Palo Duro Canyon

State Park - Texas

Palo Duro Canyon is a canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment located in the Texas Panhandle near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon. As the second-largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 120 mi (190 km) long and has an average width of 6 mi (9.7 km), but reaches a width of 20 mi (32 km) at places. Its depth is around 820 ft (250 m), but in some locations, it increases to 1,000 ft (300 m). Palo Duro Canyon (from the Spanish meaning "hard wood" or, more exactly, "hard stick") has been named "The Grand Canyon of Texas" both for its size and for its dramatic geological features, including the multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls similar to those in the Grand Canyon.
Palo Duro Canyon SP https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palo_Duro_Canyon Palo Duro Canyon is a canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment located in the Texas Panhandle near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon. As the second-largest canyon in the United States, it is roughly 120 mi (190 km) long and has an average width of 6 mi (9.7 km), but reaches a width of 20 mi (32 km) at places. Its depth is around 820 ft (250 m), but in some locations, it increases to 1,000 ft (300 m). Palo Duro Canyon (from the Spanish meaning "hard wood" or, more exactly, "hard stick") has been named "The Grand Canyon of Texas" both for its size and for its dramatic geological features, including the multicolored layers of rock and steep mesa walls similar to those in the Grand Canyon.
INTERPRETIVE GUIDE Palo Duro Canyon is a place where erosion shapes the land, four bioregions intersect, cultures have met and clashed and change is the only constant. While experiencing the majestic beauty, take time to appreciate the sights and sounds that have been lost in most urban settings. Allow yourself to be enriched by these natural wonders. While doing so: WELCOME TO “THE GRAND CANYON OF TEXAS,” THE SECOND LARGEST CANYON IN NORTH AMERICA. PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK CONSISTS OF 27,173 ACRES IN RANDALL AND ARMSTRONG COUNTIES. THE ORIGINAL PARKLAND WAS DEEDED BY PRIVATE OWNERS IN 1933. THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS (CCC) SENT SEVEN COMPANIES OF YOUNG MEN Clean up litter to help ensure that this natural and cultural resource continues. This helps prevent stream pollution, and keeps the scenery beautiful for other visitors. Feeding wild animals is prohibited at state parks. By not feeding the animals you help them to stay on a healthy, natural diet while also preventing animals from making contact with visitors and from digging through camp sites looking for food. Remember it is important not to disturb archeological and paleontological sites because these artifacts help researchers link us to our past. Don’t Pocket the Past. Watch for postings by the Entrance Office to see if there is a fire ban. Wildlife and resource management will help preserve our heritage for future generations. We are the stewards of these great lands and each have a part to play. AND MILITARY VETERANS TO PALO FURTHER READING DURO CANYON FROM 1933 UNTIL 1937 The Red River Wars by Bret Cruse Ranald S. Mackenzie on the Texas Frontier by Ernest Wallace The Story of Palo Duro Canyon by Duane Guy Charles Goodnight: Pioneer Cowman by Sybil J. O’Rear Charles Goodnight, Cowman and Plainsman by J. Evetts Haley TO DEVELOP ROAD ACCESS TO THE CANYON FLOOR AND CONSTRUCT THE VISITOR CENTER, CABINS, SHELTERS, BRIDGES, TRAILS AND THE PARK HEADQUARTERS. ALTHOUGH MUCH OF THE HARD Palo Duro Canyon State Park 11450 Park Road 5, Canyon, Texas 79015 (806) 488-2227 • www.tpwd.texas.gov/palodurocanyon WORK REMAINED TO BE DONE, PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK OFFICIALLY OPENED ON JULY 4, 1934. Proud Sponsor of Texas Parks and Wildlife Programs © 2018 TPWD. PWD BR P4506-0007K (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. PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK D U R O C A N Y O N S T A T E P A R K FLORA AND FAUNA P alo Duro has a wide variety of wildlife. The endangered Palo Duro mouse is found in only three counties in the Texas panhandle and nowhere else. Park visitors may meet mule deer, roadrunners, wild turkey and cottontails. The threatened Texas horned lizard is also found in this region. Other wildlife in the park includes white-tailed deer, coyotes, Barbary sheep (an introduced species), bobcats and raccoons. Bird watching is a popular park activity. Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Canyon Towhees and Red-tailed Hawks are a few of the many interesting birds living in the canyon. “Palo Duro” is Spanish for “hard wood” in reference to the Rocky Mountain Juniper trees still seen in places in the canyon. Other common tree species seen in the canyon include mesquite, red berry juniper, one seed juniper, cottonwood, willow, western soapberry and hackberry. Wildflowers and grasses also dot the canyon walls and floor. Most commonly seen are Tansy aster, Engleman daisy, Indian blanket, paperflower, Blackfoot daisy, common sunflower, sideoats gramma (official state grass), buffalo grass, sand sage, yucca, and prickly pear cactus. THE BATTLE OF PALO DURO CANYON Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie CHARLES GOODNIGHT The decisive battle of the Red River War, 1874-1875, was the final campaign against the Southern Plains Indians. Charles Goodnight Led by Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, the 4th U.S. Cavalry descended a narrow zigzag trail down the south wall into the canyon and attacked the first of five encampments of Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne at dawn, September 24, 1874. As the warriors attempted to set up a defense, the people fled up the canyon taking only what they could carry. The Cavalry pursued them for a distance then returned to the encampments and burned the teepees and winter food sto
PARK ACTIVITIES Park Museum/Museum Store: Visitors may enjoy the wonderful park museum and store with quality pottery, jewelry and gifts. Hard-to-find books are also available. All proceeds benefit the park. For information, call (806) 488-2506. Texas Outdoor Musical: “Texas” is performed in the Pioneer Amphitheater during the summer. Dinner is available prior to the show, and visitors may enter the park without paying an entrance fee after 4 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (806) 655-2181. Old West Stables: Experience Palo Duro Canyon as the pioneers did, on horseback. Horse rides are available. The stables also feature souvenirs and a snack bar. You may reach the stables at (806) 488-2180. Palo Duro Trading Post: Stop by for hot meals and cold drinks. Camping supplies, fuel and groceries are also available. The trading post also offers souvenirs. For information, call (806) 488-2821. Lone Star Interpretive Theater: Park programs are presented throughout the year at the Lone Star Interpretive Theater (near the Hackberry Campground). Education tours may be reserved by calling (806) 488-2227, ext. 2067. For more information, visit www.tpwd.texas.gov/palodurocanyon or www.palodurocanyon.com Palo Duro Canyon State Park 11450 Park Road 5 Canyon, Texas 79015 (806) 488-2227 © 2016 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department PWD BR P4506-007L (8/16) 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. INFORMATION GUIDE TO PALO DURO CANYON S T A T E P A R K Welcome to the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a myriad of recreational opportunities, rich history and colorful geology. Visitors from all over the world have visited Texas’ second-largest park, which officially opened on July 4, 1934. Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long and 800 feet deep, and it is the second-largest canyon in the United States. The canyon began forming less than 1 million years ago when the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River first carved its way through the Southern High Plains. The rocks expose a geologic story which began approximately 250 million years ago. Some of the oldest rock layers in the canyon belong to the Quartermaster Formation. These rocks, which are located at the bottom of the canyon, are noted for their bright red claystone and white gypsum. Next, the Tecovas Formation can be seen with its yellow, gray and lavender mudstone. The