Rock Garden Trail

MODERATE 153 reviews

Rock Garden Trail is a 5 mile moderately 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

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
muddy
16 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Steep in places but worth the run for the view.

hiking
24 days ago

When you get to the top the trail forks. The left fork takes you to Fortress. The 2.5 marker is on the right fork. If you keep going to the right when you hit the road in about 1/2 mile there is a non marked turn to the left which takes you to the Duck Pond. Most of the “Golf balls” are off the trail

hiking
25 days ago

Beauty day, beautiful views. Nice trail

Good uphill climb, very good trail. Beautiful views on the rim. And cell service!

Make sure to keep going once you hit the end of this trail. The path on the left keeps going along the canyon rim, really nice views.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great trail, and I love the views. It was a good workout for me too being 300+ lbs., but I made it to the top and back without stopping. I even did some jogging. However, I have a question here if anybody knows the answer. I got to the marker that said 2.4. I assumed that was miles, so I kept going and going, looking for the 2.5 marker so I could turn back. I never saw it, and what happened is I ended up walking about a mile and 1/2 farther. I guess I thought that maybe the markers were wrong and eventually I'd get to the end, but I never did. Looking at the map, I did that flat trail on top of the canyon for about 1.5 miles. So watch out, there is no marker that lets you know you've completed your 2.5 miles. I figure you have to guess the last .10 distance. That's the only thing that confused me, and if anybody can answer this question on where does it end that would be helpful for me. I plan on using this hike for training and fitness. It's a beauty!

hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyable hike, scenic hike. You can easily chat with your hiking friends along the way. Nice view of the sunset at the end. Enjoyed seeing deer alongside the trail, too! Hike is close to nearby camping as well.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

We went on the Light house trail the weekend before Rock Garden Trail, and the Rock Garden trail is more difficult in terms of overall climbing/turns. In my opinion, more worthy of the moderate rating in comparison to the Light House trail, as there are more types of terrain and overall more entertaining. It also a lot less populated than the Light House trail, however is less kid friendly as it is a bit more intense. It was a morning well spent! Definitely would go again.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Very nice and well maintained trail. Good climb but not too strenuous. Once your top out continue north or south for som nice spurs. Great vistas of the canyon.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

This trail provided gorgeous views and interesting scenery. However, there is very little shade and can get EXTREMELY HOT with very little wind. Between 3 women, we went through 5 big water bottles before the hike was over. Bring extra extra water and try to avoid doing this hike during the heat of the day. About 1.5 miles in, there’s a cliff face with decent views, but the best part of this is that you get lots of wind! It’s a nice place to cool down.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

this I by far the best hike in the Canyon with the best available views. It gets RIDICULOUSLY hot in the summer, so bring water and hike early if you want to complete it. there is little to no shade. but it is amazing to hike I live near the park and hike down there weekly.

hiking
5 months ago

First trail I hiked at palo duro and it was nothing short of amazing. I had only gone hiking a couple of times before this trail so if you’re a beginner it will be difficult so pack extra water and be ready for a HIKE but if I can do it so can you probable so to be afraid to attempt!!!

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

The view from the top is honestly breathtaking and the hike up is beautiful and nice workout. I didn’t feel like I was ever in danger at any point, so I wouldn’t call it thrilling. It was just a physically strenuous hike but totally doable If you’re in okay shape. I certainly plan on visiting this park again and hiking an even longer trial. Oh and it’s very hot so I suggest covering up and brining lots of water.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 months ago

Honestly one of the best hikes at Palo Duro. Climbing the escarpment and hiking along the rim gives panoramic views that can't be seen anywhere else in the park. This is the only hike in the park to get you above the rim, and while steep and rocky in places, well worth the effort. Not as family friendly as other hikes around here, and worth the moderate rating. Happy Hiking!

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail. A few bikers but way less than at lighthouse. Harder than lighthouse too. A couple nice views on way up and then another about half mile past last marker.

hiking
6 months ago

Watch out for rattle snakes and there is very little shade so do it in the morning. Very beautiful and scenic

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

8 months ago

Great trail! Start early if you want to get down before the crowd starts up.

hiking
10 months ago

Wow! What a fun trail. Even more fun when you stray off of it and explore the area more.

running
10 months ago

Great trail to run. Nice way to kick your butt on the way up and breath easy on the way down. Loose golfball size rocks the first 1.3 ish miles. (All manageable) Rewarding views of the Canyon thought this run.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike! One of the best ones at the canyon. Great views, and a nice incline. My dogs enjoyed it as well! Not much shade.

11 months ago

perfect combination of views and effort , moderate.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice hike. Will definitely do it again.

hiking
Tue Nov 27 2018

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.

Fri Nov 09 2018

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.

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