Caprock Canyons

State Park & Trailway - Texas

Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway is located along the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado in Briscoe County, Texas, approximately 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Amarillo. In 1993, a hiking, biking, and equestrian rail trail opened that stretches through the park through Floyd, Briscoe, and Hall counties. The trailway was created after the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired 64.25 miles (103 km) of right-of-way from the abandoned Fort Worth and Denver Railroad's lines between Estelline and South Plains.

maps

Trails Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Trails Map

Trails Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

brochures

Interpretive Guide of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Brochure

Interpretive Guide of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Campground Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Campground

Campground Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Trailway Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Trailway

Trailway Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Trails Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Trails

Trails Map of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Bats of Clarity Tunnel at Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Bats

Bats of Clarity Tunnel at Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Birds of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Birds

Birds of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Bisons

Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Rack Card of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Caprock Canyons - Rack Card

Rack Card of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (SP & Trailway) in Texas. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Official Texas State Parks Guide. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Texas State - Official Texas State Parks Guide

Official Texas State Parks Guide. Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Official Texas State Parks Guide (español). Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.Texas State - Guía de Parques

Official Texas State Parks Guide (español). Published by Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Caprock Canyons SP&TW https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/caprock-canyons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caprock_Canyons_State_Park_and_Trailway Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway is located along the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado in Briscoe County, Texas, approximately 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Amarillo. In 1993, a hiking, biking, and equestrian rail trail opened that stretches through the park through Floyd, Briscoe, and Hall counties. The trailway was created after the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired 64.25 miles (103 km) of right-of-way from the abandoned Fort Worth and Denver Railroad's lines between Estelline and South Plains.
INTERPRETIVE GUIDE The harsh, yet beautiful terrain at Caprock Canyons is distinguished by steep escarpments, exposed red sandstones and deep, highly eroded and rugged canyons. THE PARK WAS PURCHASED IN 1975 IN ORDER TO PRESERVE A LARGE AREA OF RUGGED CANYONS ON THE EASTERN MARGIN OF THE HIGH PLAINS AND FOR PUBLIC RECREATION IN THE SCENIC, RUGGED CANYON COUNTRY AT THE EDGE OF THE CAPROCK. VISTAS OPEN UP ALL AROUND YOU, WITH VIBRANT RED EARTH TONES AND VEGETATION IN ALL DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREEN. EXPLORE THE PARK’S 15,313 ACRES AND EXAMINE CLIFFS AND RAVINES FOR A CLOSE-UP LOOK AT GEOLOGY IN ACTION. In 1992, TPWD acquired a donation of 64.25 miles of a 1920s era railroad right-of-way stretching from the western trailhead at South Plains atop the Caprock Escarpment to the eastern trailhead of Estelline in the Red River Valley. The Caprock Canyons Trailway opened in 1993 as part of the national Rails-to-Trails program converting abandoned railroad rights-of-way to hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The multi-use trail stretches through Floyd, Briscoe and Hall counties, crossing many original railroad bridges. The most impressive bridge spans more than 200 feet over often-dry Los Lingos Creek. The trailway also runs through the 742-foot-long Clarity Tunnel, one of the last active railroad tunnels in Texas and now home to a population of Mexican free-tailed bats. Erosion is a concern because of the park’s unique geology. Visitors can protect this park by hiking on designated trails and trailway users are reminded to respect the rights of neighboring private property owners. For more information about programs, volunteering or joining the friends group, contact the park or visit our website. CAPROCK CANYONS STATE PARK AND TRAILWAY PROVIDES A STARTLING CONTRAST TO THE FLAT PLAINS THAT MAKE UP MOST OF THE TEXAS PANHANDLE, OFFERING ADVENTURES DEEP Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway P.O. Box 204, Quitaque, TX 79255 (806) 455-1492 • (806) 995-3555 www.tpwd.texas.gov/caprockcanyons/ INTO ROCKY CANYONS AND ONTO MAJESTIC RIDGES WITH BEAUTIFUL VIEWPOINTS. Proud Sponsor of Texas Parks and Wildlife Programs © 2018 TPWD. PWD BR P4506-0079N (7/18) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. CAPROCK CANYONS STATE PARK AND TRAILWAY C A P R O C K C A N Y O N S S T A T E P A R K A N D T R A I L W A Y GEOLOGY IN ACTION The rugged beauty of Caprock Canyons State Park has been created over millions of years, shaped by wind and water. The park is located along the