Palo Duro canyon advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Palo Duro canyon advice

    So me and my wife are planning on camping and riding PDC this weekend. Looking for any info I can find on the trail system, specifically trails you must ride and which ones are single track or double track (we are not fans of "jeep road"). We are both what I would consider intermediate riders and do enjoy the more technical stuff. Also any spots or sights you must see while on the trail. Any input is welcome and is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    I don't always listen to slayer, but when I do so do the neighbors.

  2. #2
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    I don't think you can go wrong even if no one chimes in. I've never ridden there but have visited there 20ish years ago. It's a beautiful park. Planning on a trip out there this coming December. Hope to see your review soon. Subscibed!

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  3. #3
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    Thats kind of the impression i get as well, that its all pretty fun. I have some trail maps and found some of the endurance race maps, but thats about all the info I have so far. Nothing really detailing difficulty or single track vs double wide stuff.
    I don't always listen to slayer, but when I do so do the neighbors.

  4. #4
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    I'm guessing you've already sourced mountainbiketx and youtube... Also try the tspw site?
    I'm sure someone will chime in here...

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithrad View Post
    I'm guessing you've already sourced mountainbiketx and youtube... Also try the tspw site?
    I'm sure someone will chime in here...

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    I have but am finding a lot of stuff, but it is 5 plus years old. We just don't want to miss something. Its a 7 hour drive that has been on our list to hit for 4 years or more.
    I don't always listen to slayer, but when I do so do the neighbors.

  6. #6
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    That's what I've run into as well. You'd think no one has ridden there since....

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  7. #7
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    Went out there on the way to Sedona late last year. Rolled up with almost no info other then a co-worker telling me the trails were awesome. There isn't that much trail and it's all pretty good so we were able to have a good time with just the free map we got at the ranger station.

  8. #8
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    I've ridden there a couple of times in the last year. I recommend riding the GSL trail (Givens, Spicer Lowry ) counter clockwise. Connect that to Juniper/Cliffside trail. Once done with that you can ride the Comanche trail and the rock garden trail. A fair amount of climbing on the Comanche trail and a few fairly technical sections make it one of my favorite trails in the state. I think we recorded 23 miles of trail when we rode there in January.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkC View Post
    I've ridden there a couple of times in the last year. I recommend riding the GSL trail (Givens, Spicer Lowry ) counter clockwise. Connect that to Juniper/Cliffside trail. Once done with that you can ride the Comanche trail and the rock garden trail. A fair amount of climbing on the Comanche trail and a few fairly technical sections make it one of my favorite trails in the state. I think we recorded 23 miles of trail when we rode there in January.
    Awesom thanks. I have been looking over the maps and figured the trails to be about that length. We will give that route a try. Just going to grab a map and roll with it from there. Captain Ron style.

    I will I'll post an update when we get back. Maybe a photo or two.
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  10. #10
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    I was there in July with the fam and we had the bikes, but we were on more of a preview tour of campsites while on our way to a two week stay in Breckenridge. Definitely is on my southwest tour plan for a few days of trail time.

    Nice breeze seems to always crop up when you want it. Temp drops nicely after shadow overtakes the valley.

    The loop road around the lower campsites would also be a fun ride, there isn't really anyplace within the canyon that doesn't have a good view.

    Caprock Canyons S.P. has more miles to ride, and per a commenter last summer has a lot less traffic, but Palo Duro has it beat IMO on the view. Palo Duro is just plain cool. Hundreds of miles of flat land, then you see a few mini-canyons (I drove in from Amarillo), then miles of what appears to be nothing but death, then BOOM! A big-ass beautiful canyon, right smack in the middle of nowhere.

    If you haven't, be sure to hit up Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. It's a bit smelly and trashed, but still worth seeing.

    Within a few hours of Palo is Capulin Volcano, and Great Sand Dunes. Two bucket listers for everyone. Not MTB related.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    I was there in July with the fam and we had the bikes, but we were on more of a preview tour of campsites while on our way to a two week stay in Breckenridge. Definitely is on my southwest tour plan for a few days of trail time.

    Nice breeze seems to always crop up when you want it. Temp drops nicely after shadow overtakes the valley.

    The loop road around the lower campsites would also be a fun ride, there isn't really anyplace within the canyon that doesn't have a good view.

    Caprock Canyons S.P. has more miles to ride, and per a commenter last summer has a lot less traffic, but Palo Duro has it beat IMO on the view. Palo Duro is just plain cool. Hundreds of miles of flat land, then you see a few mini-canyons (I drove in from Amarillo), then miles of what appears to be nothing but death, then BOOM! A big-ass beautiful canyon, right smack in the middle of nowhere.

    If you haven't, be sure to hit up Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. It's a bit smelly and trashed, but still worth seeing.

