Palo Duro Canyon is a canyon system south of Amarillo. As the second largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 120 mi. long and has an average width of 6.2 mi., but reaches a width of 20 mi. at places. Its depth is around 820 ft. but in some locations it can increase up to 997 ft.
In the local tourist information we found a ranch that provides jeep rides into the canyon. After calling them we were told that they only provide the canyon tours one day a week due to the poor economy, so we decided just to drive to Palo Duro State Park and check out the 16 mile park road. I am so glad we did it on our own.
After checking out the visitor’s center we headed down into the canyon. The scenery through the canyon was pretty. We stopped at various places to take the trails to overlooks.
Each place we stopped had a thermometer on a post. Most were pinned beyond the maximum temp. Here is one in the shade of a shelter that says 105. We saw only a few birds and some very tiny lizards. If there were other critters they must have been hiding in the little shade there was. There was very little water in the portion of the canyon we visited. Only little trickles in a couple of spots. In many places the prickly pear cactus were dried up.
There was a trail to the Lighthouse, a rock formation, that had a warning sign posted. Each person was recommended to take a gallon of water and the 5 mile trail was not recommended for those with any health issues. I wish I would have taken a picture of the sign.
We were so hot after our trek we had to stop for ice cream. Darn!
The heat really sapped our energy. Early to bed for us all.
Photos this post courtesy of Jim.