Caprock Escarpment, a long, narrow rocky formation as high as 1,000 feet that forms a natural transition between the flat, high plains of the Llano Estacado to the west and the lower Rolling Plains to the east. Streams flowing east from the Llano Estacado flow onto the lower plains through the Caprock Escarpment, then into the Red, Brazos and Colorado rivers. With a downcutting action, tributary drainages of the Little Red River have exposed geologic layers in the park down to the Permian age Quartermaster formation, formed approximately 280-250 million years ago. These layers are commonly referred to as “red beds” because of the red coloration of their constituent shales, sandstones, siltstones and mudstones. Each of the geologic ages exposed by this headwater drainage erosion is characterized by different colorations including shades of red, orange and white. The park’s steep and colorful canyons and bluffs are the breathtaking result of this powerful natural process. The geology of the park greatly affects the flora and fauna. Most sites above the escarpment are on the High Plains and are short-grass prairie, which includes blue grama, buffalograss and sideoats grama. The canyons in the western portion of the park support several species of juniper as well as scrub oak. The bottomland sites along the Little Red River and its tributaries support tall and mid-level grasses including Indian grass, Canada wildrye and little bluestem, cottonwood trees, wild plum thickets and hackberries. The park abounds with wildflowers in the spring and has a variety of yuccas and multi-flowering cacti. CULTURAL HERITAGE T Pronghorn antelope are among the many animals found at Caprock. WILDLIFE OF CAPR
For assistance using this map, contact the park. Caprock Canyons #TxStateParks Home of the Official Texas State Bison Herd State Park BISON SAFETY Boun dary 256 TEXAS mi . 9 (d irt Chemical Toilet Primitive Sites 2200 ft. Elevation .5 mi. Gate Water Only Tent Sites ad Ro ch Ol d Gate i. Wild Horse Camping Area Natural Bridge 3.0 dR . mi Group Picnic Pavilion ) RR Swimming Boat Ramp N Gate t os (d irt ) L Visitor Center ule M ek e Cr Park Boundary #2 9 Ro ty un Co Park Boundary Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Scenic Overlook Interpretive Center Parking Residence Maintenance Caprock Partners Store FM 1065 TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Playground Historical Marker Books, T-shirts, caps, walking sticks and one-of-a-kind gift items are available at the park store located in our park headquarters building. Folsom Historical Site Fishing Pier Amphitheater Markers on trails are approximately 1/2 mi. apart. ad k ee 32 35 33 31 30 29 28 34 26 27 25 23 24 22 21 19 20 17 15 1 1113 18 3 5 79 16 Honey Flat 2 14 12 4 Camping Area 6 8 10 ail Tr d( oa hR c an Ol Rim Canyon .62 mi. l Spur Trai il Lake Theo Picnic Area dary Park Boun Canyon Rim Trail (Trail CR) Cr 16% Grade er Equestrian Sites Dump Station mi ed Riv Water and Electric Sites Lodge . Little R .5 m Gate Tra Rim ) on CR ny ail Ca (Tr Dry Creek Lake il W H) . er Little Red Riv il ra tT in ) Po EP i. e il 2 m gl ra Ea (T • CHECK OUT time is noon or renew permit by 9 a.m. (pending site availability). • Public consumption or display of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited. • A maximum of eight people (total of eight people and horses in combination for equestrian camp sites) permitted per campsite. Guests must leave the park by 10 p.m. Quiet time is from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. • Campsite must be kept clean; all trash must be picked up before leaving. Dumpsters are located across from Honey Flat rest rooms. • GRAY WATER AND BLACK WATER MUST BE DISCHARGED ONLY AT DUMP STATIONS. • Gathering firewood prohibited. • All pets must be on a leash less than six feet long. • Equine must have proof of a negative EIA (Coggins) test within the past 12 months. The form VS 10-11 is proof of testing. • When hiking, biking or riding on the trails, TAKE A GALLON OF WATER PER PERSON and pack out what you pack in. Little Red Tent Camping Area 2442 ft. Elevation lm es r ve Ri Private Property No Trespassing Park Boundary g Camping Area 72 73 74 75 71 76 69 70 68 77 67 66 l( Tr a 2.1 1.0 mi. i. 2.2 m 56 65 57 64 58 5960 62 63 61 rse Trai Park Boundary Wi l d Ho Ho i. © 2020 TPWD PWD MP P4506-079L (2/20) Showers Gate ) mi 5m PLEASE NOTE #2 Mesa Spur Trail Lo Pr wer (T ong Sou ra Tr th il S ai L) l 38 37 36 4 39 41 0 55 South P ro 42 n 54 43 5152 53 49 5 44 45 46 47 48 0 South Prong Tent ad Restrooms According to Texas state law, it is an offense (Class C misdemeanor) to harm, harass, disturb, feed or offer food to any wildlife. i. m 1.2 Extremely Steep & Rugged Ro Park Store 0 South Prong Primitive Camping Area . ty Headquarters 1. i. m Climb cliffs & bluffs at your own risk. mi North Prong Spur Trail (Trail NS) 2.5 mi. Upp Pro er Sou (Trang Tra th il S il U) 2.9 mi. .5 .5 North Prong Primitive Camping Area un Mesa T ra il LEGEND Stay at least 50 yards away from bison. Never surround, crowd, approach or follow the bison. Do not feed the bison. If other visitors are putting you in danger, leave the area and notify a park ranger. .7 Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail (Trail HR) Lower North Prong Trail (Trail NL) Private Property No Trespassing Extremely Steep & Rugged 2500 ft. Elevation 1 Park Boundary Extremely 3100 ft. Steep & Elevation Rugged Co T) il M ra (T mi. 0 1. i. .2 m Gate h r Nort Uppe g Trail Pron NU) (Trail i. 2.5 m 2500 ft. Elevation 1m i. Fern Cave @TPWDparks @texasparkswildlife /texasparksandwildlife n Park Park Boundary • • • • TexasStateParks.org/App Ra Caprock Canyons is a fragile place. Please stay on the trails. #BetterOutside PARK RESERVATIONS TexasStateParks.org ParquesDeTexas.org (512) 389-8900 3 miles N of Quitaque on FM 1065 P.O. Box 204 Quitaque, TX 79255 (806) 455-1492 Proud Sponsor of Texas State Parks
