Back In The Groove or Second Best Can Be A Winner

Posted on October 3, 2011


Its’ been a while since my last post.  This is partly due to a lack of motivation and a lack of anything interesting to post.  I’ve been doing a lot of studying and not much posting.  Anyway, my faithful D5000 has gotten a well deserved rest and this past weekend, it was game on.  I tricked convinced my wife and kids to go on a 6 mile hike in the 2nd largest canyon in the country.  FYI, it’s a lot more impressive than the 2nd largest crater site in the country.  Where is this 2nd largest marvel?  It’s just a short drive south of Amarillo, TX.  A quick half hour drive from I-40 will bring you some canyon magic without the excessive tourists of the Grand Canyon.  I can’t even begin to express how scenic and just plain cool Palo Duro Canyon is.  On this particular adventure we hiked the “Light House Trail ” and we were not disappointed.  I highly encourage you to visit if you are anywhere near here.

As the hike from the parking area begins, you get your first glimpse of the Lighthouse about half a mile in.

Lighthouse Peak in the distance

As you walk a little further in, the Lighthouse Peak becomes a little more substantial.

Lighthouse Peak gets a little closer

The path up to this point is  a little boring and is a very easy stroll.  However, for a little bit of excitement you can play around on the canyon walls in the foreground.  Here is a shot about a third of the way up the wall.

Up the wall

After a bit of fun, the trail swings out around the canyon wall staying well into the valley.  The hike is still pretty easy to traverse, just keep an eye out for the mountain bikes.  As you come around the wall and look back, it becomes really impressive the size of the wall.

Looking back on the canyon wall

After about 3 miles, you get to the end of the easy trails and are confronted with a wicked up-hill battle.  Luckily there are some strategically placed boulders to break your fall…lol  This is not the best photo, but you get the idea.

Things are looking up

After that little climb, it’s a short trot across the plateau to Lighthouse Peak.  There were a few other tourists, but with some good timing and careful framing, you can get some great shots up here.

Lighthouse Point


I hope you enjoyed this little tour into Palo Duro.  Expect more to come from the other trails in the canyon in the near future.