    Within a few hours of Palo is Capulin Volcano, and Great Sand Dunes. Two bucket listers for everyone. Not MTB related.
    We rode and camped Cap rock last Thanksgiving, and was a pretty good time, beside getting stuck by a small heard of bison for a half hour or so. We only stayed one night as a rest stop between other destinations. The trails we rode were pretty fun, but I think we missed as much as we rode. I have visited Cadillac ranch and the dunes. Both pretty rad.

    We are looking forward to this trip and crossing or fingers that the burn ban lifts by this weekend even though I don't have a lot of hope for that. Supposed to be cool enough to use a little heat at night time but we shall see.
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  12. #12
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    As Keith said, give a report when you make it back.
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    So we made it back in one piece and I figured I would post a quick reply.... I will post more with some the trail routes and pictures this evening. We had a killer time camping and riding, the trails where all pretty rad, a good mix of everything. We made our routes for riding as much as we could always leaving and ending as close to possible at our campsite. We covered almost every trail in the park. Nothing was overly technical, and I would defiantly recommend hitting this place. we plan on going back to hit some stuff we missed in the upper north portion of the canyon. Was a good challenge and experience.
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  14. #14
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    Looking forward to some details.

    Did you camp in the park?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Looking forward to some details.

    Did you camp in the park?
    Yes in the fortress cliff campground. It was nice, for a car camping site, typical SP site I will post up some pictures of that as well. Wife picked it as a good central location to hop on a couple different trails within a 1/4 mile to get to other loops and return on different trails as well. Worked out well. We like to avoid using cars, phones, etc. when we camp, as much as possible. Although we took a 2 min drive to get a much needed shower Sat night. People warned us about the horse flies and gnats in the canyon. Those things are no joke. As soon as it warms up in the morning, the little SOBs come in with numbers and take no prisoners until the temp drops at sun down. Not so much of a problem out on the trails.
    I don't always listen to slayer, but when I do so do the neighbors.

  16. #16
    CXK
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    Sorry to piggy back on this thread but I'm considering going next Thursday and Friday. As usual when I visit areas that don't get a ton of rain...rain is predicted. It should all hit the same day I arrive and not on the day I'll do the most of my riding. It says .10 of a inch at the moment, is that enough rain to cause trail problems? I ask because I've seen a review of the trails say don't go if its rained recently. I need to make my decision soon so I can schedule work if were not going.
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  17. #17
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    For that question, you might be better off by contacting the park.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    For that question, you might be better off by contacting the park.
    I guess ill do that before we decide on going. Its frustrating, I swear every time we've planned this trip something goes wrong weather wise. I think this is the 3rd "Ok were going this date" that gets cancelled last minute.
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  19. #19
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    Photos? Don't keep us in suspense dude!

  20. #20
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    sorry for the delay, I got slammed with work, and riding after work a lot so I just spaced on posting the photos.... I will get them up tonight.
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  21. #21
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    Looking forward to seeing them.
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  22. #22
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    I raced at Palo Duro yesterday. Course included Comanche, Paseo and the new Kiowa trail. I had a blast.

    I've ridden there a couple of times and it never fails to disappoint. I don't have any pictures of the view bit here's a few from the race.
    Palo Duro canyon advice-18156558_1512413835490216_6481038325001709058_o.jpg
    Palo Duro canyon advice-2640.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Palo Duro canyon advice-fb_img_1493085101382.jpg  


  23. #23
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    PDC is my home away from home.
    The new Kiowa trail is pretty awesome. My favorite is to climb Rock Garden to the Comanche intersection then go down the south end of Comanche. It flows a lot better and there's not as much climbing. From there you can pick up Cliffside, Capitol then GSL. From there cross the road and ride the loop you rode during the race.
    Anytime any of you are there most of us take off from the Chinaberry parking lot. That's the place to get information and meet the locals.

  24. #24
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    glad to hear palo duro's treating everyone well. I will be passing through and plan to get a ride in. Trying to decide which bike to take.

    Anyone want to weigh in...
    short travel 29er, more of an xc rig
    Or
    Long travel 27.5, more of a trail rig

    I've been watching YouTube videos and the trails seem pretty tame. I'm leaning towards the 29er. Any suggestions from those that know the trail are appreciated.

  25. #25
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    No clue, but my dad and I will be there this weekend. I'm taking my 575 and he will have his '15 5010. I prefer more squish when I'm going to places I have never been normally. Though it is my only full suspension bike, so I don't get a choice anyway.
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  26. #26
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    I ended up taking the 29er. Had a great time. I would say the value is in the scenery. Trails were nice, nothing special, but the views were worth the trip.

    I'm glad I took the 29er. There were some decent climbs on the rock garden trail that I was glad to have the 29er for.

    Saw one rattlesnake.

    I will be back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Palo Duro canyon advice-img_3253.jpg  

    Palo Duro canyon advice-img_3263.jpg  


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