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“Overhyped”

Caprock Canyons State Park
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Quitaque
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ranks the third largest state park in Texas with 13,960 acres.
Reviewed May 16, 2014

My girlfriend and I decided 3 months before we came here that we wanted to go camping. Little did we know every single state park in the state of Texas besides this one would be fully booked 3 months out. Apparently they're booked up to a year in advance. So that sucks.

Anyways, we pick up firewood on the way up, and do not know there is a burn-ban in effect when we get here until we go check in at the office. Nothing on the website or phone messages. So that sucked. Luckily I had a small portable propane cooker to barely get by the 2 days we were here.

The Star Gazing event was also cancelled due to "clouds" but only posted on paper at the office. I saw the stars pretty well both nights, however, so that sucks.

Stayed at the Little Red Tent campsite, #56 like people suggested "at the end" with "more privacy". Worst idea ever.
Pure hard dirt ground with ant holes and large ants all over. View is not breathtaking as people have suggested.
This #56 campsite is also at the beginning of a trail for this campsite, so everyone from nearby campsites walk right through your campsite to get to and back from the trail.
All noise from every other campsite is carried right to your campsite #56 due to the wind and layout. You can hear literally everything everyone is saying or doing at the other 5 - 7 or so campsites around #56.
A group of psychotic, idiotic morons from Texas Tech just had to show up the night we get there with their loud music, constant yelling and screaming, loud sex and smelly weed. They were then most annoying people I have ever had the misfortune of being around the first night.
No park rangers coming through to patrol at any point.
The idiots were noisy from about 4:30pm to 2am in the morning. Back up at 7am with their noise.
Stay classy Texas Tech.

The next day I immediately packed up our campsite and got a transfer to the lake campsite. The lake was extremely low and muddy looking. not worth fishing or swimming in.
This campsite we had a neighbor who just sat at his picnic table with his 2 dogs barking for 7 solid hours, so that was fun.
Windy as hell with so many trees between you and the lake, couldn't even see anything, just camping next to trees whooshing all day and night.

Tried hiking a trail that day, nothing interesting to see. Just felt like I was walking around on Mars for 3 hours.

Only saw 1 Bison in the wild looking like it was dehydrated and about to die, covered in a trillion flies. The others were all fenced up a few hundred yards from the office, only visible through their provided viewing telescope (free of charge surprisingly).

Saw a few deer, some wild pigs and anything else you could see 15 mins outside any major city in Texas.

10  Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 154 of 224 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2014

Caprock Canyons State Park is incredible. My husband and I just returned from our first trip to this unique Texas State Park. Not only does the park have a beautiful, rugged landscape of red rock canyons, but it has the Official Bison Herd of the State of Texas and a prairie dog town. It is a great park for hiking (90 miles of multi-use trails), mountain-biking, horseback riding, bat and wildlife viewing, and birding. The facilities and viewing areas are really nice. I highly recommend this park.

1  Thank kamybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

I have had the pleasure of going out to Caprock Canyon State Park twice in the last month to train for an upcoming backpacking trip. This state park is a real gem for the state of Texas. This unique location is special due to the unique nature of the terrain, and the diversity of two different ecosystems coming together. The effect of erosion in the area creates beautiful canyons and majestic views.

We spent most of our time hiking the North Canyon Loop because it provides the elevation gains and drops. If you start at the South Prong trail head, you will follow the river bed up the South Prong Canyon for about two miles. At this point you want to start looking for the brown trail marker posts to keep you on the right track. You begin climbing up the slickrock formations as you ascent toward the top of the mesa. The hike here is rugged and steep, with many places where steps have been created or worn into the rocks. As you climb the views become more and more grand, as the full canyon reveals itself to you.

Once on top you will follow a short trail over to the canyon edge of the North Prong Trail. This trail is not quite as rugged or steep, but it still has a couple of tricky spots, so be sure that your hands are out of your pockets and be safe. As you descend into the canyon you will come across Fern Cave. A natural spring here, and a shaded environment creates a spot of ferns to grow in what is otherwise best classified as desert. The trail continues down the stream bed of the North Prong Canyon before widening out into a much broader valley.

You can continue down the valley to a trail juncture. Turning right will take you to the North Prong parking lot in about 1.3 miles while continuing straight will loop you around to the same spot in about 5.1 miles. We took the shorter option for a total hike of about 8 miles.

This trail is not quite a complete loop. Either shuttle cars, parking one at the South Prong Trailhead and one at the North Prong Trailhead, or plan to walk about 1 mile of paved road to get back to your car.

You need to be prepared when you come here with plenty of water. We carried a gallon of water each and consumed over three quarts and it was still cool out. There is no water in the back part of the park, you need to bring it all with you.

We stayed at the South Prong walk-in campsites. These are simple sites with a lantern hook and a fire barrel with grill. Each campsite will comfortably hold 2 tents which is the recommended number of tents per site when you make a reservation. This site has a nice latreen style restroom, which was well maintained and cleaned.

We also stayed at the South Prong primitive campsite which was great only because we were the only ones there. If you are there during a busy weekend, you will find yourself struggling to find a flat spot to put your tent. The site is nestled in with some of the rock formations, so it is really a beautiful location.

There are many other trails that we have not hiked yet. There is a lake with fishing, and this is the home of the Texas State Bison heard.

This is a unique location here in Texas, very different from the surrounding territory. Be sure to take a side trip and check it out.

8  Thank Steven Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

Was worried my kids may not like hiking and such on spring break. but even they were impressed with the canyons. You can take any of the marked trails, or try to climb up any canyon walls per the disclaimer on the map to climb at your own risk. That's exactly what we like to do. We had hikes of 4-7 miles long. Kids loved the trail with the cave running under it and finding some beautiful rocks. We hiked the hardest trail that leads back to Fern Cave. Not impressed with the named cave but found some that you had to climb to get to on this trail and it was challenging. Teenage son climbed to the highest one while wife couldn't even watch. Amazing views. We tent camped. Wind was not kind to our tent. Have a small tent and stake it down good. We hiked for 2 days and my kids never got tired. I asked them what they liked best and they all agreed seeing the prairie dogs which were just plain fun to watch. I was hoping to see a rattlesnake but no such luck. Will definitely go back, just with a better smaller tent.

2  Thank Maniac71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This is a nice place to camp at, especially is you like hiking and seeing the sights.
We enjoyed our stay, and will refer it to friends. Just be sure to bring the sunblock, as most of the sites are all fun sun .

4  Thank 1949Harold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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