The copper-coloured smile

By | Category: Travel destinations
Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon

That is the nickname given to the Palo Duro Canyon in Texas. It’s because, with a 120 mile long and 800 foot deep fall, the copper colour – when seen from above – looks like, well, a smile!

It is also called the Grand Canyon of Texas but unlike a lot of canyons in the Unites States this is one into which you can drive and not on dirt tracks either. The roads are paved and maintained. 500,000 people a year – nearly all Americans – head into the 26,000-acre Palo Duro Canyon State Park to walk, hike, camp and mountain bike. The trails that are clearly marked out are the same that the Comanche, Apache, buffalo hunters and early Spanish explorers took as they criss-crossed this huge land.

For the visitor who wants a comparatively easy way to see a landscape without having to submit to the lack of comfort in roads, transportation and campsites of some national parks this is ideal. Just as “glamping” has widened the appeal of camping so Palo Duro is the canyon you visit if you don’t want to rough it. There is even an outdoor theatre TEXAS which is performed in a natural amphitheatre on the floor of the canyon with a cast of eighty performing beneath a towering 600-foot canyon wall. The tourist board says that the special effects are so real that guests have been known to reach for their umbrellas during the thunderstorm scene.

There are still mesas, ravines, those mushroom shaped rock outcrops that appear in almost every Western film you see so you get the best of the outdoors but without needing to exert yourself unless you want to. Maybe that is why the canyon smiles!

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