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Sunflower Trail, TX

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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,842 feet
Elevation Gain -44 feet
Accumulated Gain 26 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.19
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
24  2021-05-24
Juniper Cliffside and Riverside Loop
markthurman53
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 162
Routes 683
Photos 7,885
Trips 532 map ( 4,888 miles )
Age 67 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:33am - 8:03pm
Official Route
 
1 Alternative
 
Water


River Trail
by markthurman53

PALO DURO CANYON

Palo Duro Canyon is located 25 miles southeast of Amarillo Texas, in the Texas panhandle, and is the second-longest canyon in the US; you can guess the first. The creek that runs through the canyon is part of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. 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 formed the Sandstone cap rock of the park.

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. It was visited by Coronado in 1541, then around the 1870’s ranching. It became a state park in the 1930s. A lot of history was glanced over in those last few sentences; more detail 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.

SUNFLOWER TRAIL

Overview
The Sunflower Trail’s northern trailhead is at the fortress cliff camp area along with the trailhead for the Rojo Grande Trail. The Rojo Grande Heads north, and the Sunflower heads south. The Sunflower trail connects the park loop roads east side to the west side of the loop road. While the two roads are not that far apart, the sunflower Trail takes a roundabout way to make this a 1.1-mile trail. The northern end of the trail follows along the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. While the southern end heads inland toward the west side of the park loop road.

The Rojo Grande, Sunflower, and Juniper Riverside Trails are trails that span the inner portion of the loop road on the southern end of the park. These trails interconnect the various campgrounds and picnic sites and are used for short hikes by those using the campgrounds. These trails also are quite useful as interconnecting trails for longer loop hikes. These trails mainly cover the west side of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River with a bridge crossing over at either end of the loop road and one in the middle along the Sunflower Trail at the junction with the Creekside Trail. The Creekside Trail follows along the east side of the river and is useful as an interconnect for the Lower Comanche and Rock Garden Trail loop.


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2021-05-26 markthurman53
  • Palo Duro Park Map 2020
    state park related
    Palo Duro Park Map 2020
  • Palo Duro Trails Map 2020
    state park related
    Palo Duro Trails Map 2020
  • Palo Duro Trails Info 2020
    state park related
    Palo Duro Trails Info 2020

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 texas.gov site for park hours and current fees.


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
The park is located about 12 miles east of Canyon on State Highway 217. From Amarillo, take Interstate 27 south to State Highway 217 at the town of Canyon, and go east eight miles.
page created by markthurman53 on May 26 2021 5:52 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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