Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Monday, May 16 – We headed off to Palo Duro Canyon State Park this morning. We used our Texas State Parks Pass to get free entry, a $10 savings.


We considered staying in the park, but decided to wait and see what the entry road, a 10% grade, looked like. Not bad. You would have to take it slow going down the serpentine road, but it would be fine.  One drawback is NO cell phone coverage, and NO internet….YIKES!   Coming out would be slow and a big fuel burner...LOL

Going down.


Going up.


Palo Duro Canyon, is Texas' second-largest park. It is 120 miles long and 800 feet deep, and is the second largest canyon in the United States. The canyon was formed less than 1 million years ago when the Red River first carved its way through the Southern High Plains. It's amazing to come upon this canyon in the middle of the huge, flat, Texas Plains.


Park visitors can find coyotes, sheep, bobcats and western diamond-back rattlesnakes. Bird watching is a popular park activity. We enjoyed seeing wild turkeys strolling through the campground and watched a dear feeding on a berry bush.

A very proud male!


Ridiculous women chasing after him. Come on girls…have some dignity.


There were many neat lizards along the trail and an especially colorful turquoise one provided a great “Kodak moment.”


“Palo Duro” is Spanish for “hard wood” in reference to the Juniper trees common throughout the canyon. There are also mesquite, cottonwood, cedar, willow and hackberry trees. Wild flowers and grasses also dot the canyon floor.

Watch your head, Paul.


There are three campgrounds in the park and several day use areas. Hiking trails from easy to strenuous, horse trails, bike trails, a visitor interpretive center, playgrounds, and an Amphitheater with live performance every evening beginning in June (darn, we were too early to see what people say is a wonderful show).

Today, we chose to hike the Lighthouse Trail.


This trail leads to the Lighthouse formation which is 310 feet high and has been designated a National Natural Landmark. The trail is rated as “moderate” in difficulty, but the last half-mile is climbing the mountain and is considered strenuous.

Going up.

Going up!

Going down.


The Lighthouse…awesome.



It is a total round trip distance of about 6-miles and takes about 3-hours to complete the hike.

For the first .2 tenth of the 6-mile hike, we both agreed that we could ride our bikes next time we come back…then reality set in! NO WAY could we go any farther with our bikes. But we saw several BOYS (Possibly the ones that could do the ride.) pass us by. Our legs just hurt watching them.

Notice all the equipment he has on. We have none.  Get out of the way, Paul.


On our way out, we saw these lovely longhorns eating their dinner. "Smile for the camera, Cutie."


A wonderful, long day in Palo Duro.

Beautiful view.

If you would like to see more pictures of Palo Duro, follow this link.

Having worked up a thirst and an appetite, we stopped at the famous Big Texan Steakhouse on the way home.


They advertise a FREE 72-ounce steak dinner.


You must eat the four and a half pound steak (72 oz.), shrimp cocktail, salad, baked potato, and bread in 1-hour to get it free.

Bill Klondike, a professional wrestler, downed 2 of the dinners in the hour time limit back in 1963. The oldest person to eat the steak was a 69 year-old grandmother. The youngest person to eat the steak was an 11 year-old boy. The current champ is Joey Chestnut, the World Hot Dog Eating Champ, who ate the meal in 8 minutes and 52 seconds on March 24, 2008. A 500 pound Bengal Tiger ate the steak in 90 seconds – GULP!

Everything is bigger in Texas.


The place has a huge restaurant with all the walls decorated like this…


They have an arcade for the kids, gift shop, western bar, and just what Marsha was looking for.


Oh, let us not forget Paul's "want some day for the motorhome" purchase. Not if Marsha has anything to say about it.


They also have the Cattlemen's Hotel right next door.


Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!


  1. And, during the summer they offer a spectacular musical. We haven't done that but relatives have told us about it. Love reading about your Texas adventures .... 'cuz we love Texas!

  2. So, did you get your steak free? :)

  3. Great blog as usual. We loved Palo Duro Canyon. We need to return to do some hiking there.

  4. Texas state parks are expensive enough, but I agree that the pass is the way to go. That's what we're going to do next time so that we can enjoy the hiking trails like you are!


  5. You are seeing some beautiful scenery and interesting things! Love the Kodak Lizard.

  6. We loved the Palo Duro Canyon as well. So beautiful.
    We stayed at the Elks Lodge when we were there ~ good group.


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