Friday, April 26, 2019

Palo Duro Canyon

It had only taken us about 39 years and we finally made it to Palo Duro Canyon State Park! Thanks to our friends Jim and Melody Yuhn who wanted to join us on an RV adventure to Palo Duro Canyon before we disappeared for the summer. We booked our campsites last December and ended up in the Juniper Camp Area for a three night stay. We drove up on Tuesday and had all day Wednesday and Thursday to explore what we could of the park.

On Wednesday we opted for one of the most popular hikes at Palo Duro Canyon - The Lighthouse. This Hoodoo above is seen at the start of the hike but is not the Lighthouse.

Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States and is over 125 miles long.

Desert flowers were still in bloom along the trail.

We always seem to find snakes along our hikes. Possibly the Glossy Snake (​Arizona elegans).

Looking towards the Lighthouse - a very iconic view. The 2.5 mile trail takes you to the a picnic table under the Lighthouse - then it is a steep climb to get to this view. Almost too steep for Heather, but we found an alternate path that allowed her to get up here.

Jim pointing out to Heather where we climbed up on the Lighthouse formation.

Jim walking across the bridge that joins the two formations.

Jim posing at the top of the trail - no place to have vertigo!

The Lighthouse from the backside.

Looking down Palo Duro Canyon from the top of the Lighthouse trail.

Jim coming down an alternate trail from the Lighthouse - just a little steep.

Heather showing exceptional and safe technique for scrambling down the rocks :)

Another unique Hoodoo formation that we saw on the return leg of the Lighthouse Trail.

How to relax after a long hike - we hiked from our campsite to the Lighthouse and back, almost 11 miles!

The view looking out our trailer from the campsite!

On Thursday - Heather, Melody, and Jim went for another hike on the Rock Garden and Juniper/Cliffside trails. This is a picture from the Juniper/Cliffside trail. I decided to take out my bike and ride some of the trails.

I rode quite a few of the trails including Rojo Grande, Capitol Peak, Lighthouse, Paseo del Rio, Kiowa, and Juniper/Cliffside. I rode about 3 miles of pavement and 18 miles of dirt. The photo above was taken on the Capitol Peak mountain biking trail.

Parting shot - just a simple view of Palo Duro Canyon along the Capitol Peak trail. We plan to return in the not too distant future - hiking and biking here is awesome!