Juniper Cliffside Trail and Juniper Riverside Trail Loop

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Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Juniper Cliffside Trail and Juniper Riverside Trail Loop is a 2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Canyon, Texas that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length2.0 miElevation gain177 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingHorseback ridingWalkingForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There

Cactus campground located in Texas's Palo Duro Canyon state park provides access to numerous scenic trails in the park.

Ample parking and pull outs for hiking and overlooks. Camping (pull-in and back country/hike in sites) available, information and showers also available in park. Camping about $12/day and day use about $5/day.

http://www.palodurocanyon.com/ Palo Duro Canyon State Park 11450 Park Road 5 Canyon, TX 79015 806-488-2227 info @ palodurocanyon. com

The park is located about 12 miles east of Canyon on State Highway 217. From Amarillo, take Interstate 27 south to State Highway 217, and go east eight miles.

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Reviews (109)
Photos (169)
Activities (94)
Completed (379)
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Nisarg Gandhi
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HikingGreat!

Trail head is not where its shown. Its a parking lot. Trail head is about 0.5 mile west of it. Easy to get distracted and loose the trail. Make sure you have the app open. The caves up top the mountain is worth going

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N W
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HikingScramble

A little bit hard to find the trailhead because where it’s marked on AllTrails is about mid-way around from the starting points that this path follows. Using the AllTrails map we just found our way to a point near the start, parked and started following the path. The kids really liked when we got around to the cave. The cave itself is fairly shallow but the kids liked it and we liked climbing around and above the cave. I would consider this climbing around the cave “scrambling” at best but for the very uninitiated it will seem challenging. Some of the path isn’t marked but you can see the road most of the time and if you know where you’re getting back to you can eventually just say the heck with the path and cut across the open land back to your car. If all you want to do is see the cave then park at one of pullouts on the road in that general vicinity and make the short walk over to the cave opening.

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Jon Waterman
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HikingMuddy

Definitely not the best trail in the park, but a good trail for young kids or a quick and easy hike on your last day before departing. We didn't complete the full loop and chose to just hike to the cave and back. Don't be fooled, "The Big Cave" (as the park-provided map describes it) isn't as much of a cave as it's just the area below a rock outcropping. It maybe goes back 10-20 feet, but the ceiling is probably 15 feet high, so you're never really far back in a cave. Still, I'd recommend it for people looking for an easy hike, just expect the cave to take less than 5-10 minutes of your time.

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Erika Wandsneider
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Hiking

Would probably have just done the cliffside route - riverside route wasn’t anything special but cliffside was amazing! Beautiful views and a fun little cave to explore. Super easy.

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Sara Holle
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Great!

Nice trail to do with kids. Lots of fun side jaunts that keep them entertained and having fun.

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Allison Palomo
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Hiking

What we took isn't the full trail, but just to the cave.

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Bob OConnor
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Hiking

Nice loop with several terrain changes. The big cave is worth the short hike up and into it.

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Vicki Catalfano
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Hiking

Be aware you need reservations to be able to hike... we drive 2 hours to have to turn around

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Haley Young
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HikingRocky
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Kaley Hassell
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HikingRocky

Great easy warm up trail! The cave is super cool, I would recommend going early in the morning cause it can get crowded.

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Jeremy Boothe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 29, 2019
Hiking

This was a great day hike! Sandy trail with lots of traffic (saw a Boy Scout group). The trail map ends at a rest area with a single picnic table, but the trail climbs on. I’m assuming the park doesn’t want to take liability, in case you get hurt, but everyone (who was able to climb) trucked on. It was beautiful at the top. Me and my wife had a celebratory beer, sandwich, and aired out our feet before heading back.

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Ken Franks
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Hiking

Excellent flat and easy trail. Was camped out near by and decided to stretch my legs out on this one. Well suited for trail running or biking.

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Rachel Roth
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HikingBugs

Great scenery. Good amount of shade. Lots of bugs.

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Jae Webb
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Hiking

B-Day 7 Great kid, good vistas, nasty flies.

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Liz Binder
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HikingBugsMuddy

Nice easy trail with beautiful views, saw deer and lizards. Heavy rains early this morning made for a muddy and horse fly experience as well. 12 year old pup handled it well too!

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Ron Kisor
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Hiking

In the trees with mountain bikers. Couldn't get to rock garden.

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Megan Hackney
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Hiking

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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David Kull
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Hiking

Felt like we were in an old western movie set, nice hike out on Juniper cliff side trail and hike back on Juniper riverside trail.

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Dan Langendorf
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Hiking

There are a bunch of trails here for all types of hikers (not the super advanced). I've already reviewed Lighthouse. The easy trails like Sunflower are pleasant but not boring (for the most part). Make sure you bring water, even on shorter or easier trails. A walking stick is helpful. Sunscreen. Bug spray (advisable). These are "active" trails without too many benches, scenic overlooks and such. I wanted to try the difficult trails but after two days of hiking the lovely wife said "enough!" We'll be going back in the fall or early spring.

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Daniel Klepacz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 15, 2017
Hiking

All trails were closed except for CCC. It was still a nice hike till I sprained my ankle. The hours listed my the park being open are subject to weather and trail conditions. So sad I drove 7 hours and couldn't hike the Rock Garden trail.

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Mandy Carleton
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Hiking

There are so many great hiking trails within PDC for all skill levels!

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Greg Chapa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 28, 2016
Hiking

best views I've seen in Texas. Light house trail is a must see. also, this is not a 33.8 mile backpacking trail! follows the road into the state Park. if you want a little adventure, I would recommend goin off trail and climbing through the canyon.

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Jason Fletcher
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Favorite place camp in Texas

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Chris Gee
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Cross-country skiing

Awesome

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Doug Neidholdt
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Camping

Great primitive campsites especially with the shaded table. Many nice hikes in the park.

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Doug Neidholdt
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Hiking

great state park with many rec. opportunities. All well maintained. Nice little Visitor Center.

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Roger Chesser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2015
Hiking

The Rock Garden Trail was one of our favorites in the park. The incline is gradual and well maintained. The views and area are very different from the rest of the park. We stop at the overview but if you have more time the climb to the top of fortress ridge looks interesting

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Richard Hunt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2015
Hiking

Cool park with some good hiking trails. Most people don't know it second to the Grand Canyon. Beautiful with some wildlife.

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brian lauter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 25, 2015
Hiking

we hiked the juniper cliffslide and the lowery trails today. we loved the drive into the park and the drive thru the park as well. A wonderful place that we will hike again soon.

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