sandstone and coarse gravel of the Trujillo Formation can be seen as you further ascend the canyon. The next layer of rocks are from the Ogallala Formation with sand, silt, clay and caliche. HISTORY Prehistoric Native Americans made use of the canyon for at least 12,000 years. Historic tribes in the area included Kiowa, Comanche, Apache and Cheyenne. In 1874, during the Red River Wars, Col. R.S. Mackenzie was sent into the area to move the Native Americans to Oklahoma. Col. Mackenzie and the 4th Cavalry were able to capture over 1,400 horses belonging to the tribes. Cut off from their transportation, the tribes later surrendered. In 1876, Charles Goodnight entered the canyon and opened the JA Ranch, which supported over 100,000 cattle. PLANTS Palo Duro is Spanish for “hard wood,” in reference to the Rocky Mountain juniper trees found in the canyon. Other common tree species seen in the canyon include mesquite, cottonwood, willow, western soap-berry and hackberry. Wildflower and grass species also dot the canyon walls and floor. Most commonly seen are Indian blanket, star thistle, sunflower, paperflower, blackfoot daisy, tansy aster, sideoats grama, buffalograss, sage brush, yucca and prickly pear cactus. WILDLIFE Palo Duro Canyon has a wide variety of wildlife. Park visitors may encounter mule deer, roadrunners, wild turkey and cottontails. Other wildlife in the park includes coyotes, barbary sheep, bobcats and western diamondback rattlesnakes. Bird-watching is a popular activity in the park. Painted buntings, canyon wrens and redtailed hawks are a few of the many interesting birds living in the canyon. » DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. PARK SAFETY Flash Flooding: During rains, Palo Duro Canyon can flood over a short period of time. Please observe the following: • Monitor the depth gauges at the water crossings. If the water exceeds six inches, DO NOT CROSS. • Never try to
Palo Duro Canyon #TxStateParks State Park #BetterOutside @TPWDparks @texasparkswildlife /texasparksandwildlife TexasStateParks.org/App LEGEND Texas State Parks Store Headquarters Books, jewelry, art, collectibles and memorabilia for sale in the Visitor Center. Park Store Restrooms Showers Fortress Cliff Camp Area ALTERNATE PARK ROAD 5 Wolfberry Day Use Area Youth Camp Wolfberry Day Use Area Juniper Camp Area Partners in Palo Duro Canyon Foundation Primitive Campsites To find out more, ask at the Visitor Center or call (806) 488-2506 or write Partners in Palo Duro Canyon 11450 Park Road 5 Canyon, TX 79015 Equestrian Sites Water and Electric Sites Cabin (with bathroom) Cabin (without bathroom) Group Camp N 5 4 1 Tasajillo Pavilion 3 2 4 2 3 Soapberry Day Use Area Visitor Center/Store Cow Camp Cabins Headquarters/ Entrance Gate 4 1 • CHECK OUT for all cabins is 11 a.m. CHECK OUT time for campers is 2 p.m. or renew permit by 9 a.m. (pending site availability). Old West Stables 3 2 • Public consumption or display of any alcoholic beverage is prohibited. • A maximum of eight people permitted per campsite. Day use visitors must leave the park by 10 p.m. Quiet time is from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. 1 Cow Camp Cabins Lone Star Interpretive Theater Pioneer Amphitheater L S • GRAY WATER AND BLACK WATER MUST BE DISCHARGED ONLY AT DUMP STATIONS. • Only one unit per site is permitted to hook up to utilities. • Pets must be on 6-foot leash. You must pick up after them. No pets allowed in buildings. Group Pavilion Group Hall Amphitheater G Scenic Overlook Historic Marker Hackberry Camp Area SPEED LIMIT (30 amp service) 30 • Excess parking fee is required at campsites with more than two vehicles (including trailers). • Campsite must be kept clean; all trash must be picked up before you leave. Trash dumpsters are conveniently located in all camping loops. Picnic Area Riding Stable Rim Cabins PLEASE NOTE Dump Station TEXAS Visitor Interpretive Center Flash flooding conditions may exist at the six river crossings on Park Road. Cactus Camp Area (30/50 amp service) 217 Juniper Camp Area WARNING: Mesquite Camp Area Water Spigot To Canyon and Amarillo 6 Wildlife Viewing Wheelchair Accessible MPH Wildlife Viewing Blind PARK ROAD Trading Post • Valid permit is required on windshield of each vehicle in park. All vehicles are to remain on pavement. Mack Dick Group Pavilion Sagebrush Camp Area • Horses prohibited in campgrounds and on roadways. (30/50 amp service) • Feeding wildlife is prohibited. • Collection of plants, firewood and rocks is prohibited. 5 11450 Park Road 5 Canyon, TX 79015 (806) 488-2227 Seasonal hours – check with park. 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. © 2019 TPWD PWD MP P4506-007G (2/19) Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. PARK RESERVATIONS TexasStateParks.org ParquesDeTexas.org (512) 389-8900 Proud Sponsor of Texas State Parks
