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Sunday side trip
Palo Duro Canyon
Palo Duro Canyon is located 25 miles southeast of Amarillo, in the Texas panhandle, and is the second-longest canyon in the US, and you can guess the first. The Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River is the creek that runs through the canyon. The canyon formed when the river cut down through the Llano Estacado Plateau as it was uplifted during the Pleistocene Period. This canyon has been called the Grand Canyon of Texas. The rock formations are of the Permian and Triassic periods. The lower Permian section was formed when this was a near-shore shallow marine environment. The upper Triassic layer was formed when this was a stream environment and forms the park's Sandstone cap rock.
Palo Duro gets its name from the Spanish meaning “hard stick.” This area was first occupied by Native Americans, the Apaches and then replaced by the Comanche and Kiowa. Coronado visited it in 1541, then around the 1870s ranching. It became a state park in the 1930s. A lot of history was glanced over in those last few sentences, and for more detail, it is readily available online.
The park’s paved road offers opportunities for sightseeing, camping, and hiking. There are over 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. With a look of a Minnie Sedona (minus the crowd), it is a worthy stop if you are anywhere near the area. Some of the Wildlife in this canyon include Mule Deer, Wild Turkey, Collared Lizard, Barbary Sheep (introduced in 1957), and Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes. See park literature for more details.
Little Fox Trail
This trail is accessed via the Givens, Spicer, Lowry Trail and heads up the main branch of Sunday Creek. This is a lollipop trail with a one-way mileage of 1.2 miles and 2 miles round trip. The trail heads north from the Givens, Spicer, Lowry Trail and follows along the creek on one side or the other, crossing over 3 or 4 times. The vegetation is thicker here, with more grasses and larger Mesquite and Juniper trees. Cottonwood can also be seen along the creek. The trail slowly climbs up the canyon with 50 feet of elevation gain over the 1.2 miles. This is a flat bottom creek with a wide flood plain, so the sides of the canyon are about a tenth of a mile away. The top of Palo Duro Canyon can be seen to the north of the creek.
At 0.8 miles in the trail forms a 0.4-mile loop that will bring you back to the same point. If you are into bagging peaks, then this trail has one for you, Petite Teton. This is a 30-foot high peak with a sign and seat on top. Surely this can be a record for the smallest peak ever bagged. This trail, along with the Givens, Spicer, Lowry trail the Lighthouse, and Paseo Del Rio Trails, make an excellent 6.5-mile loop hike.
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
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.