Finally catching up a bit after having been on vacation. We spent a couple days in Canyon, Texas before heading to Albuquerque for the balloon fiesta. One of the things I was really looking forward to doing was hiking the Lighthouse Trail at Palo Duro Canyon State Park because despite having gone to college near by I had never managed to hike that particular trail.
Well, Mother Nature had other ideas. It rained almost the whole time we were there. The day we explored the canyon the burn ban was still in effect. The ban was lifted the next day. Palo Duro really needed the rain.
The first place we visited after entering the park was El Coronado Lodge Visitor Center. Inside is a gift shop and museum. The canyon has need through battle and been part of ranches along with being the home to native and invasive species. The El Coronado Lodge was built as a Civilian Conservation Corps project between 1933 and 1937.
After the visitor center we headed down into the canyon. Stopping at the Pioneer Amphitheater where the play Texas is preformed during the summer. It’s a neat venue with the canyon wall as a dramatic backdrop. From there we just explored the from the road, stopping here and there to take pictures.
Here are thoughts that I jotted down when more rain had sent us back to the car:
red and yellow earth rising high above our heads, softened from days of rain. The landscape is misty, a blue haze sits like a screen shading the canyon in the distance but the red still shines through.”
A beautiful and peaceful place. I didn’t want to leave. But we were heading to Albuquerque that afternoon and had packing to complete. Visit Palo Duro Canyon if you can. The entrance fee is only $5 per person and it is worth it.