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Guidebook of Palo Duro Canyon

INTRODUCTION

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is located 13 miles east of Canyon, Texas, on State Highway 217 and 17 miles southeast of Amarillo, Texas. The park encompasses about 15,000 acres of eastern Randall and western Armstrong counties.

The initial park area was purchased by the State of Texas in 1931. In 1973 the park boundary was extended to incorporate a famous topographic structure, the Lighthouse (frontispiece). Excellent picnic and camping facilities are available within the Park.

Extending away from the canyon rim is a gently undulating land surface called the Llano Estacado or Staked Plains. It is part of the High Plains, a vast piedmont plain which extends along the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains from Wyoming to Texas. The eastern edge of this plain is, in places, an abrupt escarpment (cliff) known as the caprock. Palo Duro Canyon is a westward extension of this escarpment that has been carved into the High Plains by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River.

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