Phones down, entry restricted, trails closed at Palo Duro Canyon ahead of 4th of July weekend

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The amount of rain the area has seen over the past week is impacting visitation at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Heavy rain prompted flash flood warnings Thursday night and early Friday morning.

Palo Duro Canyon’s Assistant Park Superintendent, Jeff Davis, said they received two inches last night alone, adding more rain to what we have already seen this week.

“Our trails were already closed because of previous rains the last couple of days, and it also caused some rock slides on the hill that forced us to close our trail system and portions of the road through this weekend,” said Davis.

Davis said the reason they shut down the trails is for environmental resource protection and visitor safety.

“Trail closures primarily happened to protect the resources. When you go out on a wet trail with the geology that we have here, it’s very damaging to the trails. That can last for weeks or months or sometimes years, depending on how bad it is,” said Davis. “But it definitely serves to protect our visitors as well so that nobody’s getting out and getting stuck somewhere where they shouldn’t have been.

It also prompted the park to limit visitor access to those who had prior reservations.

“Folks that already had a reservation, either for day use or for camping, we’re still honoring those,” said Davis. “In order to minimize traffic, we are not taking any new reservations for day entrance or for camping. Campsites were basically full anyway. So folks that still want to come out can do so if they already had a reservation.”

The Park said campers with existing reservations in any water and electric sites can still access their camp sites.

If you do not have a reservation, Davis said you may not be able to get back into the park until Monday.

“We’re pretty much set on the policy for the weekend because it’s not likely, with as cloudy as it’s been, it’s not that warm, you know, we don’t expect a lot of drying to happen,” said Davis. “With a chance of more rain coming in. That’s definitely going to push us out, but you know, anything can happen.”

Davis said their phone system has been damaged and they are working to get it back online. So the best way to find updates for the park is on their Facebook page.

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