Palo Duro Canyon State Park Trails Map Park safety emergency number: (806) 488-2227 Sheriff’s dispatch number: (806) 468-5800 1 3400 5 0.23 341 1 ' 0 340 31 00 320 0 4 LEGEND Triassic Trail 0.2 miles (Hiking Only) Pioneer Nature Trail 0.5 mi. (Hiking Only) 3200 6 Upper 2890' Comanche Trail 3.3 mi. 31 00 34 00 Kiowa Trail 1.4 mi. Contour intervals 10 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. 31 00 00 33 2.46 2900 00 32 Roadrunner 00 POINTS OF INTEREST (GPS coordinates shown in degrees, minutes, seconds) 0.1 4 7 0.8 32 00 29 00 3283' 32 00 34 00 0.1 6 31 00 3200 0.0 5 Cactus Camp Area 0.2 2 31 00 3200 0.08 3200 0.5 8 Mesquite Camp Area 6 WILDLIFE VIEWING BLIND 34° 58' 25.320" N 101° 40' 35.148" W Relax and watch some of the park’s natural residents. 7 DUGOUT 34° 57' 49.392" N 101° 40' 16.752" W Take a peek into the life of a 19th-century cowboy. 8 LIGHTHOUSE 34° 56' 11.220" N 101° 41' 48.264" W The symbol of Palo Duro Canyon State Park. 9 ROCK GARDEN 34° 56' 25.476" N 101° 39' 6.408" W Take a hike through an ancient landslide. 10 THE BIG CAVE 34° 56' 2.544" N 101° 38' 40.704" W There are no outlaws in this hole in the wall. 30 00 3356' 3200 0. 37 2800 Equestrian Camp Area 3300 0.03 0.1 7 3300 3400 3400 CCC FIREPLACE 34° 59' 5.208" N 101° 41' 29.832" W Visit the lone sentinel from a once-thriving CCC camp. 3285' 3000 31 00 3200 10 00 34 5 2841 ' 331 5' WolfberryMulti-Use Area 00 33 320 0 330 0 3200 31 00 Trail 1.1 mi. 0.21 0.39 33 00 3000 0.57 4 3300 3371 ' 9 Juniper/Riverside 0.0 3308' 32 00 2842' 0.07 Juniper/Cliffside Trail 2.9 mi. (Multi-use Trail) 3300 Tub Springs Draw Spur 0.5 mi. 3200 Sunflower Trail 1.2 mi. 3295' 3269' BRIDGES ON UPPER CCC TRAIL 34° 58' 52.320" N 101° 41' 32.100" W Inspect the handiwork of the CCC craftsmen. 0.7 00 30 4 3403' Duck Pond Spur 0.2 mi. 3200 2.7 3 EL CORONADO LODGE 34° 58' 45.192" N 101° 41' 29.436" W Learn a little history of the park and maybe do some shopping. 3200 3200 0.16 0.38 0.19 8 Rock Garden Trail Fortress Cliff Camp Area 2.4 miles 4 0.9 31 63' 32 00 00 31 280 0 3000 00 31 Lighthouse Trail 2.72 miles (Multi-use Trail) 00 32 0.0 2 3200 331 9' 1.39 1.9 0 340 1.16 3200 Capitol Peak Trail 3.5 miles (Biking Only) 32 00 1.0 3 0.43 3000 3474' 0.15 Rojo Grande Trail 1.2 mi. 2880' 0.08 1 0.5 8 0.8 3 3300 2830' 3400 1.0 0.4 3 0.7 CCC OVERLOOK AT VISITOR CENTER 34° 58' 48.684" N 101° 41' 27.672" W Marvel at a grand view of the park before descending into the canyon. 0.1 9 0.23 30 00 6 29 00 30 00 3300 0 290 3400 2.1 Rylander Fortress Cliff Trail 3.7 mi. Fortress 0. 62 Rim Spur 0.61 0.2 mi. Scrub Oak Spur 0.23 miles 3400 0.08 0.51 32 00 0.3 1 0.27 0 290 0.1 3 3000 00 30 3422' Lower Comanche Trail 4.4 mi. 2 0.46 30 00 2889' 5 1. 3 31 58' 00 29 00 29 00 29 31 00 Paseo del Rio Trail 1.0 mi. 1.02 Soapberry Day Use Area 29 00 3452' 0.2 6 Soapberry Spur 0.3 miles 2871 ' 0.9 6 3300 0.33 9 3200 4 340 0 Fractures in the Rock Spur 0.3 mi. 0.64 3400 0.0 2.6 LONGHORN PASTURE 34° 59’ 04.380”N 101° 42’ 04.572”W Look for longhorns from Texas’ Official Longhorn Herd. 0.0 0.43 3209' 1 3400 32 00 Little Fox Canyon Trail 1.4 mi. 0.04 3000 7 2950' 2900 0.23 31 00 31 0 0 3400 3200 3265' Givens, Spicer, Lowry Trail 3.1 mi. 3200 00 30 8 0.0 Hackberry Camp Area 0.16 320 0 340 0 0.6 0.8 1 3391 ' In accordance with Texas State Depository Law, this publication is available at the Texas State Publications Clearinghouse and/or Texas Depository Libraries. 3445' © 2018 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department PWD MP P4506-0007P (7/18) 2800 2900 3469' 2800 0.4 2800 0.2 3462' 1.4 2 Equestrian Trail 1.6 miles (Equestrian Only) 2900 29 00 31 00 3456' 00 33 Texas State Parks is a division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 34 00 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 3462' 3468' 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. 2922' 29 00 28 00 341 0' 0 300 000 0 Parking Wildlife Viewing Campground Amphitheater Scenic Overlook All trails are hiking and biking unless otherwise indicated by icons. 0 300 00 34 3385' Sagebrush Camp Area 0.13 3394' 0.16 0.25 Goodnight Peak Scenic Loop 0.4 mi. (Hiking Only) 0.49 2941 ' 00 34 2900 0.33 0 0.0 .05 2 4 0.0 4 0.2 0 330 3 34 00 2 C
