Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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

Not challenging but definitely beautiful

trail running
1 month 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!

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

1 month 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.

mostly flat, more vegetation and water (dry in Summer) than rock formations. Lots of trail bikers.

This is a loop trail. We took the loop clockwise and it took us a bit less than two hours to complete even with lots of stops for photos and to climb some rocks. There are some very nice views on the part going away from the beginning of the trail. On the loop back much of the trail is near the road and the red river with no scenic areas really. I would recommend whoever takes this trail to do it in the clockwise direction so that you get to the scenic views earlier than later. My low rating is due entirely to the return leg of the trail. If you do it, you might be better off turning around once you reach the red river and a parking lot with restrooms.

2 months ago

This is a nicely marked Trail with markers every 0.1 miles. It provides some very nice views along the way as well as at the top. It is also used by bikers but not being one I think it is scary at some places where the path is narrow and there is a steep drop off on one side. We also did the lighthouse trail and a couple of other in the park but this one was the best overall, although the lighthouse trail afforded some nice views for those who climbed to it.

2 months ago

I did not take the CCC trail, but took the Goodnight Peak trail (which is not listed, but crosses the CCC at some point) and I HIGHLY recommend it. Goodnight Peak leaves off of the side of the main road going down into the canyon and is a very easy, but beautiful hike that goes out on a ridge line through the canyon. Most of the hike is rocky, but flat. A friend and I had about an hour to burn before dark and decided to take a quick hike out on the trail and we ended up some some amazing sunset pictures. Most of the roads, buildings, and parking lots are only visible for a small portion of the trail and the majority feels very secluded. Goodnight Peak is my favorite trail in PDC and I can’t wait to get back on it again!

hiking
2 months ago

My family set out on this “easy” trail and it was far from it. We started our route from the amphitheater parking lot as we knew the steepest climbs were on that side and it was STEEP. With that said the return trip after making it to the top was a breeze. The hike is beautiful with lots to take in including the canyons unique rock formations, vast rock colors, and plant species. Our 8 and 4 year old were troopers with plenty of encouragement. Definitely recommended starting this trail early!

on Rock Garden Trail

hiking
2 months ago

This is a moderate trail especially at the start. Uphill until you get to rim. very pretty views. Returning is much easier I thought the best view was about 0.5 miles from the top and not the top itself. However, by time I reached to top, it was very hot and I did not explore.....next time

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is probably my least favorite I’ve ever been on at PDC. The first part of it has some great views, then it turned into a view of the road, and everything else touristy. It was a switchback trail down the side of the canyon and the trail was narrow and rocky. I took my two dogs with me and they struggled with how rocky and jagged everything was. There were signs saying that the trail is closed from 5pm-12am. Remember water, not much shade and hot as a firecracker.

one of the nicer trails. Hard to find the start point because road signs are not good. Once on trail, it is well marked. It is in and out, not a loop with very nice views, close ups of rock formations that make up the Canyon . one of my favourites

on CCC Trail

hiking
2 months ago

would not rate it easy. it is easy to get to. close to entrance. Park at viewpoint to the right, hike down about 1.5 miles for part 1. Then it is another 1.5 to 2 miles to the amphitheater. There are nicer hikes in the Canyon , nevertheless this is a good one, not to be missed

I liked this hike starting with the Rock Garden Trail, however it was a boring stretch hiking the Tub Springs Draw Point. If you are looking for a good view of the canyon, the view at the end of the Point is pretty nice.

3 months ago

Portion of trail closed 3pm-12am but it’s too hot by then anyway. Lots of intersecting trails not marked. Definitely good for beginners though. If you find the trail too difficult you may have made a wrong turn.

3 months 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

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous trail! Dog friendly and great views.

3 months 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
4 months ago

Loved this trail, wonderful views

walking
4 months ago

easy

hiking
4 months 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.

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

hiking
4 months 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
5 months 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.

5 months ago

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.

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