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Lower North Prong Trail, TX

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,318 feet
Elevation Gain 151 feet
Accumulated Gain 275 feet
Avg Time One Way 2
Kokopelli Seeds 3.32
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
8  2020-06-02
Wild Horse Trail Loop
4  2019-10-04 markthurman53
38  2019-10-04
Cap Rock Canyon Loop
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 827
Photos 9,769
Trips 659 map ( 5,632 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:06am - 7:30pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

Mountains bellow the plains
by markthurman53


Caprock Canyon like Palo Duro Canyon is located on the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado just south of Amarillo, Texas. The Llano Estacado is a plain that encompasses eastern New Mexico and Northwest Texas. Caprock Canyon is at the breaks of this plain and is drained by the Little Red River. The Spanish named the area “Hay Sierras Debajo De Los Llanos”, There are mountains beneath the plains. Geologically they are composed of Permian-Triassic Redbeds. The little Red River drains the park with two major streams, the South Prong and the North Prong of the Little Red River. In 1982 this became a Texas State Park and offers 30 miles of trails. Besides the scenic trails the other attraction are the Bison of which there are quite a few.


The lower North Prong Trail has no direct access and therefore access from the West is via the North Prong Spur Trail at the North Prong Primitive Camping Trailhead. Access from the East end is at the Wild Horse Campsite Trailhead via the wild Horse Trail. On the East end this trail starts at the junction of the South Prong Little Red River and the North Prong. This trail follows along the North Prong pretty much the whole way, sometimes in the creek other times either on the right or left bank. It is fairly easy level walking with minor elevation gains or losses. The trail ends on the West end at the junction of the Upper North Prong and the North Prong Spur Trail. The GPS route posted for this description does not include the far eastern 0.5 mile portion between the Trailhead along the Wild Horse Trail and the junction with the Mesa Spur Trail. The full trail is 2.9 miles.

Since this is a trail that follows along a creek, views of the park are limited but it is more than made up for by the rock formations that the creek cuts through. Redbed clay banded with gypsum and capped with a thicker band of calcium carbonate rock that resembles marble make for interesting formations all along this trail. At 0.5 miles in from the East end is the junction with the Mesa Spur Trail that leads to the Mesa Trail that wanders around the mesa above before exiting further west. Keep an eye out for buffalo in the grassy areas along the creek. Mud swallow nests can be seen on some of the redbed cliffs below the caprocks. This trail makes up one trail of a loop hike that would include the Lower South Prong Trail and the North prong Spur Trail.

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2019-10-08 markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Fees are typically $4-$7 per person. Check the site for park hours and current fees.

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    Caprock Canyon State Park is located South East of Amarillo and Northeast of Lubbock Texas. Interstate 27 is the main interstate. From the interstate take highway 86 to the Town of Quitaque where the park is located.
    page created by markthurman53 on Oct 08 2019 10:50 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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