amarillo in a small town called Canyon. This time around I was determined to do more than just visit the overlook...

Palo Duro Canyon, also called the grand canyon of Texas, was formed by a river as it ran through the canyon slowly carving the beautiful geological formations that can be seen today. The second largest canyon in the US (the grand canyon is first) is roughly 120 miles long with an average width of 6 miles (20 miles at some locations) and a depth of around 820 feet which increases to 1000 feet at some points. A man made road takes you from the top of the canyon all the way to the canyon floor and back again with a visitor center on the rim and a trading post on the floor. You can spend a few hours and drive through the canyon or spend the whole day and go on one of the many hiking trails. There is also camping sites if you'd like to stay more than a day. Such a great place to take the family! 

My father and I paid a small entrance fee to enter the park (a day pass) and drove straight to the visitor center. This is a good place to take a bathroom break and get a few souvenirs before the long drive to the canyon floor. It's also where the scenic overlook is located. This is arguably the best photo opportunity in the park and probably the most photographed. After leaving the visitor center and snapping a few pictures we headed down the road stopping here and there along the way to get more pictures. We even did a small hike to an overlook that in my opinion is just as pretty as the one at the visitor center. Once we were deep in the canyon we lost cell reception but we were more focused on the scenery around us to worry about it. We stopped at the trading post on the canyon floor to use the restroom and grab a snack before heading back to the top. We probably spent around 3 hours total in the canyon but you can spend much longer especially if you go on one of the really long hikes. 

Palo Duro Canyon was just as beautiful as I remembered! Standing on the canyon rim I felt on top of the world. I could have stayed up there for hours staring out into the canyon and thinking about life. This is the reason I travel! It's moments like this that make it all worthwhile. I will never regret my decision to go on adventures and explore new places....I am only sad when I have to go back to reality. This is definitely a must see place for anyone visiting the Amarillo area. Go! See! Experience the beauty of the canyon! You won't regret it. 

Things to Know:
-The entrance fee for a day use pass is $8 per adult. 
-The park is open daily from 7am-10pm.
-The trading post at the canyon floor has more souvenirs!!
-If you are planning a hike take plenty of water.
-Don't forget the camera!!
-Please adhere to the posted speed not tailgate other cars!!
-There is no cell reception in the canyon.

Until the next adventure,

Melanie ❤ 

Facebook @melwashereblog


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