.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?
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE BIRDS OF PALO DURO CANYON STATE PA RK A FIELD CHECKLIST 2012 In 1983, the Texas Legislature created the Special Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Fund. This fund may be used for nongame wildlife and endangered species research and conservation, habitat acquisition and development and dissemination of information pertaining to nongame management. Money for this fund is obtained through private donations and sale of nongame wildlife art prints and stamps. This fund now gives Texans a unique opportunity to help support this state’s valuable and sensitive nongame resources. Your individual contributions and purchases of nongame art prints and stamps will help determine the level of nongame conservation activities in Texas. For more information call toll-free (1-800-792-1112) or contact: Nongame and Endangered Species Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. citation Seyffert, Kenneth and Mark Hassell. March 2012. Birds of Palo Duro Canyon State Park: a field checklist. Natural Resource Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin, Texas. Cover: Illustration of Mississippi Kite by Rob Fleming. INTRODUCTION P alo Duro Canyon State Park, in Randall and Armstrong counties, is located on the eastern edge of the Texas High Plains (Llano Estacado). The Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River carved the rugged and scenic Palo Duro Canyon within which developed an amazing variety of habitats. Avian habitats of special interest to birders include: RIPARIAN WOODLANDS along the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, where the Golden-fronted Woodpecker is in constant noisy attendance the entire year and where Mississippi Kite and Bullock’s Oriole regale the visitor with their grace and color in summer; GRASSLANDS and BRUSHLANDS with their superb songsters, such as the Northern Cardinal and Bewick’s Wren, and the most colorful of birds, the Painted Bunting; small stands of EMERGENT VEGETATION or PONDS along the wettest portions of the creek, where many different species come to drink and bathe both in summer and winter; the open WOODED SCARPS and header drainages of Palo Duro Canyon, where Canyon and Rock Wrens are to be found along with Cliff Swallows with their earthen nests tucked away under the rocky outcroppings; and the MESQUITE/GRASSLANDS of the upper levels, with their melodious Western Meadowlarks and Lark Sparrows. The park offers a haven to a diverse spectrum of species in winter, ranging from the Bald Eagle to the most elegant of birds, the Mountain Bluebird. This checklist, compiled by Kenneth Seyffert, includes only those species which have been observed either within the park boundaries or have been observed flying overhead. Nomenclature and organization follow the A.O.U. Checklist of North American Birds (7th edition, 1998) as currently supplemented. Please report new sightings to the Natural Resource Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744. 