Caprock Canyons /texasparksandwildlife #TxStateParks www.texasstateparks.org/socialmedia Park Reservations: (512) 389-8900 texasstateparks.org State Park and Trailway 287  Estelline No motorized vehicles on Trailway. Current negative Coggins required. N @TPWDparks Terminal Parnell Station 86 Tampico Siding Estelline Plains Junction Trail 10 Miles MM 259 70 Trailhead Access/ Parking (no parking at Quitaque East) Bridge MM 247 657 256 MM 237 LEGEND MM Mile Marker (approximate) Town Public Telephone Comfort Station Silverton Caprock Canyons State Park Grundy Canyon Trail 12 Miles Turkey Depot 86 Quitaque East Mullin’s Rise MM 278.5 MM 275 207 Quitaque Quitaque Depot MM 279 MM 283 689 MM 284.5 South Plains Terminal 689 689 While at the tunnel: • Do not touch bats – alive or dead! 70 • Do not make loud noises. • Do not shine lights or throw objects at bats. • Do not linger inside tunnel. MM 301.5 Clarity Tunnel South Plains Los Lingos Trail 5 Miles 1065 BATS The tunnel lies approximately 13 miles east of the South Plains parking lot and 4.5 miles west of the Monk’s Crossing parking lot. A colony of Mexican free-tailed bats inhabits the tunnel, with the largest bat populations occurring from April through October. The bats are very sensitive to traffic, noise, light and human presence. Los Lingos Creek Monk’s Crossing Clarity Tunnel Turkey Kent Creek Trail 10 Miles Water (availability of drinking water is not dependable) Oxbow Trail 10 Miles MM 269 Camping John Farris Station MM 289 Quitaque Canyon Trail 17 Miles • Raise as little dust as possible as you pass through. • Wear long sleeved outerwear and hats while traveling through tunnel. • Please walk your bicycle through the tunnel. MM 295 TPWD receives federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies and is subject to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and state anti-discrimination laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any TPWD program, activity or facility, or need more information, please contact Office of Diversity and Inclusive Workforce Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church VA 22041. © 2015 TPWD PWD MP P4506-079K (4/15) P.O. Box 204 3 miles north of Quitaque on F.M. 1065 Quitaque, TX 79255 (806) 455-1492 Regulations • NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES PERMITTED. • It is an offense to operate an unauthorized vehicle, including a motorcycle, motorbike, mini-bike, all terrain vehicle, golf cart, etc. • ALL Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Rules and Regulations apply. • Please do not trespass. Creek beds and side roads off trailway lands are private. • Defacing or removal of plants, rocks and artifacts prohibited. • No open ground fires. • No hunting or firearms. • Public consumption or display of an alcoholic beverage is prohibited. Completion times are only estimates. Actual completion times can take much longer and vary according to weather, surface conditions, user’s physical condition and luck. Estimated Completion Time: Hikers: 5–7 hours Bikers: 1–1.5 hours Horseback Riders: 3 hours Trail Information: Western end: Parnell Station, MM 247 Eastern end: Estelline (US HWY 287), MM 237 Comfort Station: MM 247.5, MM 237.5 Recommended backcountry site: Parnell Station (MM 247) Estimated Completion Time: Hikers: 2–2.5 hours Bikers: 30–45 minutes Horseback Riders: 1.25 hours 10 miles — access trail at Parnell Station or Estelline. Trail Information: Western end: Monk’s Crossing Trailhead, MM 284.5 Eastern end: Quitaque Depot (TX Hwy 86), MM 279 Comfort Station: MM 284.5, MM 283 Telephone: MM 284.5, MM 279 Recommended backcountry site: Los Lingos Creek (MM 283) PLAINS JUNCTION TRAIL Estimated Completion Time: Hikers: 6.5–9 hours Bikers: 1–1.5 hours Horseback Riders: 3.5 hours Trail Information: Western end: Tampico Siding (FM 657), MM 259 Eastern end: Parnell Station, MM 247 Comfort Station: MM 259, MM 247 Recommended backcountry site: Parnell Station (MM 247) 12 miles — access trail at Tampico Siding or Parnell Station. GRUNDY CANYON TRAIL Estimated Completion Time: Hikers: 5–7 hours Bikers: 1–1.5 hours Horseback Riders: 2.5 hours Trail Information: Western end: Turkey Depot, MM 269 Eastern end: Tampico Siding (FM 657), MM 259 Comfort Station: MM 259 Recommended backcountry site: Westbound from Tampico Parking (MM 259) 10 miles — access trail at Turkey Depot or Tampico Siding. OXBOW TRAIL 5 miles — access trail at Monk’s Crossing or Quitaque Depot. LOS LINGOS TRAIL Bats are known to transmit only two diseases to humans: rabies and histoplasmosis. Very few bats contract rabies and those that do
Caprock Canyons Trails Map 850 Caprock Canyon Rd. Quitaque, TX 79255 (806) 455-1492 www.texasstateparks.org POINTS OF INTEREST LEGEND (GPS coordinates shown in degrees, minutes, seconds) 2 THE LAST DANCE 34° 27' 41.74" N 101° 5' 45.83" W View a “hoodoo” geologic formation resembling a couple in a dance-like pose. 3 THE NATURAL BRIDGE 34° 26' 10.14" N 101° 4' 2.04" W Walk under the Eagle Point Trail where nature has created a “natural bridge.” Stop at the wooden bench and use the small trail to walk underneath and through the Natural Bridge. 4 Restroom Parking Trailhead Toilet Amphitheater Picnic Area FOLSOM HISTORICAL SITE 34° 24' 54.83" N 101° 4' 13.94" W Here you will find yourself going back 10,000 years to learn about the Folsom people and this unique archeological site. Be sure to visit the Interpretive Amphitheater Pavilion later, to check out the replica of the archeological feature found at the site. 5 THE PRAIRIE 34° 24' 36.08" N 101° 3' 41.84" W View the official Texas State Bison Herd in the restored mixed-grass prairie. 