Palo Duro Canyon
The rugged Palo Duro Canyon, the nation’s second largest such gorge, located in the High Plains of the Texas Panhandle, is home to one of the Lone Star State's largest state parks (some 28,978 acres). In the 1930s, seven different CCC outfits, four composed solely of veterans and two solely of young African Americans, were assigned the task of transforming a daunting geographical area--though clearly one of the state's most important scenic and natural areas--into an inviting park for guests.
Among the CCC's prime tasks was developing over eleven miles of road to gain access to the canyon floor, which they accomplished while also establishing strategically located lookout points, picnic areas, steps, and trails that accentuated the Lighthouse, Castle, and Capitol peaks. Throughout the park Palo Duro’s team of architects and planners took full advantage of the spectrum of picturesque scenes the landscape had to offer. Four Cow Camp cabins invite close-up views of the canyon floor; and Coronado Lodge, the large rubble stone concession building situated on the rim of the canyon, offers a spectacular view of the canyon stretching off into the horizon. Meanwhile, in one of the CCC's most inspired moves, three of the park's stone-constructed overnight cabins were set directly into the canyon's rim.
- Park Location
- Armstrong and Randall Counties, 12 miles east of Canyon, State Highway 217 to Park Road 5
- CCC Company
- 1821(V), 1828(V), 1829(V), 1824(V), 2875(C), 2876(C), 894
- Activity Dates
- CCC Construction
- Portal House, Park Road 5, Vehicle Bridges, Stone and Metal Culverts, Stone Low Water Crossings, Headquarters Building, Spring House (currently storage), Coronado Lodge (only partially completed by the CCC; currently the interpretive center), Well House (no longer in use), Cow Camp (four overnight cabins containing no bathrooms), Three Rim Cabins (currently adapted as staff residences), and Picnic and Camp Unit Groups (Table, Seats, Fireplace, and Garbage Receptacle)
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- Learn More
- Park information from Texas Parks and Wildlife website