Palo Duro Canyon in Texas, the second largest canyon in the U.S., is a beautiful red rock canyon and the Palo Duro mountain bike trails are a blast to ride.
Chris & Mac
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Length: 49 Miles of Trail in System
Trailhead(s): Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Elevation Gain: Varies Based on Route Selection
Trail Type: Trail System
Difficulty: Beginner to Expert
Permit Required? No
Considerations: Park Entrance Fee $8, Desert Riding/Heat, Rattlesnakes
Season: Year Round
Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. It is a beautiful red rock canyon and the Palo Duro mountain bike trails are a blast to ride. I spent two weeks here at the suggestion of a friend and I assure you it was time well spent (note that it was not just for mountain biking, but also hiking). I might not go as far as to say the Palo Duro mountain biking trails make it a destination target, but I will say that if you are anywhere near the Amarillo area, you should definitely try to spend at least a couple of days riding these trails.
Palo Duro Mountain Biking Trails
The 56 Palo Duro mountain biking trails have a combined mileage of 49 miles. Many of the trails are interconnected and those that are not can be reached by the main road running through the Canyon. Their are 18 beginner, 21 intermediate, and 3 expert trails.
Palo Duro’s beginner mountain biking trails are fast and flowy, traveling mostly on smooth rock or light sand. The trails are virtually flat and take riders through some of the parks most beautiful scenery.
Palo Duro’s intermediate mountain biking trails up the challenge from the beginner trails. Generally speaking, they offer a bit more technical challenge, elevation gain (although fairly minor), and some offer a little more exposure. Like the beginner trails, they take riders through gorgeous scenery and some of the best sights in the park.
Palo Duro has 3 expert trails, although one (Capital Peak Trail) is only about 1,200 feet in length. The other two (Lower Comanche and Rock Garden), however, offer a combined 5 miles of technical riding with great rock gardens, some steep technical climbs, tight switchbacks, a couple of potential (depending on your skills) hike-a-bikes, and just plain fun advanced riding. The scenery on the trails is more pure desert, rather than the red rock that the beginner and intermediate trails offer. That said, the scenery and trails are interesting and beautiful, and in places afford great views of the Canyon. I really enjoyed riding these trails.
The Palo Duro mountain biking trails offer fantastic scenery and really fun riding. I went on faith when a friend suggested Mac and I spend two weeks there mountain biking and hiking. I was really surprised to find at the end of the two weeks I wished we could stay longer. It is just an awesome place for outdoor activities. If you are in the Amarillo area, make sure to pay a visit to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. You will not be disappointed.
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Palo Duro Mountain Biking Trails Slideshow
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