6 HONEY FLAT PRAIRIE DOG TOWN 34° 25' 16.39" N 101° 3' 13.80" W Observe the quirky and amusing behavior of the black-tailed prairie dog in its natural habitat. 7 Headquarters FERN CAVE 34° 27' 47.42" N 101° 6' 53.20" W Here you will find natural springs that have created the ideal habitat for ferns growing along a scenic canyon overhang. CAUTION High Clearance Vehicle Recommended 1 Playground Scenic Overlook Yield To Swimming Fishing Boat Ramp Interpretive Exhibits Historical Marker In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. © 2019 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department PWD MP P4506-0079S (7/19) HOLMES CREEK CANYON 34° 25' 11.88" N 101° 2' 51.06" W Walk along the Canyon Rim Trail and enjoy spectacular views of the creek below. Multi-Use Trail Group Picnic Shelter Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. All trails are multi-use unless otherwise indicated. Contour intervals 20 feet. Trail lengths are in miles. Elevation levels are in feet. No claims are made to the accuracy of the data or its suitability to a particular use. Map compiled by Texas State Parks staff. Primitive Camping Tent Camping Water/Electric Camping Equestrian Camping TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Caprock Canyons State Park Natural beauty surrounds you in the canyons beneath the Caprock Escarpment. “Hay sierras debajo de los llanos” (there are mountains below the plains) was a FOR EMERGENCIES, PLEASE CALL 9-1-1. TRAIL DISTANCE TIME DIFFICULTY DESCRIPTION EAGLE POINT TRAIL (Trail EP) 2.0 mi. 1.5 hr. Moderate Experience the scenic transition from plains to canyons down to the Natural Bridge, where erosion has carved a natural “tunnel” underneath the trail. CANYON RIM TRAIL (Trail CR) 3.0 mi. 2.5 hrs. Moderate Travel along the rim overlooking Holmes Creek Canyon and into the mixed-grass prairie to view wildlife in their native habitat. Enjoy scenic canyon views as the trail continues further down the Caprock escarpment. OLD RANCH ROAD 5.9 mi. (Round Trip) (Trail RR) 4.5 hr. Moderate Named for the park’s ranching heritage, this trail offers easy to moderate hiking in the canyonland breaks where cattle and cowboy roamed. WILD HORSE TRAIL (Trail WH) 2.3 mi. 1.5 hrs. Moderate Horseback ride or hike on your descent into the Little Red River to take in spectacular canyon views sculpted by wind and water. LOWER SOUTH PRONG (Trail SL) 2.2 mi. 2.0 hrs. Moderate View the brilliant white veins of gypsum exposed by the flow of water along the creek bed as you travel through portions of the Little Red River. LOWER NORTH PRONG (Trail NL) 2.9 mi. 2.0 hrs. Moderate Hike or horseback ride this moderate trail to see the scenic canyon views of the north side of the park where the remote landscape brings you closer to nature. MESA TRAIL (Trail MT) 3.0 mi. (Round Trip) 2.0 hrs. Easy As its name implies, this easy trail circles around a flattopped hill with a vantage point offering spectacular views of the southeast portion of the park. NORTH PRONG SPUR (Trail NS) 1.3 mi. 1.0 hr. Moderate This moderate multi-use trail ascends up the “saddle” where primitive camping and the Haynes Ridge, Up
Bat Etiquette Bats are wild animals and are sensitive to human disturbance. Please remember that this is the bats’ home and you are a visitor here. Mexican Free-tailed Bat Facts Mexican free-tailed bats have been clocked at 60 mph at over 10,000 feet in the air. Be quiet! This is the bats’ bedroom and they are sleeping right now. NEVER handle grounded bats. Walk your horse or bike through the tunnel instead of riding. Caprock Canyons Trailway S T A T E Avoid stirring up dust. Each female gives birth to only one young. Do not use flash photography or bright lights during the bats’ flight. Pups (baby bats) hang in a separate area away from the mothers. Do not throw objects at the bats. Mexican free-tailed bat colonies are larger than any other bat colonies. Adults winter in Mexico and possibly further south. T H E P A R K Bats Clarity Tunnel O F Males and females migrate north separately and roost separately in the summer. Bracken Cave in Central Texas is home to 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats, the largest known colony in the world. Mother Mexican free-tailed bats nurse their own pups, not just any pup. Pups are born in June and begin flying in August/September. Southern migration occurs primarily in October. 4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 www.tpwd.texas.gov PWD BR P4506-079M (6/14) Dispersal of this publication conforms with Texas State Documents Depository Law, and it is available at Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Q u i t a q u e , T e x a s Denizens of the Dark! Tread softly when you travel through Clarity Tunnel. You are passing beneath the summer residence of a large colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. These bats migrate from Mexico every year to spend the summer at Clarity Tunnel giving birth and raising their young. The tunnel is also home to a fascinating diversity of life. Thousands of invertebrates live their lives in this tunnel in near darkness, scavenging on bats that fall to the tunnel floor. Even though bats have few natural predators, the presence of a large colony attracts many other animals, including birds, mammals and reptiles that come to the tunnel looking for an easy meal. Mexican free-tailed bats have remarkably acute hearing and can pinpoint the location of flying insects in the dark. They do this by echolocation, emitting high frequency calls that are inaudible to humans and then