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A Gorgeous Gorge in a Stark Part of Texas

Palo Duro Canyon slideshow

Sweeping canyon views greet you as you enter Palo Duro Canyon, and the scenery grows increasingly diverse as you drive through the park. Second in size to the Grand Canyon, the expansive overall canyon views showcase sediment layers in stunning colors. An easy-to-read map provided by the park makes it easy to find viewpoints and trails. The red rock landscape presents lots of opportunities for rock scrambling, our favorite of which led us to "the big cave" (see if you can spot us in the pictures below).

Campsites are nestled in small groups throughout the entire park. Each campsite has a covered concrete pad with a table, a fire pit, and a flat, bordered dirt pad on which to set our tent. I call this glamping!

Unexpected perks: The pergola shade structure provided an excellent hammocking situation. We pulled out the ipad and dialed up a movie to watch from our close-in hammocks (and couldn't resist the urge to check on election results every hour - not that it did us any good). The tent pad and warm temperature made it the best night of sleep I've had so far on this journey. We made the right choice in skipping a stop for this comfort.

Lessons learned: A fresh canyon breeze can quickly turn to a whipping wind. After setting up our tent, we went to find the closest hiking trails, and returned to our site to find this:

Stake your tent before heading out to play!

Next up: Stop number two in neverending Texas is Lavon Lake. We have reserved a lake-front hipcamp on private land (there is no campground). This is our last stop on the road to Jason's family - we're excited to see them and are looking forward to a real bed!

This morning‘s sunrise On our way out:

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