Texas,  Travel & Places

Texas Road Trip: Palo Duro Canyon State Park

chris at lighthouse
I think my favorite state park we went to was to Palo Duro Canyon. It was so beautiful and red! This photo is Chris up on the Lighthouse Peak. It is a 3 mile hike out to the peak and not too rugged in my opinion, but then again I have varying degrees on what ‘hard’ is now with a hiking trail. The only issue is taking enough water since there is not any water along the trail and it can get very hot out there. I highly recommend taking this trail as you will also go by the Capital Peak as well.

There was a lot of wildlife along the trail, from tiny ants to…

deer sipping in the only water in the area. There are a series of gullies you have to drive through that can get pretty deep in a flash flood and they warn you not to go further if there is rain coming.

We found a red headed woodpecker hanging out a few sites down from our campsite. It was not nice enough to let us get a better shot.

A flock of gobblers rambled through a picnic site.


collared lizard 2
We hadn’t set foot too far down the lighthouse trail when we ran into this fun lizard.

collared lizard
This collared lizard, Crotaphytus collaris, let us take a lot of photos.

Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
Here is one of Chris’ shots. He had the macro lens on while I was using the 300mm.

horned lizard ws
This one wasn’t actually in the park, a Texas horned lizard, Phrynosoma cornutum, but we did see a very small one in the lighthouse trail parking lot.

At the park headquarters we saw a tarantula on display but I honestly thought we wouldn’t see one. While driving around the roads in the late evening Chris passed this one and he had to reverse so we could get out and see it. Totally disgusting but equally cool. Chris tried to get it onto the grass but the bugger was too fast and moved back onto the road and crossed. We saw another one a little bit later. I made sure to zip the tent up completely that night.

I was so excited about this photo while viewing it in the camera but it didn’t come out quite how I wanted it. I had a bit of fun with it in Photoshop and now I like it a bit. I was really hoping for a hard focus somewhere but it totally didn’t work. That’s the problem with the reverse lens sometimes, wind and my own breathing. This was a tiny little seed head and it looks so big but it was very tiny.

Next time I go out this way I want to go on all of the trails and spend a lot more time roaming. Definitely worth making the long drive out to go to this park.


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