using their large ears and wrinkled skin flaps as sonar receivers. Clarity Tunnel Burlington Northern built this railroad as part of the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway in the early 1920s. Clarity Tunnel was named for a railroad official at the time, Frank E. Clarity. The railroad was completed and began regular freight and passenger service between Lubbock and Estelline in 1928. Clarity Tunnel was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. This rail line was in continual use until 1989 when Burlington Northern closed it. With the help of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Texas Parks and Wildlife acquired the 64 miles of line in 1992. Funding for development of visitor information and interpretation was provided by the Department of Transportation by a federal transportation enhancement grant. Biologists believe that bats began occupying the Tunnel after the last trains traveled through the Tunnel. However, a long-time resident of the immediate area suggests that bats occupied the Tunnel before the railroad stopped running. No matter when the bats began occupying the Tunnel, we know that the bats’ numbers have increased since 1992. Clarity Tunnel’s bat population is estimated from a few hundred thousand to up to a half a million! Beneficial Bats Mexican free-tailed bats play an extremely important role as insect predators and can consume thousands of pounds of insects each night. One insect these bats prey upon is the cotton bollworm moth, which is an agricultural pest. Threats to Mexican Freetailed Bats The number one threat to Mexican free-tailed bats is probably habitat destruction. Other threats include disturbance at roost sites, vandalism and pesticide poisoning. Diseases Bats are known to transmit only two diseases to humans: rabies and histoplasmosis. Like most mammals, few bats contract rabies. Those that do contract it rarely become aggressive. Transmission of rabies usually occurs through a bite. Therefore, bats sh
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE BIRDS OF CAPROCK CANYONS S T A T E P A R K A FIELD CHECKLIST 2018 INTRODUCTION C aprock Canyons State Park is located approximately 5 miles north of Quitaque on Hwy 1065 in Briscoe County. The park consists of 13,916 acres of canyon and prairie landscape including Lake Theo. The park contains a mixed-grass prairie with mesquite and juniper scrub along the breaks of the Caprock escarpment. Many birds make their home here and water sources like creek beds or Lake Theo are great spots for observation. Prairie wildlife including quail are common in the park and their presence helps to measure the health of the prairie ecosystem. Dry Creek Lake is a small pond surrounded by cottonwood, hackberry, and various scrub plants that provide wildlife cover. A wildlife viewing blind is available at this location for visitor use. Bald eagle, golden eagle, and osprey are infrequent visitors, but it is not uncommon to see a few individuals during the fall and winter. Many song birds and birds of prey make their home in the park year-round. Look for red-tailed hawks soaring overhead and American kestrels hovering over the prairie grasslands. Seed eating birds such as the colorful painted bunting are seasonal visitors. The park hosts a monthly bird walk on most every last Saturday of the month. Please check the online events calendar or ask a staff member in the Visitor’s Center for more information. Please help us protect the natural avian communities in our parks by refraining from using playback tapes of bird songs. Frequent use of these tapes disrupts normal avian activity patterns and essential territorial behavior, and may lead to nest failure. Thank you for your cooperation. 1 LEGEND Abundance c – Common (Present, easy to find) f – Fairly common (Present, should see or hear) u – Uncommon (Present, harder to find) r – Rare (Present, hard to find, or may not occur every year) x – Accidental (not usually present, lost, result of an event) Seasons Sp – Spring (March, April, May) S – Summer (June, July, August) F – Fall (September, October, November) W – Winter (December, January, February) Cover: Illustration of American Kestrel by Rob Fleming. 2 CHECKLIST Sp S F W ____ Snow Goose.......................................................f f f ____ Ross’ Goose.......................................................r f f ____ Greater White-fronted Goose.............................r r u ____ Cackling Goose..................................................u u u ____ Canada Goose....................................................c c c ____ Wood Duck.......................................................u u u ____ Green-winged Teal.............................................f f c ____ Mallard.............................................................f c f c ____ Northern Pintail.................................................u r f u ____ Blue-winged Teal...............................................f f ____ Cinnamon Teal..................................................u u ____ Northern Shoveler.............................................c f f ____ Gadwall.............................................................u f f c ____ American Wigeon..............................................f r f c ____ Canvasback.......................................................r r u ____ Redhead............................................................r f u ____ Ring-necked Duck.............................................u f u ____ Greater Scaup.................................................... r r ____ Lesser Scaup.....................................................c u c ____ Common Goldeneye..........................................u