Stayed 2 nights during June, wanted to hike and see the Texas musical. Reservations are encouraged as this park gets a lot of traffic during the June-Aug timeframe. For a state park, the sites are spacious and easy to access. We were in the Sagebrush area and had a back in, level gravel spot with 50A and water that is near the amphitheater. TV reception by antenna worked for several channels and AT&T phone service worked in many places (but not all). Worth the extra effort to stay in the canyon to see the sights. Note: TPWD charges a $5/day per person charge on top of campsite fee. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Fifth Wheel.
Tips for other Campers:
Lighthouse trail is good, be ready for a strenuous section at the end that goes to the two rock formations. Look for online coupons for the Texas Musical.
This park well deserves its high ratings. Beautiful scenery and views from our site in the Mesquite loop. Went slow up and down the grade into the park and had no problem with our 40'+ big rig RV. Price does not reflect required entry fee to the park of $5 per adult/day in addition to campsite rate. Bathrooms were older and filthy - plenty of dead bugs indicated they obviously had not been cleaned in a long time. Book well in advance as the campsites are in high demand. We will definitely return. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Fifth Wheel.
Date of Stay: April, 2015 - $34.00
We stayed in the Mesquite loop, which is the farthest back in the park. We were prepared for challenges on park road in with grade and switchbacks but were just fine with 36 ft fifth wheel. They do not assign specific campsites ahead of time, they just reserve a spot of the appropriate length. Arriving Saturday afternoon, there were only three left to choose from, but all were just fine. Sites are VERY well-spaced with some cover in between most and space behind on the inner loop. Averaged a rattlesnake sighting per day we were here, and also saw deer, roadrunner, turtles, and heard coyotes. Beautiful at night--very quiet and lots of stars. A few minor glitches--there is a playground on the map that seems to have been removed. Electricity was off for 1-1.5 hours at mid-day for two days, but we were warned ahead of time. Got warm with no A/C at 80 degrees. Men's shower house had intermittent hot water. Camp host not overly chummy but no problems noted. Apparently there used to be issues with low water crossings, but they have recently opened the alternate park road with bridges rather than driving through the water. As some have mentioned, there is a separate fee for park entrance in addition to the $24/night camping fee. It may be cheaper (was for us) to buy a Texas Parks Pass for $70, then the entrance is covered. Plus, it's good for a year. Weather was fine in April but extremely variable (we had 55 degree highs, 80 degree highs, wind, and scattered showers over our stay). There was a shelter to provide shade over picnic table (not rainproof). Burn ban was in effect, no fires or charcoal. Beautiful setting! We are already looking forward to next trip! We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Fifth Wheel.
Date of Stay: October, 2014 - $30.00
This campground was on my wife's bucket list. Its billed as the 2nd largest canyon in the US and the Grand Canyon of Texas. While the topography was beautiful, the park was difficult to negotiate as the roads were narrow and steep, and Still only 1/4 repaired from the floods in March. There were 3 "water crossings" where you literally drove through the streams, being cautioned to observe the water level indicators so as not to go above your "safe water level". We observed several motorcycles declining to cross and a Prius watched us cross before following. I would not want to be in this park when it rains. Evidence of large earth moving equipment having scooped copious quantities of mud away from the roads was everywhere in the Mesquite campground. The alt 5 road was still washed out and closed. Rigs wider than 8 feet were "discouraged" from using the temporary bridges which were extremely tight (10 feet wide) for distances of well over 50 to 100 feet. Numerous gouges and paint scraping were apparent on the sides of the temp bridges. All this being said, it is a beautiful park with a wonderful, colorful history. Electrical Power was good as was water pressure(a bit high). The gift shop/museum were great and very tastefully done. The sites were long in Mesquite CG but very sloped. The coyotes were in full voice the 2nd night we were there so watch your pets. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Fifth Wheel.
Date of Stay: October, 2014 - $35.00
There are 3 campgrounds in the park. We camped at Mesquite , which is the most remote and the furthest into the park, but I think the prettiest. Great hiking at many trails within the park. The sunrises and sunsets provide a spectacular show on the canyon walls. The full hookup campsites in mesquite are level, large, and have a covered picnic table. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Fifth Wheel.
Date of Stay: September, 2014 - $34.00
We camped here for three nights in the Hackberry section. This section is before any of the creek/river crossings. Bridge construction closed one end of the loop. The sites 1-9 had a nicer view, especially 7-9. Those sites also had fewer trees and seemed to have more space. Site 19 had just enough space for us to almost open our awning fully. The picnic table is located in the back. The bathhouses were well maintained except for one broken light on the women's side. I was told by the volunteer that the light was broken. Therefore, the bathhouse was pretty dark inside at night. The trails are great hiking. The store seemed to be well stocked. Meals were also available there. Internet is available at the park office but Verizon phones required a drive out of the park and down the road a few miles. We were able to get radio and satellite TV in our campsite. The park is used by many locals for hiking, running, and cycling. The park is very well run. There was always a ranger, volunteer, or host available. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Motorhome.
This is a Texas state park and the amenities here are the same as all Texas state parks. The scenery was great, the hiking was great, the birds were great and the staff was friendly and helpful. We stayed at Hackberry campground which had plenty of shade and the entrance is before the road construction. Keep in mind it is at least 10 degrees hotter at the bottom of the canyon than at the top. The only disappointing thing was the Texas play. The old play was better than the new 'politically correct' play, which relies more on fireworks than substance. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Travel Trailer.
One of the nicest state parks I have stayed in. Try and get in the Sagebrush campground if you are only going for the "Texas" show. Some parts of the road are under construction and may be challenging for wider trailers and RV's. Lots to do here. Take at least 3 days to get a decent sampling. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Travel Trailer.
