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Photo Adventure – Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle

Photo Adventure – Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle

We make the drive from Dallas to Amarillo quite relatively often.  James’ parents live there, and the children like to visit the farm whenever they can.  The only thing that keeps us from going more often is the long drive.  It is about 8 hours between their rural home and our cookie cutter suburb, and we have to look for ways to make the drive fun for the whole family.  Caprock Canyons is a little off our route, but we’re on a mission to visit all the Texas State Parks so it fit the bill.  I’m really glad we checked it out.

The park has the tell-tale scrub of arid West Texas.  Rain in the summer is scarce and light.  Within the bounds of the park is Lake Theo, which the official State of Texas buffalo herd runs towards for relief  in the hot summer afternoon.  The water of the lake has a red tinge, due to the ruddy dirt of the area.

But the environmental challenges of the Texas Panhandle make for a beautiful sunset.  We were treated to a light show unmatched by any I have seen before or since.  In my lifetime I will see thousands of photogenic sunsets, but I may never see another like the evening we were at Caprock Canyons.

Check out this unique park!

Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas

One member of the official State of Texas buffalo herd.

Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas

Buffalo drinking water at Lake Theo.

Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas

There are 90 miles of hiking trails.

Rock layers at Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas

Eroded layers of red rock.

Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas

Red rock formations against limestone cliffs.

Dusk at Caprock Canyons State Park

Caprock Canyons State Park in Texas

Where is Caprock Canyons State Park?

View Larger Map

Resources :

Caprock Canyons website from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The History of the Buffalo Heard at Caprock Canyon

Part of Travel Photo Thursday link up.

  1. Tonya {The Traveling Praters} 5 August, 2013

    What an incredible sunset! I agree, that spectacular view would be hard to top.

    Where you hiking when you took the photos of the buffalo? Just wondering how close you were to them. Looks like a wonderful park to explore.

    • Amy Moore 5 August, 2013

      The buffalo were really accessible. They cross over the road the cars drive on between the Visitor’s Center and Lake Theo. There is a warning to stay 50 yards away from the buffalo – but someone forgot to tell them. They will cross right in front of parked cars. All of these pics of buffalo were taken from the car, or as I stood right outside of the door. They were so close, I didn’t want to get too far away from “safety”. They are big animals!

  2. JoAnna Jones 5 August, 2013

    Amy, what gorgeous pictures! I’m not a native Texan, but I have lived near Houston now for 14 years. Sometimes I complain about the lack of beauty in this state but it seems you have captured it quite well. Have you been to Palo Duro Canyons? I’m wondering how close Caprock and Palo Duro are to one another because if we make a trip that far it would seem like a good idea to see both. Thanks for a great post!

    • Amy Moore 5 August, 2013

      It is only 90 miles between the two, and I would definitely suggest going to both. We did during this trip. After sunset, we drove into Canyon and stayed the night there before going into Palo Duro SP. I highly suggest renting a rim cabin there! We loved our stay there, and will definitely do it again.

  3. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans 6 August, 2013

    You’re so right – that sunset is unrivaled! And the red rocks are beautiful as well. You’re inspiring me to go to Texas. I’m inviting you to link up every Wednesday on my blog for Wanderlust Wednesdays. Hope you’ll check it out.

  4. Jessica 6 August, 2013

    Fantastic sunset! We’ll have to put this stop on our list.

  5. Muza-chan 8 August, 2013

    Great photos, a love the vivid colors 🙂

  6. Sara Zielinski 8 August, 2013

    It would be fun to visit the texas panhandle

  7. noel 8 August, 2013

    gorgeous, love all the dusk and twilight images and the family pics!

  8. Nancie 8 August, 2013

    Looks like a great place to visit. Your photos are lovely!

  9. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} 10 August, 2013

    I love buffaloes! It would be so neat to see the official state herd. And wow, what a gorgeous sunset. I may one day try that Caprock Canyon/Palo Duro trip that you suggested above.

  10. Leigh 10 August, 2013

    I’ve spent a week in west Texas and thoroughly enjoyed the landscape. I hadn’t heard of this park before and what a beauty. The sunsets are magical to.

  11. Marcia 11 August, 2013

    Gorgeous shots, Amy. It’s great to have this park so close to home. I’d not heard of it before.

    That’s an amazingly beautiful sunset. It would take my breath away.

  12. Photo of the Week : Exposures of Upper Permian Strata at Caprock Canyons State Park, Texas - Everything Everywhere Family Travel 14 December, 2013

    […] through the panhandle to check it out whenever we have the time.  If you’d like to see more, here are photos from an earlier visit and you can read more about the history of their buffalo […]