A Texas-Sized Hole In The Ground (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

An idea for something to see if you head to Northwest Texas.


There's a great big canyon an easy drive from here, and most of us have never heard of it.

I just spent a long weekend in the Texas Panhandle visiting friends.  I had a lot of fun.  One of the cool parts of the trip I didn't expect was a stop at a place called Palo Duro Canyon.   It's spectacular.  I had never heard of it until my friend suggested it a place to visit.  About 20 miles outside Amarillo, the flat plains open up into this giant, meandering canyon.  It's almost like it appears out of nowhere.


This Texas-sized hole in the ground is 800 feet deep and 120 miles long.  According to the State Park brochure, "It was formed less than a million years ago when the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River first carved its way through the Southern High Plains."  Now that's some carving, right into the rock that reveals about 250 million years worth of geological history.

My buddy and I hiked down about a mile and a half.  We had two of his kids walking with us so we couldn't do much more than that.  (The kids did great!) It reminded me of some of the spots we can all hike right here in Colorado.  Let's not tell the people of Texas that we've got similar spots.  Of course theirs is bigger.  Let's not tell the people of Arizona that...they've got the grandest canyon.  This one is pretty grand though.  Below is a shot with some people in it to give you some idea of scale.

Below is a formation that looks like a well-known one called the lighthouse, but isn't...still nice though.

If you find yourself in the Texas Panhandle, about a 6 or 7 hour drive from Colorado Springs, and you're looking for something to see, see this.  I didn't expect to be impressed by the terrain in West Texas, after all it's hard to equal our own state, but this is certainly worth a visit.

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward



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