Best Palo Duro Canyon Trails for Hiking, Mountain Biking & More
Amarillo is the perfect destination for all things outdoors. Whether you’re looking to hike, mountain bike, or explore the Texas Panhandle there’s something for you here. Choose your own adventure in the photo-worthy Palo Duro Canyon.
Palo Duro Canyon, aka the Grand Canyon of Texas, is 120 miles long and up to 20 miles wide and is the nation’s second-largest canyon. There are more than 30 miles of biking, hiking, and equestrian trails to explore.
The best time to visit Palo Duro Canyon is generally April, May, and September through November. However, if you want to experience the Canyon's famous outdoor musical, TEXAS, the summer months of June through August are the best time to visit. The temperatures can reach over 90°F during the summer, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen if you plan to visit during this time.
Hiking / Biking Trails
The Lighthouse Trail
A PDC favorite, The Lighthouse Trail is 5.8 miles out and back and features stunning views on the way to the famous “lighthouse” rock formation. Pro tip: get there early to beat the heat in the Summer time. This trail is biking, hiking, and equestrian friendly.
Preview the Trail here.
Capitol Peak Mountain Bike Trail
This mountain-biking trail traverses the scenic canyon country around Capitol Peak with three levels of difficulty for various biking skills: Green-Easy; Blue-Moderate; Black-Difficult. Don’t forget your helmet!
Cross four historic CCC bridges as you descend 500 feet through four geologic
layers from the canyon rim to the canyon floor.
Take your horse for a canyon ride through the former grazing lands of the historic JA Ranch. This trail is 3.2 miles back-and-out.
Off-Road and Jeep Trails
MERUS Adventure Park
For adrenaline junkies, MERUS Adventure Park is a private adventure park located in Palo Duro Canyon. Enjoy over 50 miles of world-class off-roading, overlanding, camping, hiking, and more.
There is a wide variety of terrain at MERUS that you can’t access through Palo Duro Canyon State Park which varies from mild to wild. No worries if you came without a jeep, you can rent one on-site!