Prior to planning our trip, I asked friends which state park they preferred: Palo Duro Canyon or Caprock Canyons. The resulting fifty/fifty split didn’t help with decision making, so I decided to put both on my list and make my own determination after seeing them. And as I mentioned in last month’s post, Caprock Canyons State Park was en route from our home to Palo Duro Canyon, so it just made sense to include Caprock in our plans.
As a fan of the stark – some might say barren – landscape of Abiquiu, New Mexico, that’s how I pictured Caprock Canyons and that’s precisely what I wanted to photograph: red, rugged sandstone cliffs, sliced with soft beige striations; chasms splashed with orange and pink; and verdant grasslands cutting across the canyon floors.
Before my visit, I had read that out-of-state travelers and, for that matter, quite a few Texans, myself included, don’t even know about Caprock Canyons. It gets overlooked by visitors focused on its more famous neighbor (Palo Duro Canyon) and the completely unnatural Amarillo attraction of Cadillac Ranch. Presumably, the relatively remote location and under-the-radar status were why we found few visitors during our mid-September visit. The crowds of summer were gone and the beat of the park was low-key and tranquil – a most welcome surprise.