top of page

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon


Hours: 7am-7pm daily
Entrance fee: $8 per adults, 12 and under are free

11450 Park Road 5
Canyon, TX 79015

Palo Duro Canyon State Park (Photo by Nushin Huq)

By Nushin Huq

Between 2 Pines Magazine

6/5/20, 4:05 PM

Palo Duro Canyon, near Amarillo, is the second largest canyon in the United States. Unlike, the Grand Canyon, you can drive to the canyon floor.



Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest Canyon in the U.S. after the Grand Canyon. Being able to drive to the bottom is an added perk. There are 30 miles of trails to explore, either by hiking, biking or horse. In the summer, there's a TEXAS Outdoor Musical.



Palo Duro Canyon, near Amarillo, is the second largest canyon in the United States. Unlike, the Grand Canyon, you can drive to the canyon floor.

At Palo Duro Canyon, you can reserve a campsite with water and electricity, a tent site, equestrian sites or backpack camping areas.

If you prefer to stay in a cabin, there are three cabins on the canyon rim and four cow camp cabins on the canyon floor. These book up quickly, so reserve early.

If you want to camp but not really, Palo Duro Canyon recently added clamping sites. Each site is fully furnished with air conditioning , luxury furnishings, and small appliances. Check out their website for more information.



The Palo Duro Trading Post is open 10am-5pm. It sells breakfast sandwiches in the morning, and burgers/sandwiches for lunch.

If you want to bring your own food, there is are picnic tables in the day use area.

Finally, if you buy tickets to the Texas Outdoor Show, you can add on extra for a preshow BBQ dinner before the show.



The weather changes quickly here, so make sure you look at the forecast, and take plenty of water with you. In the summer, try to hike either early in the morning or after 4pm.

If you have younger kids, the Pioneer Nature Trail is a good place to start. It’s a 1/2 mile loop that goes down to the river and back.

The Big Cave isn’t a trail, but scramble up some rocks and check out this giant hole in the wall.

It’s always a good idea to talk to the rangers when you arrive at the park to discuss trail and get their input on the right trails for your family.



Palo Duro Canyon is a great place to go horseback riding. There is a concessionaire-run stable within the park and as well as other guided tours located right outside the park. Some have minimum age requirements, while others allow young children to ride as well, so do some research.

There’s a Junior Ranger Program at the park. Kids can earn a patch if they complete the program. You can ask for a booklet at the visitor center.

While at the visitor center, check out the indoor exhibits and don’t forget to pick up a park map and trails map.

A fun place for kids to explore is Big Cave. It’s located right off the main park road and it’s marked on the trail map. You have to scramble up some rocks.

During the summer, the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation puts on the TEXAS Outdoor
Musical. While the show is aimed for all ages, it might be too long for young kids.

bottom of page