u u ____ Bufflehead.........................................................f u u ____ Hooded Merganser............................................r c c ____ Common Merganser..........................................r r c ____ Ruddy Duck......................................................c c u ____ Northern Bobwhite............................................c f 3 c f Sp S F W ____ Scaled Quail......................................................u u u u ____ Ring-necked Pheasant.......................................u u u u ____ Wild Turkey.......................................................u r u u ____ Pied-billed Grebe..............................................f f c c ____ Eared Grebe......................................................u u u ____ Western Grebe................................................... x ____ Rock Pigeon......................................................f u u u ____ Eurasian Collared-Dove.....................................c f c c ____ White-winged Dove............................................u f f r ____ Mourning Dove.................................................c c c c ____
The Cornerstone of the Prairie Bison are a keystone species within the prairie ecosystem. Bison grazing allows plants to flourish, reduces the amount of dead vegetation, and encourages new growth, which influences the variety of plants and animals of the prairie. Their role in this ecosystem is as important as prairie fire. In fact, even the wallowing behavior of bison creates a unique mini-wetland environment while their waste provides needed fertilizer, all benefiting the prairie ecosystem. Historically, bison were a valuable food source for predators, scavengers, and humans. They provided everything needed for human survival on the plains including food, shelter, clothing, and tools. Bison in Texas At one time, 30 to 60 million bison roamed the North American plains. Early Spanish explorers in Texas, including the Coronado expedition, described them being as numerous as “fish in the sea.” The vast herds were never in danger of extermination until professional hide hunters arrived on the plains. Their superior weaponry allowed over 100 bison to be killed at any one time. Thus began the “great slaughter,” and from 1874 to 1878, the great southern bison herd was practically eliminated. Estimates from the year 1888 verified that there were less than 1,000 head of bison left in North America after this near extermination. Caprock Canyons State PARK & TRAILWAY Modern Day Management The Texas State Bison Herd is a very valuable resource for the great state of Texas as well as for the overall conservation of the bison species. Therefore, the conservation objectives of Caprock Canyons State Park for the bison herd include re-establishing them as a keystone species within the ecosystem, ensuring the genetic integrity of the herd through a selective breeding program, and contributing to the overall conservation of the species of bison in North America. Every winter, DNA testing is conducted to closely monitor the herd’s genetic diversity and each member of the herd receives an overall health check. Vegetation studies, grazing control, and prescribed fire are all part of managing the herd’s habitat. The health and preservation of the Texas State Bison Herd is of the utmost importance. We carefully monitor this herd to help ensure an even brighter future for bison throughout North America. Caprock Canyons State Park Quitaque, Texas • (806) 455-1492 www.tpwd.texas.gov/caprockcanyons Cover image courtesy of Ray Matlack 4200 Smith School Road Austin, Texas 78744 www.tpwd.texas.gov © 2015 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department PWD BR P4506-079T (6/15) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TDD) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Texas state bison herd Preservation of an American Icon Towards the end of the great slaughter, a handful of individuals concerned with the fate of the bison began the difficult task of saving them. These individuals took on the care of orphaned calves and started to increase the number of bison by forming their own herds. Mary Ann Goodnight urged her husband Charles to capture some orphan calves from the southern herd in 1878. These bison calves were raised up on the JA Ranch to form the nucleus of the Goodnight Herd which soon grew to over 200 head. The descendants of these animals now constitute the Texas State Bison Herd today. The Goodnight Herd, as well as four other herds started by other concerned individuals, provided the foundation stock for virtually all bison in North America today. The Texas State Bison Herd Following the death of the Goodnights, the herd eventually faded from public awareness until wildlife conservationist Wolfgang Frey learned about the remaining herd of 50 or so bison on the JA Ranch and contacted the state of Texas in 1994. After genetic testing by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a rare genetic marker was discovered within the herd revealing it to be perhaps the last remaining group of southern plains bison. The JA Ranch donated the herd to Texas Parks and Wildlife, and in 1997 they were moved to Caprock Canyons State Park. Unique not only in its historical importance but also in its rare genetic makeup, the herd has been designated the Official Bison Herd of the state of Texas. To this day, the herd remains in a portion of its natural home range on what was once a part of the JA Ranch in Caprock Can
