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“What an amazing find!”

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 July 28, 2014

You don't have to go outside of Texas to enjoy bison and prairie dogs! My family had a wonderful morning of hiking & enjoying the beauty of this park. The park offers panoramic views of red hills, a variety of hiking trails, and great day of enjoying nature's wonders. We even "Grumpy", an older bison bull who blocked the roadway. (The friendly and informative park ranger told us his name.) The prairie dogs are shy if you get too close, but they are cute and chatty at a distance.

We have visited Palo Duro Canyon State Park numerous times, which is about an hour away, but thoroughly enjoyed our time at Caprock Canyons State Park. Be sure to visit BOTH parks. Your park admission fee will apply to both.

2  Thank donnaj4916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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163 - 167 of 240 reviews

Reviewed June 27, 2014 via mobile

Beautiful canyon! Enjoyed seeing buffalo, deer, prairie dogs, and roadrunners! We saw all these animals within the first two hours of arrival. Very remote area. Not sure I would want to spend many days here. Camp host barely acknowledged our presence when we ran into him at the visitor center after hours.

2  Thank Sweetie1521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014

General observations: To really see the park, you need to put some effort into hiking. The road to the South Prong tent camping area has some canyon bluffs, but it is only moderately scenic. As best as I could determine, the main camping area at Honey Flat is not in a scenic area. The camping sites at the South Prong Tent camping area are not an ideal design. For example, there are no driveways to individual tent sites. You have to park along the main road parking area and there is a short path to a table and tent pad site. The bison herd was active in the park entrance area and the animals were blocking the road when I passed through. So in general, this is a large park with rugged terrain, the developed (easy-to-access) are not really scenic, and the hiking is good but some trails have difficult spots.

The trail to fern cave:
I did the trail identified as the Upper Canyon Trail, which starts at the South Prong Camping Area. It is labeled A-C in the trail guide. To make a loop, you need to also use the Canyon Loop Trail (trail D) and then follow the road for about half a mile back to the South Prong Camping area. Total distance about 6 miles.

From the south prong camping area parking, the trail is mostly flat and wide enough for a car for about 1.5 miles. I liked that there was no overgrown foliage. There were several crossings of the stream, which could be a difficulty if water is flowing.

Then you reach the ascent out of the canyon which the park guide describes as "extremely steep and rugged". I agree, it is extremely steep and rugged. On the plus side, it is well-marked so the chances of getting lost are low. There is one spot where you need to walk across a narrow ledge. I was glad I was going uphill, because (in my opinion) going down such a steep, rocky trail is more dangerous than going up.

To reach the fern cave there is a descent on a rocky trail. (Caution is always advisable on a downhill rocky trail) The fern cave is basically a shaded rockface with many fern growing on it. Interesting, but not really a must-see.

The return path along North Prong is mostly flat. It is a width suitable for a person for about the first kilometer, but becomes much wider as you progress toward the junction with the Canyon loop trail. The Canyon Loop trail back to the parking lot is a wide trail.

I pushed as hard as I could and finished the loop in 2 hours and 45 minutes. But the guide time of 4 hours is a good estimate for a slower-paced hike.

Scenic qualities were good but not outstanding. So if you want to do some serious hiking this is a good option. Otherwise you may want to do a shorter, easier trail. Or you could follow the trail to the point where the steep ascent begins and turn around.

11  Thank MaxConcrete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

11  Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

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