Family Hike in the Spring time - six of us - beautiful country.
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Distance: 6.50 Miles
Although we made this hike in early April, it was still pretty warm. If its going to be a warm day I would recommend beginning the hike at or near day break and finshing the hike by noon.
We thought that we had brought more than enough water with us but I underestimated and brought "just enough". I you are a hardy person, you may want to carry some extra as there were people on the trail with no water. Yes, I know that they shouldn't be so foolish but if you see someone in trouble you will end up giving them yours and then you won't have enough.
An employee at the park told me that their busiest month is in July. The temperatures frequently get above 100 degrees that time of year and water is critical in those temperatures.
The last half mile of the trail before reaching the lighthouse is somewhat challenging. You may want to bring rope as there are several places where a fall could really hurt you.
I climbed solo almost to the top of the formation next to Lighthouse Rock. There is a somewhat difficult hop to get to the very top. Failure to complete the hop can easily result in a 30 foot fall down the side of the formation. Unless you an experienced climber and able to make a good judgment about the hop I wouldn't recommend it.
Lighthouse trail is beautiful. I will never forget it.
Lighthouse Trail -- A Happy Ending
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Distance: 6.00 Miles
Duration: 2 hours
This review is for the Lighthouse Trail, not the Givens, Spicer & Lowry Running trail.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a very beautiful park and the Lighthouse Trail, in my opinion, is the trail you will want to take if you don't have a lot of time and just want to get to see Lighthouse Peak, Castle Peak and Capitol Peak.
The trail is fairly flat the entire distance out and back, although you have some light climbing at the end of the trail near Lighthouse Peak. What made this particular hike difficult was the extremely warm weather. It was over 100 degrees in late September and so warm that I decided not to stay overnight and camp. Although there are interesting sites along the way, the big attraction is Lighthouse Peak. You have to ascend some hapzard steps to get there and the ascent is quite steep. Once you get to the top, however, it is flat again and quite beautiful. The trail runs out at the peak, although you can go adventuring beyond the peak if you want to brave it. There are a few inviting canyons in the vicinity.
Aside from hiking, I recommend seeing the park by car as the park has many beautiful sections that can be seen from the road.
Be aware that there are a lot of snakes in this park. I saw several crossing the paved road and another hiker told me she saw two snakes hiding in the shade beneath the steps. They weren't aggressive, but you need to take caution regardless as medical help is not nearby in the event you are bitten.
One last advisory -- this park has several low areas that are prone to flash flooding. In fact, there are 6 river crossings on Park Road with water height markers. As a result, do not go hiking in inclement weather as dangerous conditions could arise.