Scenic scapes abound in secret part of Texas.

Canyons in Palo Duro, Texas
Credit: iStockphoto

You might be surprised to hear that Palo Duro is the country’s second largest canyon after that oh-so-grand national park in Arizona. Its second place status means it’s blissfully less frequented, making it a very rewarding hiking and camping destination for those who make the trip. If you’re not up for sleeping under the stars, bed down in nearby Amarillo.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon, which cuts through Texas’ high plans, is over 100 miles long and can be over 1,000 feet deep. While travelers can trek along hiking trails, consider making it a true Lone Star State experience by exploring the dramatic landscape on horseback.

Youngblood’s Stockyard Café

Amarillo locals flock to this standby morning and night for its home-style dishes such as huevos rancheros and hash browns and chicken-fried steak.

La Casita Del Sol

The owner of this B&B, Bonnie Rodriguez, is a patron of Amarillo’s art scene, so her 1920s house is full of original works by local artists. Don’t miss breakfast—muffins with housemade jams and wild plum butter; hot plates like an egg scramble—made with veggies and herbs from Rodriguez’s flower filled garden.

Palo Duro Adventure Park

Head to this zip-lining park to get a bird’s eye view of Palo Duro Canyon’s red rock landscape.

Oliver Saddle Shop

Cowboy history comes alive at the state’s oldest saddle shop, where beautiful hand-tooled leather works are on display.