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A family-friendly trail that is the center-piece of Palo Duro Canyon.


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Map Key

6.1

Miles

9.8

KM

Out and Back

3,120' 951 m

High

2,826' 861 m

Low

361' 110 m

Up

361' 110 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

12%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly The trail is wide and obstacle-free with the opportunity for kids to spot numerous lizards. Bring the 4-legged best friend, especially if you need to tire out high-energy dogs.

Overview

The Lighthouse Trail is one of the more popular trails in Palo Duro State Park. The total round trip is a little under 6 miles long. As you make your way along this trail, your destination is the 310 ft high rock formation known as the Lighthouse.

There can be a high volume of foot and bike traffic. Go early to miss the crowds and stay late!

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water during summer days as the canyon can get hot.

Description

The Lighthouse Trail is the most popular trail in the Palo Duro State Park. The trail concludes with the centerpiece formation of stone pillar resembling a lighthouse that tower 300 ft. over the trail.

Glimpses of the lighthouse formation can be seen from multiple viewpoints, but make sure you complete the trail to fully experience it up close (round trip around 6 miles). The trail begins relatively flat, but as it continues trails split, leaving options for gradual elevations and descents vs. more difficult paths for mountain biking.

The path is mainly packed dirt and rock, but loose sandy paths are not absent from this trail. You do have to cross creek beds along the way, but usually they remain dry during summer seasons.

Givens, Spicer, and the Lowry Trail all have a connecting point on this trail. A trailhead sign indicates any turns to different trails; stay left at each junction to continue on Lighthouse.

To access the lighthouse pillar, there is a moderately difficult climb with possible large gaps to step up and over. Remember to bring water and a shade hat, and rest when needed on benches throughout the trail. Keep a head up for mountain bikers.

Flora & Fauna

Cacti are abundant and grow close to the path, in addition to plenty of other native plants. Keep an eye out, as there are lots of lizards scuffling around if you only pay close attention.

Contacts

Shared By:

Craig Whiteside

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 36 votes

#319

Overall
  4.7 from 36 votes
5 Star
72%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#10

in Texas

#319

Overall
25 Views Last Month
5,943 Since Sep 25, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

The Lighthouse
Mar 14, 2024 near Canyon, TX
The Lighthouse
Mar 14, 2024 near Canyon, TX
Hoodoo next to Lighthouse Trail.
Mar 15, 2024 near Canyon, TX
Kick Buttowski
Nov 8, 2015 near Canyon, TX
Capitol Peak
Feb 22, 2018 near Canyon, TX
Aerial shot of the Lighthouse Trail from a Cessna 172.
Aug 10, 2017 near Canyon, TX
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 2 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Apr 13, 2024
Chris Allcorn
Mar 14, 2024
Stewart Carnes
May 17, 2023
B J
Mar 15, 2023
Steve Mittanck
6.1mi — 3h 48m
Aug 7, 2022
Matthew Kean
Awesome. My favorite hike. 6mi
Oct 15, 2021
Clay McCarthy
Took the two dogs with us today. It's just about 1100 and a beautiful morning at 72 degrees and light breeze. Let's see how this goes.
Oct 10, 2021
Dan Shemon
Very cool formation in the 2nd largest canyon in N. America! 6.5mi — 3h 00m
Sep 5, 2021
Stephanie Vazquez
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