Can't rate this one high enough. We heard about it from a few campers at other campgrounds that we had stayed at over the course of the trip, and thought, why not? Only negative (kind of) was the Very steep grade down into the canyon, but hey, it's a canyon, right? Once down there, its completely totally amazing. Had my wife and 4 kids, and we had an absolutely amazing time wandering and exploring. If you are ever near Amarillo, you have to go here. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Motorhome.
I was a bit disappointed in this park, mainly because I had a reservation. But Texas does not reserve specific spots. It was very confused because they had people leaving from a weekend dirt bike race fundraiser and the staff at the entrance station did not know what sites were available and which weren't. So I had to drive down a steep road into the canyon and then 8 miles to the far campground, then back up with my potential site numbers. The whole process including a line at check-in took over an hour in temps that were in the upper-90s, so I was exhausted and hot by the time I got hooked up. It is a very pretty canyon, but sites were tight. Might have been a better experience in cooler weather and not the day after such a major event or with so much road construction. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Motorhome.
Before I begin, in interest of full disclosure I have to admit I’m a big fan of the Texas state parks. We camped here the week of Memorial Day arriving on the Monday holiday and staying through Friday. The park is subject to flash flooding and the area had nearly four inches of rain the week before. As result most of the park was closed on the Friday before the holiday until the next Wednesday. They are working on replacing at least three of the low water crossings with bridges which should improve access after heavy rains. During flooding only two campgrounds, Sagebrush and Hackberry, are accessible. Of all the campgrounds, only Sagebrush and Mesquite have 50 Amp service. None of the campgrounds have full hook-ups, so if you are camping very long, you may want to bring a waste tank. The rest rooms were dated but clean. One of our pet peeves is that none of the rest rooms in the state parks have hand soap, so bring your own. The park host was very friendly and actually offered us some watermelon one evening. The park has over 30 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Some of the trails are quite long and rated as “difficult,” so plan your hikes carefully. During the summer the temperature in the canyon can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. We hiked the “Lighthouse Trail” to the park’s iconic “Lighthouse” formation. That trail is the most popular and is 5.75 miles round trip and rated as “moderate.” It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes. The information provided by TPWD warns to take plenty of water since most of the heat related injuries and deaths to people and pets occur on this trail. The park does have a few family friendly “easy” rated trails. The park has a very nice wildlife viewing blind, which quickly became a favorite of ours. We visited it several times during our visit. We saw a variety of birds including Northern Cardinal, Purple Finch, Painted Bunting, Yellow Fronted Woodpecker, and wild turkeys. Palo Duro Canyon is advertised as the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” Prior to visiting, I just figured that was another Texas exaggeration. After viewing the canyon from the overlook at the Visitor’s Center I was definitely impressed. It’s not the Grand Canyon, but it is definitely breath taking. (We visited the Grand Canyon in February of this year so I had fresh memories for comparison.) They do have a few pull through spaces, but most are back-in sites. Some of the sites looked a little short, but our space (# 142) was long enough for both our 39’ fifth wheel and our full size crew cab pickup. The park also has a stables and amphitheater in the park. During the summer months the musical “Texas” is presented Tuesday through Saturday at the amphitheater. During our visit both our AT&T cell and data services was intermittent. Data service on both our phones and our MiFi device ranged from none, to edge to 4G but it would change by the minute. Camping rates do not include admission to the park. Admission is $5.00 per person per day. If you are planning of camping at more than one state park, I highly recommend purchase of a Texas Parks Pass. Passes are $70.00 per year and include unlimited admission to the parks and several coupons for 50% off a single night’s rate. The nightly rate specified reflects a Texas Parks Pass and a coupon for 50% off one night’s stay. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Fifth Wheel.
Date of Stay: April, 2014 - $24.00
We camped at the Mesquite Camp Area, which is by far the prettiest one to camp in. It has about 19 sites with plenty of space between sites. All have water and electric. Sites are level and road is paved in the campground. Views are spectacular. You also have to pay $5 per person per day for a use fee. For 2, people camping was $24 + $10 = $34 per day. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay: March, 2014 - $34.00
As another reviewer remarked, the nightly fee was $24 but they tack on a $5 charge for each person per night so our nightly rate was $34. This seems a rather disingenuous way to post rates. The campground, over all, however, was spectacular. It is possible to wander through most of the park without necessarily following specific trails. The scenery definitely makes the experience unique. We camped in the Mesquite section of the park. Since there are no sewer hook-ups, we used our tag-along (portable waste tank) to empty tanks so were able to use the closest dump. However, if you have a rig of any size and do not use a tag-along, you will need to drive to a farther dump station since the one closest to Mesquite is too small for a large rig. We would definitely stay here again for a few nights but could not afford this rate for a full 2 weeks. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Travel Trailer.
Date of Stay: October, 2013 - $24.00
This is an addition to recent reviews. The campground was fully booked for the 3-day Columbus Day weekend in October, and we did not have reservations. Luckily, we arrived Monday and were able to stay for 4-days until Friday morning. Mesquite campground is among the quietest at which we've ever stayed, without even a muted hint of a truck or train in the distance. The moonless nights revealed billions of stars and a brilliant Milky Way. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Motorhome.
Date of Stay: October, 2013 - $34.00
Stayed in Hackberry campground, which was only about 1/4 full, so lots of privacy. But there were also lots of flies, which was annoying. Not sure what was causing that. Note also that it's kind of pricey for only a water and electric hookup. They charge $24 a night for the campsite, plus another $5/person and a per night "entrance fee", even if you only enter the campground once and stay a couple of nights like my wife and I did. Hence the $34 per night fee that I listed. So I have rated Palo Duro a couple of stars lower, due to the flies and the high price. We camped at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in a Motorhome.