Palo Duro Canyon choices…


Click on map to see it larger.

When doing the Route 66 Amarillo segment, the plan is to stay in Palo Duro Canyon state park. There are a few different options for that park that we should consider (it is one of the places we need to make reservations for, and is pretty popular in the summer, so we will need to decide this early on).

We have choices between 3 camping options: Hike-in backpack camping, “Developed Primitive” campsites, or cabins.┬áHere are the details…

BACKPACK CAMPING: Back-pack camping is permitted only in the area south of the turn-around. You must hike into the area for at least 30 minutes. Water is only available at the trailhead. Fires are not permitted, although stoves with containerized fuel are permitted. You must carry out all that you carry in.

cactuscamplocationDEVELOPED PRIMITIVE CAMPSITES: There are two camping areas that have been designated “primitive”. (Cactus and Fortress Cliff) The areas have designated camping sites. Each has a table, a shade shelter, fire-ring and water available in the area. They have no restroom or shower facilities. You may drive (1/2 to 2 miles) to an adjacent camp loop for restroom/shower facilities. A maximum of 8 people are permitted in each site.

cactuscampdetailCACTUS CAMP: Of the “Developed Primitive” locations, Cactus Camp seems like the better choice for privacy, as there are fewer sites here and they seem a bit more spread out. It seems from the map like it is not far from the river (or creek, or whatever that water source is running through there). Not sure what the location is like visually (or if it is high or low ground, as the map has no relief). Also, it is next to the day use area (don’t know how close, or if that impacts us at all).

fortressclifflocationFORTRESS CLIFF: Am guessing this site is on the highground, so probably has a really nice view. However there seems to be a lot of sites here and they seem pretty close together on the map. Also seems like it is far from the restroom facilities (and if all the campsites are so close together we might rather use the restroom facilities than go out in the bush when the need arises).

fortresscliffdetailCABINS: There are two CCC vintage cabins perched on the rim of the canyon. Though rustic, these cabins have been renovated and have modern heating and cooling systems. Each cabin consists of two rooms plus restroom and shower. Lighthouse has a day bed with a pull-out. Goodnight and Sorenson have full size bunk beds. Both have a queen size bed. There are no kitchen facilities, but there is a table and charcoal grill located just outside. Cooking is not permitted inside the cabins. Bed linens and towels are provided. A maximum of 4 persons are permitted per cabin. (these cabins are a bit pricey at $110 per nite, but there is another option that seems like it might be a good choice: the Cow Camp Cabins, see below)

COW CAMP CABINS: In 1933, the C.C.C. built four very small cabins near the turn-around area of the park. Referred to as “Cow Camp Cabins”, these have been renovated and are available for rent. Three are one-room, and one has a second small “alcove” room off to the side. Each cabin has a full size bunk bed that sleeps four, a small table with two chairs, a small refrigerator, and a microwave. A picnic table and grill are available on the outside. Bed linens and towels are not provided. (Cow Camp Cabins are $60/night)


one of the "cow camp" cabins

We will be spending two nights here in Palo Duro Canyon (and one of the nights we will be going to see the Texas show elsewhere in the Canyon (and there is a dinner right before it, outside at the same location). I think we definitely do not want to do hike-in camping for the night that we are going to the show because after the performance it might be dark, and that is just too complicated… I kind of like the cow cabins… but would be fine with “Developed Primitive” too… what are your thoughts?

posted by Blue Coyote in Planning and have No Comments

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