Pioneer Nature Trail
ElevationAscent: 34' 10 m
Descent: -40' -12 m
High: 2,909' 887 m
Low: 2,871' 875 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
Current trail conditions
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“A short loop through the grasses and junipers of the canyon bottom, to visit a creek.”— Joan Pendleton
Family Friendly A short, easy scenic loop with a creek to explore, great for young and old alike.
Starting at the trail sign, Pioneer Nature Trail heads into grasses and junipers with a great view of Fortress Cliffs ahead. Almost immediately there is a trail on the left. Continue straight here to hike this loop counter-clockwise as described here. Going left is the way to hike the loop clockwise.
Pioneer Nature Trail then heads down to the banks of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, a creek under normal conditions. (Wonder how high it gets with heavy rains and thunderstorms.....?) Turning left to leave this creek, the trail once again is in grass dotted with junipers.
At about the 0.35 mile mark, Pioneer Nature Trail turns left and crosses a small meadow with great views of Fortress Cliffs to the left. The trail junction at the start of this hike is soon reached. Go right here to return to the parking lot.
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Land Manager: Texas State Parks - Palo Duro Canyon