Explore palo duro - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
16 hours ago

Pretty views at sunset and well marked for majority of the trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice hike. Will definitely do it again.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice rocks and colors to look at. Not life-changing

hiking
14 days ago

Line up this map with Google Maps and Streetview and it's pretty easy to figure out the trailhead. Trail itself is easy to follow with signposts every tenth of a mile. Nothing mind-blowing about the trail, but it's got some nice colors and rock formations to look at. Not really tough with elevation gain or anything. This trail is open to mountain bikers but the GSL trail is closed to horses.

Same as the other trail entry. Line up this map with Google Maps and Streetview and it's pretty easy to figure out the trailhead. Trail itself is easy to follow with signposts every tenth of a mile. Nothing mind-blowing about the trail, but it's got some nice colors and rock formations to look at. Not really tough with elevation gain or anything. This trail is open to mountain bikers but the GSL trail is closed to horses.

Line up this map with Google Maps and Streetview and it's pretty easy to figure out the trailhead. Trail itself is easy to follow with signposts every tenth of a mile. Nothing mind-blowing about the trail, but it's got some nice colors and rock formations to look at. Not really tough with elevation gain or anything. This trail is open to mountain bikers but the GSL trail is closed to horses.

hiking
19 days ago

Very impressed with this hike. I am a big fan of mountain hiking, and was a little concerned that Palo Duro would let me down but the Rock Garden hike was legit. Gorgeous hike that makes you feel like you are in Colorado for the first mile and a half, and reminds you of Texas beauty the last mile (suggest you hook up with the trail on the ridge and take it around to the beautiful views at the top. We did, was awesome!)

Five out of five. Chose this one over the Lighthouse due to the reviews and believe it was the right call.

hiking
20 days ago

Awesome

Great trail, gorgeous view when you finish the climb to the lighthouse. Kids loved it.

hiking
1 month ago

I love this trail. Its some great exercise and about 6 miles. You get a pretty good 15 minute climb at the end and get to stand up on the lighthouse rock structure at the end which is really rewarding. Ive hiked it a few times and mountain biked it as well. Great hike to take visitors.

I would not call this a hike. It’s a long walk with a disappointing end. The trail is Mostly flat with a few little hills. There are always a lot of people on it. Lots of better hikes in the canyon. Rock garden is way better and the same distance.

Great hike from the base of the canyon to the rim. The first 1.2 miles is through the rocks and the prettiest and steepest part of the trail. The remainder is a steady climb of switchbacks to the rim. Not that difficult. Trail is well maintained and marked well.

Great easy trail, though the climb to the lighthouse requires a bit of scrambling. Definitely worth it though!

Nice views along the way. Trail keeps going along top ridge, but fewer markers. Keep following for a nice view at the top!

Not bad

2.7 mi in, and 2.7 out. not too hard, just long. veri nice scenery.

Awesome views at the top but plenty of neat, unique scenery along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Being from Texas, I was a little concerned about the heat warnings; knowing that it can still get hot in October, I kept an eye on my weather app. We went in at 8:30 a.m. when the temp was in the 70s with an overcast sky, but the temps were due to start hitting the 90s after lunch time. We took almost a full four hours - stopping at the "end of trail" sign for snacks at the picnic table and then venturing up the little rock trail to the left and on to the lighthouse rock. I'm not in great shape but feel fine after. The scrambling at the end may not be for everyone! We took snacks, one water bladder each plus small celebratory Gatorades, used bug spray (you'll need it), and wore sunscreen. (Next time, I'll add a walking stick.) I personally would not venture out on this trail May to September. We weren't graced with any creatures other than a few bright green beetles and lizards. Tip: Make sure you get both map sheets at the entry gate; one is trails, one is points of interest. Enjoy and be safe.

pls hike early when sun is not at peak..i learned hard way..almost passed out on this one as we started at 10am on a high 80's finished at around 2pm with temp of 100 not very smart...at the end of the trail theres like 2 ambulance treating hiker for heat stroke....so pls be careful on this one...wear hat,sunscreeen, bring ice cold water like 2 liters each hiker...again start early. but then this I can recommend I will do it again on cooler weather for sure.

Not challenging but definitely beautiful

mountain biking
2 months ago

Fun, fast, and relaxing. Great for hiking, regardless of age. Great for MTB, regardless of age. This trail also offers a nice break from the road if you're heading back from a tough hike or ride.

trail running
3 months ago

Great trail! It was very well marked until the very end when we weren’t sure if we should keep going or turn around. We originally went for a trail run but it turned more into a hike up and trail run down. Overall we loved it!

As another poster mentioned, the trailhead is a little difficult to find, but once on it is well-marked. Bring plenty of water. This is desert hiking, it's very hot!

Easy well marked trail. Once you end the tail, you do have to climb up to the ‘Lighthouse’ - please do! Once your up there (flat rock), take OFF your shoes but be careful to not lose your socks. Water and sunscreen is essential! Be safe, be kind.

P.S.

If you have a mountain bike please bring it! It’s so much better (easier), faster, and fun!

hiking
3 months ago

Easy to moderate out and back with a short climb up loose rock. Continue on and up past the Lighthouse for some amazing views from the top. Be sure to set out early if you're going to hike in summer. The afternoon sun can be brutal, plus the morning light in the canyon is breathtaking. There's very little shade along this well marked and heavily trafficked trail, so bring sunscreen and lots of water.

Great beginner hike. Good scenery, great place to spot roadrunners.

We did this trail a couple of summers ago with my 10 year old grandson. We left mid morning in June and by the time we completed the trail it was 100 degrees. Saw a lot of lizards. We all enjoyed it but really hot!

pls hike early when sun is not at peak..i learned hard way..almost passed out on this one as we started at 10am on a high 80's finished at around 2pm with temp of 100 not very smart...at the end of the trail theres like 2 ambulance treating hiker for heat stroke....so pls be careful on this one...wear hat,sunscreeen, bring ice cold water like 2 liters each hiker...again start early. but then this I can recommend I will do it again on cooler weather for sure.

3 months ago

I would have rated higher if it were marked better. Many of us took the wrong path after the .2 mi marker. Bear right at the next fork and go down. You'll see the CCC laid steps. I'm a 63 year old female 5'2" with no major health issues and pretty active. Parts were challenging but those parts were short. Needed a hand taking some long steps downhill. Worth it though!

The Canyon was cool in the valley with spectacular views that changed as the sun set. There are benches for resting, camp sites, and flushable toilets. Bring plenty of drinking water. It’s only $5 per person and the park stays open until 10pm. It is dog friendly and some trails for horses. We also saw mountain bike trails. I’d recommend this Canyon to families with kids and pets.

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