Caprock Canyon State Park and Trailway

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After we busted out on the Caprock Canyons Trailway in Turkey, we headed to Childress to do laundry and stock up on supplies. Turkey is in a dry county – ahem…

The rain and storms made for some impressive skies.

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The rain and tornado warnings followed us there but we spent the night safe and secure. We had decided to visit the state park and ride the trail afterward at a better maintained trailhead. We headed for Quitaque (kitty-quay) from Childress and rode the bikes around on the road through the entire park.

The canyons are amazing and the rain had finally stopped so we could actually ride and get the lay of the land. We camped in the park for two nights and saw prairie dogs and birds, but no sign of the famous buffalo herd until we headed out for the Monk’s Crossing trailhead the next day.

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When we rode the roads through the park, there were some really steep hills. In fact, we were followed and warned by the Park Host after we set out in the bus to see the park that there was a steep 16% grade that the bus would not be able to maneuver. We always appreciate advice like that.


The 16% grade was really fun on the bikes, reminded me of Fallingwater. Except just one hill, not one after another. We rode the whole park which was only about ten miles total.

We were assured on the phone and in person by the park staff that the surface would be better than the lava rock railroad bed we encountered in Turkey so we decided to give it a shot.and ride to the Clarity Tunnel which houses a large colony of Brazilian freetail bats. We always like to see the bats fly out in the evening. When we went to Austin for our honeymoon twenty five years ago, we saw Bob Wills’ actual tour bus (the one in Turkey is a stand-in) and saw millions of bats fly out from the Congress Avenue bridge at dusk. Pretty impressive.

The first five miles or so were great, hard-packed caliche and easy to ride. Good deal. We got to the Clarity Tunnel with the bats and walked the bikes through a thick and soft layer of really good garden fertilizer.

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These formations are fragile and collapse easily.

We saw no people or animals except this raven. This is the first trail that we have been on where no encounters occurred.
Unfortunately, after the tunnel it was supposed to be just dirt but with all the recent rain it was muddy and there were lots of rockslides. We went on a little ways but ended up turning around after a few miles.
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So back through the tunnel we walked.

On a van at one of the primitive camping areas. Where to? Indeed.

More photos on Flickr. Of course.

One comment on “Caprock Canyon State Park and Trailway

  1. ahem, Oh sorry about that. The picture of you is great, Also of the park , Wow bison. . Yes lots of storms here too. .

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