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Destination Texas: Exploring Palo Duro State Park

Destination Texas

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon system in the United States and one of the most impressive attractions in the Texas Panhandle.

“Geologically, the canyon is about one million years old,” Palo Duro Canyon’s Assistant Park Superintendent, Jeff Davis, explained. “The canyon started forming when the two creeks that run around the town of Canyon joined together and started cutting down through the caprock. Humans have been around the canyon for about 12,000 years or so. Big game hunters who hunted things like mammoths, there are many thousands of years of Native American History in the canyons.”

Fast forward to today and more than 400,000 people visit the canyon annually.

“We are one of the busiest state parks in Texas. There’s about 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails,” Davis added. 

“It’s pretty to come out and see nature, get to walk around, take pictures and stuff,” one tourist said.

If hiking is not your thing, there is camping and other experiences.

“We also have some concessions, some private businesses that operate within the park and they do horseback rides. We have gift shops,” Davis added.

However you decide to enjoy the canyon, you will want to be prepared for the heat.

“Probably the most dangerous thing in the canyon is the heat. Make sure you’re drinking ample amounts of water,” Davis explained. “We want people to understand it’s their park for them to enjoy.”

To get into the park, it is $8 per adult and kids under 12 get in for free. For information on camping, burn bans, and more, click here.

Check out the video below to hear Davis explain the human history behind Palo Duro Canyon.

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