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Lighthouse Trail
6 Photosets

2020-11-12  
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mini location map2016-06-26
9 by photographer avatarjochal
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Lighthouse TrailPanhandle, TX
Panhandle, TX
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2016
jochal
Hiking6.00 Miles 430 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
430 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Lighthouse Trail is the signature hike in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. 3 miles each way, it dead ends at the The Lighthouse rock formation, which is somewhat distinctive and pretty heavily photographed.

I showed up at the park around noon, with the intention of doing the Lighthouse, the CCC trail, camp overnight, and then the Rock Garden Trail in the morning, before getting back on the I-40.

Started out on the trail from a full parking lot. The trail wasn't hard to follow; it wraps around the North of Capital Peak and is well signed. Capital Peak is very pretty. Storm clouds started getting worse; I knew there was a system moving in from the South, but I expected that we would be enough on the fringe of the system to not worry. Nope. Lots of lightning and thunder and I got pretty thoroughly drenched. I kept going. It wasn't cold, so the rain was fine, it just made the hike harder and harder because of the mud. I hit what I think is the end of the established trail, where a picnic table is located. There were 2 directions to go from here, one toward the Lighthouse, and one that kept going West, past the Lighthouse. I tried both, but neither let me go very far uphill with the mud. With all of the lightning around, and no expectation of the mud to get any better anytime soon, I turned around. Back at the trailhead, there were still a handful of people cleaning up the mud to get back in their cars. The storm was finally tapering off.

I threw my shoes into a plastic back and drove the car back to the visitors center area, which is at the top of the canyon, to watch the remnants of the storm leave. Saw a nice rock slide in one of the canyon branches, and some of the people who were there had witnessed more rock slides earlier. I went back down into the canyon to try some of the easier trails to kill time (Pioneer Nature Trail for example), but started seeing purple signs everywhere--Trail System Closed. All trails were marked with these signs.

WIth no expectation the purple signs were going away anytime soon, I quit the canyon and headed back to Amarillo.

Pretty nice hike; very scenic on the trail and also the drive into the canyon. The trail is easy. Ironically, I never did actually take a picture of the lighthouse itself.
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150 Photosets

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