After miles and miles of driving through flat farms and ranches of central and west Texas, we arrived at the grand canyon of Texas at Palo Duro State Park.
The state park spans a massive canyon with high walls of red rock with striped bands of yellow, brown, and white marking millions of years of geological history.
Green shrubs and various cactuses dot the landscape, and a muddy branch of the Red River flows through the bottom.
The canyon rim provides spectacular views for miles, and a network of red mud and rock trails lets hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders explore the canyon for miles.
We were unfortunate in that when we arrived, we arrived with scattered thunderstorms shedding torrential rain.
The entire trail system and some paved roads were closed due to mudslides and flooding.
We managed to find some unmarked trails and dry ground along the rim that let us hike a little and explore on our second day.
On our third and final day, they opened the trails in the afternoon.
After the kids woke up from their nap, we loaded the kids, water, and snacks in the double BOB stroller and headed for the trailhead of the Lighthouse Trail, which leads three miles across the canyon floor to the most famous formation in the park, Lighthouse Rock.
The trail was moderately challenging, a mix of sand, soil, and red clay. It was flooded in parts from all the rain, and the many creek bed crossing were thick with mud.
At one point, a fat rattlesnake crossed our path, and we heard several more rattles as we walked down the trail.
We completed the round trip to Lighthouse Rock, and it was a fantastic hike.
Here are the photos of our time in Palo Duro and our hike to Lighthouse Rock.