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Rock Garden Trail is a 5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Canyon, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 777 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Texas State Parks are open for day use. Due to COVID-19 parks require reservations. You must reserve and print day passes before you arrive, wear a face mask, practice social distancing in the park, and limit groups to 5 or less. More info can be found here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ Rock Garden Trail climbs from a field of boulders at the bottom of the canyon to the Rylander Fortress Cliff Trail along the canyons rim.

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

Awesome views on this trail! I have hiked in PDC for 10+ years and always enjoy this one. If you are not used to steep trails this one may not be for you. Lots of birds off this trail in the winter.

hiking
no shade
13 days ago

I did this trail in late April and loved it. Very different from Lighthouse trail. It was a great work out. When you get to the top I suggest walking on along the rim of the canyon for a while. The trail is close to the rim and provides some great views. Highly recommend!

backpacking
bugs
fee
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
19 days ago

I promise this will be an uphill battle 80% of the way and the last section will be the longest mile of your life. I did see elderly and children on the trail tho.. It’s not for the soft minded tho Beautiful views

hiking
20 days ago

I have hiked this trail many times and it’s always a treat. In the summer-start early. The trail will wind around and reach the top of the canyon. You will not see a sign noting that you reached the trails end. If you still want to see some pretty views when you reach the top, turn left and follow the trail for another mile or so to see beautiful views off the top of the canyon. As someone said earlier, it is a must to take lots water and go early to all the trails in this special place.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
24 days ago

It was 80 degrees when we started, but quickly went up to the mid 90s. There’s a constant incline on the way up, which I’m usually fine with. However, with the sun beating down on us it made the way up a lot more difficult. There’s no shade along this trail so be sure to bring lots of water!

1 month ago

Great if you are looking for some bouldering!

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
fee
muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

An awesome trail in Palo Duro! It is a fantastic way to be able to summit the canyon and view the surrounding area. Interesting views on the way up and interesting wildlife on the summit where we came upon a horny toad.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Great but strenuous hike. This is a pretty consistent hike up in elevation for 2.5 miles. Going up took us about 2 hours coming down took about 30 minutes. Beautiful hike, the view of the valley was amazing! The trail is narrow, but because of the difficulty we didn’t meet very many hikers even when the park was packed with people.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

Perfect clear skies and warm weather with a slight breeze made for perfect hiking weather today. This trail is rated as moderate, but that’s subjective. We enjoyed the quick climb, but the ground is hard, rocky, and dusty. The entire trail is exposed, so use sunblock. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes, and bring water and snacks. It’s a good workout. Many people brought their dogs. This is my favorite hike at Palo Duro so far.

hiking
3 months ago

This was our favorite trail at Palo Duro and one of my favorite hikes ever! My husband and I are 58 and 65 years old, in average shape, and we found it very do-able. There were many beautiful overlooks and vistas and lots of up and down and long flat stretches. So even though you hike from the canyon floor all the way to the rim, it isn’t terribly difficult. At the top, when we reached the 2,5 mile sign post, we followed a trail through a field and to a rutted dirt road which we followed to the right for about 3/4 mile. We came to a beautiful overlook where we could see our camper in the Mesquite campground. Our golden retriever also enjoyed the hike. We stopped to give her water at least 5 times even tho the weather was not hot. So if you take your dog, bring lots of water for them.

hiking
4 months ago

i enjoyed this trail very much,different view of palu duro state park.

hiking
4 months ago

Went off the trail to climb some rocks and find a spot to overlook the canyon. The kids did a great job!

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