Upper South Prong Trail, Upper North Prong Trail and North Prong Spur

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Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway

Upper South Prong Trail, Upper North Prong Trail and North Prong Spur is a 6.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Quitaque, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.9 miElevation gain889 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeScramble
Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

This loop uses the Upper South Prong Trail, which meets the Upper North Prong Trail. It returns to the starting point along the North Prong Spur.

Texas Tourism Division, P.O. Box 12728 , Austin, TX, 78711-2728, Phone: 800-452-9292

Directions from Amarillo, TX: Take US Highway 27 south. The park is 3.5 miles north of State Highway 86 in Quitaque on FM 1065.

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Reviews (29)
Photos (581)
Recordings (16)
Completed (183)
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Pauline Dredger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2021
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

Very nice trail. Has some pleasant easier parts as well some moderate climbs to keep things interesting! Well-maintained. Look for orange ribbons and signposts to stay on trail.

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Dominique Gray
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WalkingGreat!

Awesome hike - but please be aware that the SU is very steep and a 2,500+ft scale up the canyon with orange ribbons guiding you. There were passages that were barely a foot wide, did I mention steep inclines with boulders rocks/etc, and sporting the ribbons can be hard at times - BUT when you get atop its well worth it!

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Sarah Swinford
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HikingMuddy

I went here in 2017. It had rained recently (I guess?) and one of my friend’s shoes ended up covered in clay/mud, but it was a great hike and we all had fun nevertheless. The canyons are beautiful. I’d love to go back.

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McKade Christensen
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HikingGreat!

Such a great trail. Really enjoyed this hike. The views are awesome. Highly recommend!

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Azucena Overman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 23, 2020
Hiking

A bit of a scramble going up. Glad we weren't going back down the way we came up. Beautiful views and beautiful trail.

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Kyle Stephens
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HikingRockyScramble

Fun trail. Bit of a climb up and down a mountain in the beginning.

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Sharon Dorchester
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HikingGreat!RockyScramble
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Ashley Scroggs
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Hiking
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Benjamin Kidder
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HikingScramble

Great couple of trails we patched together. Won’t need a headlamp for the Fern Cave as it’s more of an overhang but the shade was very welcomed as the sun beat down most of the day. Moderate is pretty accurate. Couple of stretches got the heart pumping. Overall a really great hike day. Worth it just for the prairie dogs :)

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Javier Vizcarra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 14, 2019
HikingRocky

Caprock has good hiking trails recommend you carry lots of water and be prepared for Incline and decline trails believe me it was exhausting but well worth it!!!

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Gina Horton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2019
HikingBugsOff trailRockyScramble

this trail is challenging to us 50+ folks but it was beautiful and worth the effort! After 2 miles in you start climbing over rocks and the trail is sometimes hard to see! we had 1 camel back and 4 bottles of water it was not enough! bring LOTS of water if doing this trail. Fern cave was beautiful but a little hard to get down to. on the way back it was starting to cool off and we had 2 rattlesnakes on the trail sunning themselves! so beware! watch where you step! we enjoyed all the views, wildflowers and trees, when there's heavy rain lots of water crossings! bring lots of bug spray, terrible mosquitos and biting flies!

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Dory Johnson
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Hiking

First two miles are easy so we walked in and out. Incredible views with some fun small creek crossings. Canyon is breathtaking from the base where we walked. We stopped after two miles when the trail required some rock scrambling. First two miles are very well maintained and trail is plenty wide.

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Mark Bryant
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Hiking

Great trail with kids. Beautiful views and when you get about a mile and half out you can start climbing as high as you want to your climbing level. Took us about 3 hours to go up to the ridge and back.

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Eric Stanley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 4, 2017
Hiking

Nice cloudy and breezy day for a hike. The dog picked up a few stickers on the trail. Nice and cool in the fern cave.

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Donna Lee
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Hiking

Beautiful Canyon, loved the park. Due to heavy rains lately the mosquitos were extremely bad!!! It takes a lot to run us off but after half a mile into the trail (trail itself was fantastic) we turned around and ran as quick as we could to the car. We will go back later & take tons of spray with us.

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Amber Bentley
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Hiking

We loved this trail! The first mile or so is all at the canyon bottom with beautiful views. Then you do have to do a bit of climbing. It’s not too bad, but you definitely need water, some snacks, and good hiking boots! Trekking poles may be good too! The view from the top is incredible, the highest point in the park. From there we kept going on the loop to find the fern cave which was very different from most other sights in the park, very green and beautiful. It was all downhill from there- literally! Lots of rocks, so watch your step, but again just beautiful sights. I definitely recommend doing the entire loop. It was a little over 7 miles and SO worth it! We met some local college students who say this Canyon is prettier than the nearby Palo Duro (which we had attempted to hike but couldn’t because trails were closed due to heavy rainfall.)

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Leigh Fifelski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2017
Hiking

Took the South Prong following a completion of the North Prong and Hayne Ridge Trails. Loved hiking up but be prepared to do a bit of climbing in spots. Went in the heat of the day and made a lot of stops but worth it for the views.

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Chelsea K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2017
Hiking

I took the South Prong to Fern Cave and back. This route is about 4 miles round-trip but strenuous. You spend much of the hike on the canyon floor then you make your way up the wall. Going up is a steep incline and you do have to scramble up rocks in a few patches. Please come prepared though! It is a challenging hike and the canyon gets hot. I saw so many people starting their hike in tennis shoes holding a single water bottle. You will not be able to make it and it would suck to have to turn back because you were unprepared.

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Christine Normand-Durham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2017

Spent four days backpacking/camping here with a camping group. We also booked the tour for the bats at the mining area. It was very, very dry and dusty until a storm quickly rolled through. The Heavy rain washed several tents away in a matter of minutes. Mine stayed standing possibly because I used 4 steel tent stakes. Next year, I'd like to visit in the fall to enjoy longer hikes.

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Steven Loesch
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Hiking
First to Review

25 miles of trails thru impressive canyonland. All are for hiking, most are open to bikes. Trails along the canyon floor are wide and easy, except for sandy crossings thru the creekbeds. Those that go back to the furthest reaches of the park are more steep, narrow, and rough....high difficulty. This is a beautiful park that rarely has big crowds. Busiest time is spring break. As far as the mountain biking goes, most of the trails open to this activity are very sandy. Most difficult trails are the upper and lower canyon trails, where the loose sand can be up to a foot deep. Hint: if you are biking, start from the front of the park. That will put you at the top of the canyon and the trails from there all drop down to the bottom. It is more fun to ride downhill, as the climbing back up the opposite direction are excruciating.

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Peter Rutkowski
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Hiking
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Hailey Kafer
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Hiking
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