My latest hotel and resort photography assignment took me out to Amarillo this weekend. Since Corin had the weekend off, the two of us packed up (I only packed lights and camera gear) and decided to make a little get away out of the trip. We stayed in a small town just out side of Amarillo appropriately called “Canyon” Texas. After I finished up my shoot at the Amarillo Holiday Inn Express, we ventured out to do some hiking in the second largest canyon in the country, Palo Duro Canyon.
Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, as much as 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. It is often claimed that Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States. The largest, the Grand Canyon, is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and 6,000 ft. deep.
Palo Duro Canyon was formed by water erosion from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The water deepens the canyon by moving sediment downstream. Wind and water erosion gradually widen the canyon.
Early Spanish Explores are believed to have discovered the area and dubbed the canyon “Palo Duro” which is Spanish for “HARD WOOD” in reference to the abundant mesquite and juniper trees.