Palo Duro Canyon

Lighthouse Trail

brochure Palo Duro Canyon - Lighthouse Trail
.3 PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK Lighthouse Trail Welcome to the Lighthouse Trail, the most popular trail in the park. Learn as you hike. Use this guide to make your own discoveries at the trail markers. Study the signs of DEHYDRATION and HEAT EXHAUSTION from brochure in yellow mailbox. Both can lead to death. It is not a joke! • • • • • • Thermometer 80 or higher, don’t start Take 1 gallon of water per person and pet Pace yourself Rest at benches and shade shelters Check pets regularly for signs of stress Drink, drink, drink ACCESSIBLE TRAIL INFORMATION USER GROUPS Trail Length: 5.5 miles round-trip Elevation Change: 176.5 feet GRADE WIDTH Maximum: 18.6% Minimum: 4 feet SURFACE OTHER HAZARDS Loose Rock Steep Slopes Natural (dirt) PWD BR P4506-0007Q (8/14) Mile marker. Straight ahead is Capitol Peak. A small pinnacle sits on the end. Do you think it resembles an Indian sitting with a blanket wrapped around himself? Do you have a suggestion for a name? The peak sits atop the layer known as the Spanish Skirts due to the colors of lavender, amber and red. Can you see why they are called the Spanish Skirts? Do they look like the dancing skirt a Spanish dancer might have worn? The first rest stop and shade shelter is a short walk ahead. When you get there, drink water. .4 At this point you will begin to see small “caves” forming in the lower red layer. They are caused by water drainage and are not true caves. They are unstable, difficult to reach and not suitable for entering. .8 Rest stop. How is your hydration going? Drink, drink, drink. What about your pet? 1.0 Straight ahead is the eroded upper red layer. Many common names abound, but there is no official name. What would you name it? 1.2 Shade shelter and rest stop. Take advantage of it and rest a while. Check your water supply. 1.3 The eroded rock sitting atop the Spanish Skirts on your left is sometimes called Tugboat Rock. Does it look like a tugboat to you? 1.4 View Point. Do you see the Lighthouse? Wow, what a sight! Does it look 312 feet tall? Have you walked far enough? Check your water supply. Start back now if you or your pet are tired. 1.7 Short walk to rest stop bench. You are almost halfway. Check your pet. Heavy panting is a sign of heat stress. High temperatures and the hot ground are deadly for you and your pet. 2.0 Look straight ahead at the sandstone rock layer. How would you describe it? Would you want to give it a name? 2.2 Short distance to rest stop. From the rest stop you can see Castle Peak, sitting to the left of the Lighthouse. Do you think it resembles a castle? 2.4 With a beautiful view of Castle Peak on the left look at the unusual rock formation on its right. Do you see the layered boulders that slid down over the years due to erosion? Wouldn’t it be impressive to actually watch one of those come down? Continue to the end of the trail where you will find a picnic table. If you have to see the Lighthouse up close and personal, take the route that goes up to your left. You will find it very steep in places and has loose rocks and dirt. Be very cautious; many accidents occur during this scramble. It can take two hours or more for a rescue team to get you out safely. After you have rested start your trek back. Remember to stop at the benches along the way and continue drinking your water. Was it worth the hike?

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