Showing posts from February, 2012

Caprock Canyons State Park

Distance: ~5.7 mi (9.2 km) round trip
Highest elevation: ~3100 ft (945 m)
Elevation gain: 710 ft (216 m)
Date: 26 February 2012

Caprock Canyons State Park is located in the panhandle of Texas southeast of Amarillo and northeast of Lubbock.  The park sits on the edge of the Caprock Escarpment, which marks the boundary of the Llano Estacado.  Caprock Canyons are part of the same complex as Palo Duro Canyon, but much less visited.   During my visit on a sunny and calm 70 degree Sunday I only saw two other small groups of people.

The Texas state bison herd makes it home at the park, and these genetically pure bison (no cattle genes) are the last remnants of the south bison herd.  There have been recent efforts to expand their range in the park, with the hopes that they will one day roam the entire park.  Currently, their range is near the entrance to the park and Lake Theo where they often cross the road and forage near the visitor center.

I began hiking from the trailhead at the South P…

Grand Circle

The Grand Circle of the Southwest United States is an informal region encompassing five states (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada) where there is a very large concentration of national parks, monuments, and scenic byways.

NHP = National Historic or Historical Park
NHS = National Historic or Historical Site
NM = National Monument (not New Mexico)
NP = National Park
NRA = National Recreation Area
SP = State Park

Many people touring the Grand Circle start in Las Vegas and focus on eight places:

Arches NPBryce Canyon NPCanyonlands NPCapitol Reef NPGrand Canyon NPMesa Verde NPMonument Valley Navajo Tribal ParkZion NP Among the other places often included in the trip are:  Antelope CanyonCanyon of the Ancients NMCedar Breaks NMCoral Pink Sand Dunes SPGlen Canyon NRA (Lake Powell)Goblin Valley SPGrand Staircase-Escalante NMHovenweep NMKodachrome Basin SPLake Mead NRAMoab, UtahNatural Bridges NMNavajo NMRainbow Bridge NMValley of Fire SP Places that are more distan…