Safety at Palo Duro Canyon


Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. It measures 120 miles long, about 20 miles wide and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet.

People from all over come to check out this park.

“It varies greatly from time of year,” Jeff Davis, the Assitant Superintendent of PDC, stated. “So we can have as many as over 4,000 visitors in a single day, has happened before. Typically our numbers for a year somewhere in range of about 400 thousand.”

Davis said there are many precautions people should take before hiking in the heat. 

“The single most dangerous thing in Palo Duro Canyon is summertime heat that we get,” Davis explained. “On the floor of the canyon, it tends to be about 10 degrees hotter than the top.”

Light colored clothes, closed-toed shoes or hiking boots, a hat, sunscreen, and water are preferred when hiking.

Davis suggested that hikers bring a minimum of a gallon of water per person and pet.

It is also important to stay on the designated trails.

“There’s more danger of if you were to get injured,” Davis explained. “The terrain is a lot rougher when you’re off the trail and if you do get lost or you get hurt, the ability of park staff or first responders to find you is a lot more difficult.”

Palo Duro Canyon is open seven days a week. To find out more, you can go to their website at

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