Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway covers 15,314 acres and rests on the Llano Estacado’s eastern edge in Briscoe County. Along with images from Caprock, I'm including a few from Pole Canyon, a private ranch only 20 minutes south. Caprock Canyons is the third largest state park in Texas and sits approximately an hour and forty-minute drive from Amarillo, six-and a half hours from Dripping Springs (my home) and four hours and fifty minutes from Dallas. The Trailway refers to an old and abandoned railroad trail of the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad that ran between Estelline and South Plains. Remade for recreation in 1993, the pathway is now a 65-mile hiking, biking, and equestrian trail. The state of Texas purchased the land for the park in 1975, and it opened as a state park in 1982. Long before this time, however, traces and artifacts indicate several Native American cultures lived in the red-rock canyons, including the Folsom culture more than 10,000 years ago. After this group, the Plainview culture hunted the area between 9,000 and 8,000 years ago.
From the 1500s to the 1700s, various groups spent time in this dry and challenge land, including Spanish explorers such as Coronado, Plains Apache, Comanche, and New Mexican buffalo hunters and traders. White people arrived in the late 1800s. One of the most famous, Charles Goodnight ran cattle in the canyon, purchased land for John Adair, and eventually helped create the well-known J.A. Ranch.
Caprock Canyons S.P. offers miles of hiking trails through canyons and over ridges, offering amazing views of the rugged landscape. Pole Canyon Ranch (reservations required) is accessible with a fee. Their website will have more information.
The photographs in this gallery are available as prints or digital files. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.