Caprock Canyons STAT E PA R K A N D T RA I LWAY PA N H A N D L E P L A I N S Caprock Canyons STATE PARK AN D TRA I LWAY Visit Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway’s cliffs and ravines for a close-up look at geology “in action” and a 10,000year-old Native American buffalo kill and butchering site. Today the state’s largest herd of bison live in the park. Hikers can explore the many miles of trails that climb up canyons to beautiful viewpoints. Horses are also allowed on some trails. A small lake offers fishing and boating opportunities. Camping: Campsites with water only or water and electricity. Primitive sites for backpackers and equestrians. Group Facilities: Group picnic pavilion (capacity 50). Campground pavilion (capacity 100). Lake Theo Lodge: 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom lodge with full kitchen and fireplace. Swimming: Permitted in the lake. Boating: Permitted in Lake Theo. Fishing: Cast a line in the lake. Trails: Over 90 miles of multi-use trails, including the 64-mile Trailway. Interpretive Pavilion: Exhibits on geology and Native American history at the park. Texas State Park Store: One-of-a-kind items, gifts, etc. Special Attractions: Largest bison herd in state park system. Clarity Tunnel — home to thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats. Tulia 86 Quitaque Plainview 70 87 Silverton 97 Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway 1065 Floydada 27 Lubbock Located in Briscoe County; from Quitaque take Ranch Road 1065. After-hours emergency? Please call 911. Caprock Canyons SP/Trailway 850 Caprock Canyon Rd., Quitaque, TX 79255 • (806) 455-1492 www.texasstateparks.org Rates and reservations: (512) 389-8900. For info only: (800) 792-1112. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. © 2020 TPWD PWD CD P4506-079J (4/20) In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.
-Official- FA C I L I T I E S MAPS Get the Mobile App: ACTIVITIES texasstateparks.org/app Toyota Tundra Let your sense of adventure be your guide with the Toyota Official Vehicle of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation Tundra — built to help you explore all that the great state of Texas has to offer. | toyota.com/trucks BUILT HERE. LIVES HERE. ASSEMBLED IN TEXAS WITH U.S. AND GLOBALLY SOURCED PARTS. Contents 4 6 8 10 Activities and Programs Parks Near You Places to Stay Recreational Vehicles 12 Tips for Time in Nature Ray Roberts Devils River 14 Visitor Fees and Passes Directory TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT 18 Big Bend Country 26 34 48 56 64 80 86 Gulf Coast TPW COMMISSION S. Reed Morian, Chairman Houston Arch “Beaver” Aplin, III, Vice-Chairman Lake Jackson James E. Abell Kilgore Oliver J. Bell Cleveland Anna B. Galo Laredo Jeffery D. Hildebrand Houston Jeanne W. Latimer San Antonio Robert L. “Bobby” Patton, Jr. Fort Worth Dick Scott Wimberley T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman-Emeritus Houston Lee Marshall Bass, Chairman-Emeritus Fort Worth Hill Country Panhandle Plains Pineywoods Prairies and Lakes South Texas Plains Carter P. Smith Executive Director Rodney Franklin State Parks Director Josh Havens Communications Director Facilities and Activities Index 44 State Parks Map Special thanks to Toyota and advertisers, whose generous support made this guide possible. Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Cover photo: Tyler State Park, Chase Fountain Texas State Parks Official Guide, Seventeenth Edition © TPWD PWD BK P4000-000A (5/20) TPWD receives funds from the USFWS. TPWD prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and gender, pursuant to state and federal law. To request an accommodation or obtain information in an alternative format, please contact TPWD on a Text Telephone (TTY) at (512) 389-8915 or by Relay Texas at 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989 or by email at accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. If you believe you have been discriminated against by TPWD, please contact TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. WELCOME from Rodney Franklin, State Parks Director   Texas contains some of the most diverse public lands in the country. There is a wealth of cultural heritage. Wildlife abounds, landscapes flourish with beauty and our history is abundant. Your state parks are a part of the legacy that makes Texas proud. The people of Texas recently helped secure that legacy for future generations by voting yes to Proposition 5. Thank you! These 630,000-plus acres showcase some of our state’s greatest treasures. Parks help people make memories with family and find respite in nature’s playground. They strengthen local economies and bind communities. Most of all, parks enable each of us to spend time outside to recharge, be healthy and relax in our own way. I invite you to enjoy your state parks, exploring the best of Texas with friends and family. The parks are here for you. They belong to you. Please visit, have fun, and help protect them forever! Thank you, Texas! Texans voted to approve passage of Proposition 5 in the November 5, 2019 election. Now 100% of the sporting goods sales tax will go to fund the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Historical Commission. This funding will help secure the future of local parks, state parks and historic sites for generations to come, all without increasing taxes. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude. See what’s in store for Texas State Parks: texasstateparks.org/better ACTIVITIES & PROGRAMS What is there to do in state parks? Enjoy a family picnic, tour a hallowed historic site or choose from some of these visitor favorites: Bike Pedal across parks at any speed, in any style, with any group. Choose the routes, surfaces and distances that fit your comfort zone. Walk Start with a shorter loop, tackle tougher terrain or join a guided tour. Fish Fish without a license in as many as 70 state parks. Many offer tackle loaner programs and special learnto-fish events. Boat or Paddle Rent canoes and kayaks, explore a Texas Paddling Trail or launch a boat. View Wildlife Discover the birds, mammals and plants that live in Texas. Many parks have signage and checklists to help you learn more about the wildlife around you. 4 Camp Swim Find a site that meets your needs. Test out new recipes, share your favorite stories and enjoy the stars. Beat the heat at creeks, rivers, lakes, springs, pools and ocean beaches. More information & reservations: texasstateparks.org (512) 389-8900 Many state parks offer special guided and self-guided progra
