64 miles (one way)
out and back
$3 per person 13 and older/day use (annual pass available for $70)
Grundy Canyon Trail
| Kent Creek Trail | Oxbow Trail
Los Lingos Trail | Plains Junction Trail | Quitaque Canyon Trail
The Caprock Canyons Trailway is a 64-mile section of former railbed that stretches from the top of the Caprock escarpment in the Panhandle to the Red River Valley. ~TPWD
Leaving Floydada, Texas
and realizing it is the biggest town you'll see for the rest of the
day makes you feel like you have finally found the REAL Texas.
And you have. Farms and ranches dominate the view; 360 degrees, 100
miles. Seems like a strange place for getting a great ride in, but it
Park at the marked lot on the east side of Hwy 207 and slip your dollar bills in the paybox. Double check you've got the slime-filled tubes, water, cell phone, and camera.
First two miles are grassy rails-to-trail gravel through local farms. Wave to the farmers and they wave right back. Your car is perfectly safe around these parts. You'll cross a few wooden bridges over crevices that hint at the canyonland ahead. After the third or fourth bridge, keep an eye out on the left for a nest of barn owls in the soft canyon walls.
You'll see state-maintained water tanks to refill your bottles. Check to see that there's some in there on your way down.
Best ride is the slightly downhill grade from the place marker in South Plains 12 miles to the Clarity Tunnel to camp. On summer nights hundreds of thousands of bats fly out looking for supper. Owls are perched at the tunnel mouth and will swoop down, pluck a bat from the sky, take it to the nest, and come back to do it over and over. If you listen closely you can hear the pitter-patter of guano as it hits the tent in the morning.
Scenery past the tunnel is sparse. You'll pass Quitaque (Kitt-a-kway) and Turkey (home of Bob Wills and nice lodging) but it's all flat from here to the end. Either of these towns makes a nice "take out point" or a spot to refuel and head back up the grade to South Plains.
~ CRXPilot (Apr 2009)