Monday, September 09, 2013
Hiking Caprock Canyon TX SP with Diane & Rob
Distance: 3 miles Rating: 5/5
Conditions: Trails in excellent shape. Partly cloudy. Moderate wind. HOT and dry. Temp around 100 DegF, but was moderated by the brisk breeze!
Wonderful hike with Diane & Rob! Caprock is lesser known and encompasses less acreage than Palo Duro but it is none-the-less a spectacular place. One of the most appealing features of Caprock was the solitude. You could be still and hear GOD's sounds only -- no noise and confusion of the big city.
Caprock Canyon drops away from the surrounding plains to reveal red and grey cliffs and gorges. On the plains the state buffalo herd roams free. Within the canyon you are almost certain to see lizards of all types as well as the large black ants. Unfortunately you may also "see" some horseflies. They were not too much of a nuisance, though we did keep a watch for them.
The Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail was STEEP -- Tx Parks & Wildlife did not exaggerate when they labeled this trail "extremely steep and rugged". The trail climbed out of the canyon and up to the rim. Negotiating this trail would have involved some serious scrambling (at least) so we elected to turn around at that point and go back down the Canyon Loop Trail.
The rich red and grey color of the canyon cliffs seemed to surround us on all sides. Small mesquite and cedar bush dotted the canyon floor and cliffs with splashes of green. The lizards were mostly sandy brown or green.
The constant brisk wind near the saddle on the Canyon Loop Trail was impressive and provided a welcomed cooling power. One of the primitive backcountry camp sites lies within 20 yards of this point -- that is where I would choose to camp!
A natural bridge was the focus of our trek along Eagle Point Trail. We were on the bridge before we actually recognized it as being a natural bridge. While not a long or deep natural bridge, it was still a treat to experience. We were able to climb down to the stream bed to get a close-up view of the bridge. A few bats called the bridge home. It was sad to think that as the eroding effects of wind and rain continue this little natural bridge will one day collapse and be lost to us. Right now though, it is a joy to behold.
Caprock was a wonderful surprise to us all. The trip out of the Metroplex was aimed at Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock was a "small" after-thought or side trip. It was well worth the 93 miles of driving.
34 Ascribe strength to God; His excellence is over Israel, And His strength is in the clouds. 35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!
Psalms 68:34-35 (NKJV)