Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Juniper, Texas

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The 16,402-acre Palo Duro Canyon State Park, located on the eastern edge of the Texas High Plains (Llano Estacado), was carved by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The park boasts a visitor center with excellent exhibits and book sales, a variety of trails (4.6-mile hiking and horseback, 3-level mountain-bike trail, and 9-mile running trail), the historic Goodnight Trading Post, and the Pioneer Amphitheater for summer performances of historical musical drama. Key birds: Golden Eagle, Wild Turkey, Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub-Jay, Bushtit, Rock and Canyon Wrens, Curve-billed Thrasher, Canyon Towhee, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow are present year-round. Mississippi Kite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Say’s Phoebe, Scissortailed Flycatcher, and Painted Bunting occur in summer. Bald Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend’s Solitaire, Northern Shrike, and American Tree and Fox Sparrows can usually be found in winter.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park Professional Review and Guide

"The 16,402-acre Palo Duro Canyon State Park, located on the eastern edge of the Texas High Plains (Llano Estacado), was carved by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The park boasts a visitor center with excellent exhibits and book sales, a variety of trails (4.6-mile hiking and horseback, 3-level mountain-bike trail, and 9-mile running trail), the historic Goodnight Trading Post, and the Pioneer Amphitheater for summer performances of historical musical drama.

Key birds: Golden Eagle, Wild Turkey, Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub-Jay, Bushtit, Rock and Canyon Wrens, Curve-billed Thrasher, Canyon Towhee, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow are present year-round. Mississippi Kite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Say’s Phoebe, Scissortailed Flycatcher, and Painted Bunting occur in summer. Bald Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend’s Solitaire, Northern Shrike, and American Tree and Fox Sparrows can usually be found in winter."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Juniper
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best Mid-April through May for spring migrants and nesting activities; December and January for winter birds
Local Contacts: Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Local Maps: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Driving Directions: Directions to Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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May 2018