West Park District
Circle 10 Council
Caprock Canyons State Park is situated about 80 miles southeast of Amarillo. The park is located along the Caprock Escarpment, a long, narrow rocky formation 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. The down cutting action of the Little Red River has exposed geologic layers in the park down to the Permian age Quartermaster formation, formed approximately 280-250 million years ago. The park’s steep and colorful canyons and bluffs are the breathtaking result of this natural process. It is almost like visiting the Grand Canyon. The park is also home to the Texas State Bison Herd, the largest herd of buffalo in the state park system and the Honey Flat prairie dog town.
The park is 309 miles from Dallas (about 5 hours) but it is definitely worth the trip. Best is if you go an a long weekend but even if you drive out and get in Friday evening you can have a great day of hiking on Saturday and still watch the buffalo or prairie dogs on Sunday morning.
P.O. Box 204
Quitaque, TX 79255
From Quitaque; Farm road 1065 leads three miles north to the park entrance and a small visitor center.
Admission (2014) is $4 per person, while camping is available from $10 to $20 depending on the level of comfort. The South Prong and Little Red Camping Areas are closest to the Upper Canyon Trail entrance, but you need to supply your own water. Camping around Lake Theo is really nice and water and restrooms are nearby but you need to walk into the sites.
Link to all the information about campsites, fees, history, biking, and other amenities in the park:
This site has an excellent description of the hiking trails in the park
Hiking is the best way to appreciate the red rock scenery of the Caprock Canyons State Park and the main trails are as follows:
See full trail description: http://www.americansouthwest.net/texas/caprock-canyons/hiking.html
The trailway is adjacent to the main park. Created from an abandoned railroad right of way the 64 mile hiking/cycling/horse riding trail runs from South Plains and Estelline, Texas. There are access points every 5 to 10 miles and 6 overnight campsites along the trail. The best sections are through the caprock escarpment via Quitaque Creek, including the 742 foot Clarity Tunnel which is home to a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats, and east of Tampico, where the trailway crosses an area of canyons and mesas.
Rentals are available through Quitaque Riding Stables, (806) 455-1208.
Reservations should be made at least one day in advance.
Group discount rates available.
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