Explore the most popular hiking trails in Palo Duro Canyon State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

3 days ago

all trails closed due to fire restrictions , alot of ants everywhere, black , red, fire, only one shower open, will try again in fall,maybe ill rate it better

Gorgeous trail! Dog friendly and great views.

7 days ago

Pretty cool trail it’s a mountain biking trail mostly but its name sake , the “peak” is fun to hike up to and get some amazing views along with a sense of accomplishment. It’s the same peak you find not even a quarter of a mile in on the popular “lighthouse” trail if you’re not looking to bike and just want to hike up Capitol Peak I’d suggest starting at lighthouse.

Very accessible and wonderfully maintained trail up to the top of the canyon. Unique in that it offers some of the greenest views the canyon has to offer and certainly has some of the best photo ops in the park. Plenty of safe “off trail” opportunities to explore the numerous boulders around you without losing sight of the paved trail. This is my go-to trail anytime I want a little bit of everything and feel like getting a good workout in as well.

hiking
20 days ago

Loved this trail, wonderful views

easy

hiking
23 days ago

Much higher elevation than the lighthouse trail and other popular trails. My vizsla handled the trail just fine but I would only recommend very athletic dogs for this trail.

Great trail. Very popular though. I probably saw 50 people on the trail. The view at the end is amazing.

Really enjoyed this trail. You can take this trail to the lighthouse trail. This is a popular trail for mountain bikers.

hiking
29 days ago

Great trail with an incredible view at the end of the trail- one you get to the “end of trial” signs, take the dirt trail on the left up to see the hoodoos and the great view. It’s a bit of a climb- steep and a little slippery at some points, but well worth it for the view! Go early to miss the crowds.

on The Lighthouse Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great walk through red rock to the iconic lighthouse formation. “Great reward” at the end is only if you are willing to continue past the end of the trail sign.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is fun! From serence quiet sections, to walking ridges with a big of challenge (I have a fear of heights), I really enjoyed this trail. This was my afternoon hike, after having done the Lighthouse trail in the morning. Pretty easy even with some elevation changes.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great trail with a big reward at the end. Highly recommended to set out first thing when the park opens at 7am, because later in the morning lots of tourists show up. Early AM it was just me and some trail bikers. The trail officially ends at the base of the Lighthouse, where you can't even see it. You then have to go through the two "End of Trail" posts, and follow the footpath up to the spires. Pretty easy, just take care to stay on the correct path back and not a false path, or else you end up a little lost like me. Note that this last part is not on GPS because it isn't official trail, but it is SO worth it to walk the land bridge between the two spires.

hiking
1 month ago

I liked the trail. I started in the ampitheater parking lot and hiked up and back. Took about 2.5 hours. the steepest grades were in the first couple of tenths of a mile. some parts of the trail had quite a bit of rubble rock on it and one must watch their footing. But the views were awesome.

Fun trail, about 5 miles out and back and 3-4 hrs to complete depending on how fast you walk. Great views and one the few trails in the canyon that has shaded spots. My 10 yr old loved it but definately make sure to bring plenty of water!

Nice day hike, once you reach top of Mesa, keep left for walking along canyon rim for great views, or go right to a Jeep trail to the south rim and some great views of the south canyon. The trail to the Duct pond veers slightly to the southeast, and is hard to see so keep a lookout, trail turns east to a steep descent, then take a right turn where two Jeep trail meet. Likely to be dry unless there has been recent rains. Take plenty of water, watch for snakes on the south Jeep trail.

The trail itself is one of my all-time favorite trails. I like to start on the GSL, then connect to the Light House. Once you get to the light house, climbing the formation isn't too difficult. But it does have a couple of places that are physically demanding to get to the top. I wouldn't advise the climb for the very young, very old, or if you aren't comfortable lifting your body weight. Otherwise, just the trail it self is awesome, please bring several liters of water. It's hot, dry, and no real shade coverage. Enjoy

The rock garden is a great trail. A lot of steep uphill downhill. Beautiful views everywhere. trail is marked well every 0.1 mi. This is a very challenging trail run since it has many twists and turns, and it is 1400 feet from bottom to top I believe. Bring plenty of water as it is hot, dry, and shade coverage is very scarce.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this trail! We went later in the day while it was still cool and beat a thunderstorm coming back in. Didn’t see many others and at one point had to stop and admire the beauty and the great silence of such a vast place with no sound. Awesome!

My favorite

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely kid and dog friendly, dirt packed and wide. My fiancé and I first time on this trail it was enjoyable started early in the morning to avoid heat and ended up hiking in the low 30s.

hiking
2 months ago

Really great Texas hike.
I started the trail just before dawn so I could capture a few pictures as the sun rose and it was worth the early rise. I was happy with my entire experience while visiting the state park as well.
The trail is large and dirt packed...would’ve made a great jeep trail

Decent wide hard packed dirt trail with some loose and rocky sections. Highly trafficked but clean and well maintained. It’s worth the trip if you’re in the area.

mountain biking
2 months ago

We mountain bikes from Juniper campground to trailhead and returned for almost 10 miles total. Trailhead is about 1.5 miles from camp. There were hills and some extended flat trail. The last half mile is a scramble walk to the top. We had a great ride. They have temperature gauges along trail. It appears a lot of folks come unprepared. We found a 20 ish couple out of food and totally spent. We gave the snacks so they could get back. Very polite folks.

good trail, scenic views,

Good hike and great views. Not to difficult but could get there if it was hotter.

Pretty long hike, do it in the morning as it gets hot throughout the day. Did this in late March, probably be pretty tough to do it in summer. Got lots of great views. If you are up for a long hike, this is better and less trafficked than lighthouse

mountain biking
3 months ago

Cool loop. Worth the ride.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Super fast way back to camp. Buff track.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Fast and mostly flat. Hike up past the bike rack is easy even in bike shoes. Cool view up top.

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