Guía de Parques INSTALACIONES Descarga la Aplicacíon Móvil MAPAS ACTIVIDADES texasstateparks.org/app ¡Los niños entran gratis! La entrada es gratis para los niños de 12 años y menores. Encuentra un parque: parquesdetexas.org Contenido Estero Llano Grande SP 2 4 6 8 9 10 18 Actividades y Programas Parques Cercanos Lugares para Quedarse Tarifas y Pases Directorio Mapa de Parques Instalaciones y Actividades BIENVENIDO Rodney Franklin, Director de Parques Texas tiene algunas de las tierras públicas más diversas del país, con una gran riqueza natural y cultural. La vida silvestre está por todas partes, los paisajes florecen con belleza, y la historia es abundante. Sus parques estatales son parte del legado que nos enorgullece. La gente de Texas ayuda a asegurar ese legado para las generaciones futuras al visitar y ser voluntarios. ¡Gracias! Estos más de 630,000 acres exhiben algunos de los grandes tesoros del estado. Los parques nos ayudan a crear recuerdos con la familia y a encontrar consuelo en la naturaleza. Los parques fortalecen las economías locales y unen a las comunidades. Sobre todo, los parques nos permiten pasar tiempo al aire libre para recargar energías, estar saludables y relajarnos a nuestra manera. Les invito a disfrutar de sus parques estatales, explorando lo mejor de Texas con amigos y familia. Los parques están aquí para todos. Nos pertenecen a todos. ¡Visítelos, diviértase y ayude a protegerlos para siempre! Foto de portada: Estero Llano State Park, Chase Fountain © 2021 TPWD PWD BK P4000-000A (5/21) TPWD recibe fondos del Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de EE.UU. (USFWS por sus siglas en ingles). TPWD prohíbe la discriminación por raza, color, religión, nacionalidad de origen, discapacidad, edad y género, conforme la ley estatal y federal. Para solicitar un acomodo especial u obtener información en un formato alternativo, por favor contacte a TPWD en un Teléfono de Texto (TTY) al (512) 3898915 ó por medio de “Relay Texas” al 7-1-1 ó (800) 735-2989 ó por email a accessibility@tpwd.texas.gov. Si usted cree que TPWD ha discriminado en su contra, favor de comunicarse con TPWD, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX 78744, o con el Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de EE.UU., Office for Diversity and Workforce Management, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. De acuerdo con la Ley de Depósito del Estado de Texas, esta publicación está disponible en el centro de Distribución de Publicaciones del Estado de Texas y/o las Bibliotecas de Depósito de Texas. ACTIVIDADES Y PROGRAMAS ¿Qué puedo hacer en los parques estatales? ¡Disfruta de un día de campo, visita un sitio histórico o elige entre muchas otras opciones! Bicicletas Pedalea a lo largo de los parques a cualquier velocidad, en cualquier estilo, con cualquier grupo. Elige las rutas, el tipo de terreno y las distancias que cumplan con tu zona de confort. Caminatas Empieza con un circuito más corto, avanza a terrenos más difíciles o únete a una caminata guiada. Pescar Puedes pescar sin licencia en tantos como 70 parques estatales. Muchos parques ofrecen equipo para pescar a manera de préstamo y eventos especiales para aprender a pescar. Barcos Renta canoas y kayacs y explora uno de los senderos acuáticos en Texas. Nadar Animales Silvestres Acampar Descubre aves, mamíferos y plantas que tienen su hogar en Texas. Muchos parques tienen señalamientos y listados que te ayudan a aprender más. Encuentra un lugar que cumpla con lo que quieres. Prueba nuevas recetas, comparte historias favoritas y disfruta de las estrellas. 2 Más información y reservaciones: parquesdetexas.org Escape del calor en arroyos, ríos, lagos, manantiales, piletas y playas del mar. Tu seguridad en el agua es muy importante. Lleva el chaleco salvavidas. Aprende a nadar. Guarda a los niños. (512) 389-8900 ¡Pregunta en tu parque cuáles están disponibles! Los niños de 12 años y menores entran GRATIS Cielos Estrellados Escapa de las luces de la ciudad y goza de maravillosas vistas del cielo que no encontrarás en ninguna otra parte. Ven a una fiesta de estrellas o toma una excursión de constelaciones auto-guiada. Familias en la Naturaleza Elige un taller o diseña tu propia aventura. ¡Monta una tienda de campaña, cocina al exterior, prende una fogata y juega al exterior! Nosotros te Toma una publicación gratuita de actividades o pregunta por los paquetes gratuitos con los parques proporcionamos todo el equipo. No es necesario tener experiencia. participantes. Usa los binoculares, lupas, libros de bosquejos y libros de guías para explorar el parque. Mochilas para Exploradores Soldados Búfalo de Texas Descubre la historia con cuentos, vestuarios y herramientas. Sigue la pista de un animal, pesca con caña, cocina sobre una fogata, visita los fuertes y más. Adéntrate en las historias de vida de aquellos que sirvieron valientemente en los primeros regimientos Áfrico-Americanos de las Fuerzas Armadas. ! Seguridad en el Parque Ten cuidado con el agua Pr

also available

National Parks
USFS NW