1 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 essential territorial behavior and may lead to nest failure. Thank you for your cooperation. LEGEND Seasons Sp = spring (March – May) S = summer (June – August) F = fall (September – November) W = winter (December – February) Abundance A = Abundant, always present and observed, expect large numbers in proper habitat and season C = Common, always encountered in proper habitat and season, numbers may vary from low to high U = Uncommon, usually present in proper habitat and season but may be overlooked, never common or abundant R = Rare, seldom recorded, not expected each season as designated, may not be recorded every year IT = irregular Transient, not every year or day but may occur in numbers, usually flying overhead I = Irruptive/Irregular, invasion species which may be absent some seasons/years, abundant others V = May be observed only once in five years or more, not expected X = Accidental, not be expected, but recorded at least once * nests — nests or newly fledged young with adults observed + probably nests — needs confirmation 2 CHECKLIST Sp ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ S F W Snow Goose.................................................... IT IT IT Ross’s Goose................................................... IT IT IT Cackling Goose.............................................. IT IT IT Canada Goose................................................ IT IT IT Wood Duck...................................................... I V V Gadwall............................................................ I I American Wigeon.......................................... I I Mallard........................
TE X A S P A R K S A N D W I L DL IF E Junior Naturalist Program PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK SPR ING, SUMME R AN D FA LL Junior Naturalist Program 5- to 7-year-olds must complete four activities out of seven. 8- to 12-year-olds must complete all seven. ACTIVITIES 1. Visit the Interpretive Center and name three animals that currently live in Palo Duro Canyon. 1) ___________________________________________________ 2) ___________________________________________________ 3) ___________________________________________________ 2. While in the Interpretive Center, locate and name the four geologic layers in Palo Duro Canyon. 1) ___________________________________________________ 2) ___________________________________________________ 3) ___________________________________________________ 4) ___________________________________________________ 3. Take a hike on any trail and name four interesting things you saw on your hike. Name of trail: __________________________________________ 1) ___________________________________________________ 2) ___________________________________________________ 3) ___________________________________________________ 4) ___________________________________________________ 4. Name the river that runs through the canyon and is believed to have aided in the formation of the canyon. ______________________________________________________ 5. Harvester ants (red ants) live underground in circular-shaped beds that are found throughout the park. They are the main food of a small, threatened lizard. For this reason, we do not destroy their homes. See if you can discover the name of this lizard. ______________________________________________________ 6. There are three historical markers in the park. One is close to the entrance, another at the Visitor Center and another at the end of the park at the turn-around. Pick one and tell what it is about. ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ 7. Name the famous natural landmark that everyone wants to see in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. ______________________________________________________ We hope you have enjoyed your adventure in becoming a Junior Naturalist at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Now that your tasks have been completed, find any ranger and have your paper checked and signed. Ranger Signature ___________________________________________ Have your booklet checked by a staff member and receive a sleeve patch. They may be picked up at the Visitor Center or the Entrance Office. Texas Tracks Do you know them? 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744 www.tpwd.texas.gov 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. © 2013 TPWD PWD BK P4506-007M (11/13) 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 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 Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Access, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: MBSP-4020, Arlington, VA 22203.
-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

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