Our Scenic Drive Through Palo Duro Canyon State Park Texas

Take pictures from the scenic overlook of Palo Duro

My family and I just took a beautiful drive through Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas this past weekend, and after seeing how beautiful it was, I thought you might enjoy some of the scenes from our Texas weekend getaway.

Our drive from Amarillo TX was a nice one, but it wasn’t a view that would have made you guess correctly what was coming up shortly.

Palo Duro Canyon is about a half an hour south of Amarillo Texas and about 15 minutes south of where I took my first picture of our trip to Palo Duro State Park.


On our way to Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon here we come!


My husband had just commented that the land was pretty but that he also wondered why someone would chose to live in this area as opposed to living near an ocean or on a mountain.

Then we saw our first glimpse of the canyon’s rim, and our son said, “THAT’S why”.

We saw the start of a large chasm to our right, and we knew immediately we were going to someplace very special.


Palo Duro Canyon rim first glimpse

The rim of the canyon just kind of popped up out of no where!


Fortunately we were at the park entrance almost immediately after seeing our first cliff there, and we began our journey on the 45 minute drive from the rim to the basin and back, a journey that took us much longer than 45 minutes because of all our stops.

Just 2 or 3 minutes after the park entrance booth, we saw what I think was the most beautiful scenic views of the river bed gorge.  We stopped at the visitors center and took some breathtaking pictures.


Take pictures from the scenic overlook of Palo Duro

The scenic overlook by the state park’s visitor center provides a beautiful backdrop for family pictures.


Yes, we took some family pictures with this backdrop too!

With such rustic scenery, picture taking is just one of the things to do at Palo Duro State Park.  Since the weather was overwhelming for us the day we were there, it was well over 100 degrees the day we went, we mostly just followed the driving trail for our getaway, but there are many hiking trails to take on foot.

The area is well known for its hiking trails, and many people like to go mountain biking and horseback riding on the trails too!

The numerous trails throughout the state park provide a beautiful scenic addition to the area’s already-abundant natural beauty.  They also provide an easy access to viewing plants and trees up close.


one of the palo duro canyon hiking trails

One of the Palo Duro Canyon Hiking Trails


We’ve seen The Rockies, The Badlands, The Black Hills of of South Dakota, even some underground caverns back east, and I grew up in the Ohio Valley of West Virginia, but the rock formations here were among some of the most unusual ones we’ve seen anywhere.

Fortunately the state park’s roads provided good views and close access to many of these unique sites.


An interesting rock formation in the Palo Duro basin

Only one of hundreds!


However, seeing the wall of the canyon from deep down in the earth’s crevice is perhaps even more stunning than any rock formation jetting up from the ground.


A Wall in the Texas Palo Duro Canyon

Do you know the difference between a canyon and a valley?
Hint: One difference is that canyons generally have taller walls, but there are some more differences too!


For me though, I prefer simple over grande, so the perfect cactus flowers we discovered had to be the most beautiful picture in the entire state park.


cactus flower in Palo Duro Canyon State Park

All of God’s creations are beautiful in their own way.


Many thanks to Texas Parks and Wildlife for maintaining the Palo Duro Canyon State Park and for keeping it open so that all may continue to enjoy its beauty for a long time to come.

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