Palo Duro Canyon: America’s Second Grand Canyon

It’s a little known fact that the United States has two Grand Canyons. The most famous Grand Canyon is in Arizona. The Grand Canyon that we all know and love has a slightly smaller but equally impressive cousin in Texas called Palo Duro Canyon. Palo Duro Canyon features striking red rock formations, stunning vistas, and 120 miles of breathtaking canyon that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Palo Duro Canyon, just south of Amarillo, TX

Palo Duro is a popular destination for hikers, horseback riders, and cyclists. The nearby Buffalo Lake Wildlife Preserve features 300 species of birds, and black-tailed prairie dogs galore. Lighthouse Peak—a tall rock formation that resembles a towering lighthouse—is one of Palo Duro’s most popular attractions. Outdoor enthusiasts love Palo Duro’s dusty, windswept trails that transport them to an era before modern humans settled Texas.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park features countless recreation opportunities for the whole family—including ranger led tours that detail the history, wildlife, and geology of the region. The park offers guided horseback rides along the floor of Timber Creek Canyon. Geocaching offers children and adults the opportunity to participate in a treasure hunt that features various items that are buried in the earth. Palo Duro Canyon State Park features the “Texas Outdoor Musical,” which celebrates some of the earliest people to permanently settle in the state of Texas.

Lighthouse Peak

Lighthouse Peak

Palo Duro Canyon is home to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parks in the Southwest.

Palo Duro Canyon is home to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful parks in the Southwest.

Lighthouse Rock profile

Palo Duro Canyon night

Palo Duro Canyon is the perfect place for people who want to get lost in the wilderness and bask in the beauty of one America’s largest canyons. City slickers who want to go on a quick horseback ride with plenty of snacks and air conditioned rooms available will also find plenty to love in Palo Duro Canyon. If you have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon—but you can’t quite make it to Arizona, Palo Duro Canyon is a worthy substitute.

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