The Second-Largest Canyon in America

Must we compare everything to the Grand Canyon? Can’t canyons stand on their own merit? Some mountain ranch isn’t the Rockies of the South; a hiking trek isn’t the Appalachian Trail of the Middle East. Be who you are, not who you’re not.

Why my tirade?

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Located 45 minutes from Amarillo, Texas, this is worth the visit.

How does it stack up to THE Canyon? (Since folks are clearly obsessed with comparison)

canyon to canyon stats

Flat, Flat, Flat, Canyon!

It’s amazing how miles upon hundreds of miles are flat as a pancake. And then, wham! There’s a canyon.

flat terrain just a mile from the canyon

Just a mile from the canyon

Palo Duro Canyon

Well Hello, Gorgeous!

The wind is a significant factor here. On the rim, it’s a deterrent. In the canyon its non-existent. But that can change depending on your hike, so be forewarned. And wind is season-indifferent.

Click the pic to advance the slideshow. While I didn’t see the promised Road Runner (meep meep), the rest more than compensated.

Things You Don’t Often See

Flash-flood warnings are standard when hiking. Actually seeing water flow is not. Now, this wasn’t massive water flow, but it was there. I am tickled, awed, and afraid of the fact that the water can get over 5 feet high!

water rising

Birding. Yes, Birding.

I’ve never really understood birding. But when a sign sent me to a wildlife blind, I went, expecting to see large creatures. Instead, it was a bird sanctuary. Ummm, not what I wanted. But I took 112 pictures anyway. Evidently there was a bird of a lifetime there–at least for the couple who was there before I arrived and after I left–a Towhee.

birding blind

Nothing like an outdoor bath

Well, it may not be the Grand Canyon, but Palo Duro is grand indeed.


Are you a birder?


7 Responses


I love the pic of the bedazzled cactus. I have never been birding most likely because I never understood it. But that doesn’t mean I closed off to the experience. For the couple that saw the bird of their lifetime, did they talk about how it was that bird they were looking for and its significance?


This is a place I want to go. Never even heard of it and now it’s on my bucket list.

Why? Those beautiful stripes … and the cactus that looks like jewelry.

Each of these posts is like a daily gift. Thanks for sharing.

So glad I ran into you at Michaels today. Hope that wooden footstool works out for you in your “mobile home.” Have loved checking out your blog posts. I’ll keep up with you, for sure. Love Palo Duro – have visited several times. If you get a chance, be sure to stop in San Angelo – pretty little city.

Marcia – thanks for your help and for the travel tips!!

I admit I’ve never quite taken to birding. It’s not that I don’t like birds. I just don’t like waiting for them for hours. If they show up, I’ll ooh and aah with the zeal of a bird admirer, but you won’t find me lying quietly in a mosquito infested swamp waiting for some rare specimen to add to my life list. One of my college roommates became a birder and fell in love with another birder. I went to the wedding. Between the ceremony and the reception, we drove to the top of a mountain in Massachusetts to watch for uncooperative migrating hawks. The wedding picture groupings were “birders” and “non-birders”.
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Your Commentsmy older son is an avid birder who has failed to convert me mostly because I have difficulty focusing the binoculars on the bird before it flies away. I do enjoy seeing birds and make an attempt at identification. I have hiked both Providence Canyon and Palo Duro and enjoyed them both. The Palo Duro hike was a ” death march” on the 4th of July and we encountered a group of singing nuns ( in full nun regalia) singing that old Girl Scout marching song, “Th Ants Go Marching One by One……” Inspiring? Yeah, but I comforted myself that their hike had not been as long as ours.

Ramona – great stories!

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