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Mesa and Mesa Spur Trail, TX

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,272 feet
Elevation Gain 177 feet
Accumulated Gain 219 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.13
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
24  2020-06-02
Wild Horse Trail Loop
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 826
Photos 9,755
Trips 658 map ( 5,627 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  6:00am - 7:38pm
Official Route
3 Alternative

Mountains below 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 Mesa Trail has no trailhead along the park road; access is via the Wild Horse Trail from the Wild Horse Campground. The East access point is 1.6 miles in on the Wild Horse Trail and the West access point is 0.7 miles along the Wild Horse Trail then 0.5 along the Lower North Prong Trail where the junction with the Mesa Spur trail is. A short 0.5 miles up the Mesa Spur Trail connects you up with the Mesa Trail. For this description I have included both the Mesa Trail and the Mesa Spur Trail together. The GPS route does not show the complete Loop on the Mesa Trail.

From the East entrance the Mesa trail begins at a signed trail junction along the Wild Horse Trail. The trail climbs up onto a Mesa about 100 feet in a quarter mile then over the next mile will ascend another 100 feet. At 0.8 miles in the trail comes to a junction, either direction will bring you back to this same point. This is the beginning of the loop portion of the trail and the loop is 1.4 miles long. If you go left at this junction in 0.5 miles is the junction with the Mesa Spur Trail. Going right at the junction will get you to the Mesa Spur Trail in 1 mile. The Mesa Spur Trail is 0.5 miles long and takes you to the signed junction with the Lower North Prong Trail.

There are not a lot of views along the Mesa Trail but at times you do get a glimpse of the Southeast portion of the park. The vegetation on the mesa is fairly thick with juniper and at times visibility is just 10 yards. When I was on this trail on the upper part of the Mesa I ran into what I thought were just two buffalo, then two more and before long I realized I was in the middle of about 20 buffalo. They were quite docile but as a word of caution they can be quite dangerous if spooked, not because they are vicious but because 2000 pounds of beef on the hoof running scared is not something you want to be in the way of. These trails like many of the other trails in the park lend themselves quite nicely to larger loop hikes.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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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 11:23 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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