Calendar of Events

October 22, 2016 - 10:00am to 4:00pm -- History Day

History Day 2016

History comes alive at Palo Duro Canyon State Park’s annual History Day!

Come experience a walk through the past with living history reenactors, interpretive talks, guided hikes and so much more. In just one visit to Palo Duro Canyon State park, you can:

- Experience live firing of a real artillery piece and historic small arms

- Witness a breathtaking performance by the Kwahadi Indian Dancers at 11:00am.

- Take a walk through the past with reenactments from the Frontier Regiment of the High Plains, the TPWD Buffalo Soldiers, the 1st Texas Light Artillery and others

- Learn to throw an atlatl and win a prize in the throwing contest

- Chow down on some delicious food from local food trucks

- Enjoy some cowboy poetry with the Southwest Cowboy Poets Association

- Play exciting Native American and pioneer games

- Experience the canyon first hand on a guided nature walk on the Pioneer Nature Trail

- Find out how to knap flint weapons and tools

- Explore the many uses of the American Bison

- See first hand the kind of hard work that the Civilian
Conservation Corp put into building your park

- Learn how the Lords of the Plains, the Comanche Indians, made their living on the Llano Estacado

Come be a part of our history in the making as we celebrate our biggest History Day yet!

Prepare: Dress for the weather and wear good walking shoes or boots. Water will be available to drink from the fountains, but feel free to bring cold drinks of your own.

Meet: The event takes place at the Mack Dick Group Pavilion and surrounding area. Parking is located there as well, with overflow parking across the street if necessary.

Fees: Regular park entry fees($5 per adult, children 12 & under are free). No charge for this event.

October 29, 2016 - 5:30pm -- The Hiking Dead: Zombie Survival Hike

Due to overwhelming interest and a huge turnout at our first Zombie Survival Hike (more than 160 people!), this hike is now being done by reservation only.

To make reservations, please call or email the park interpreter at (806) 488-2227, x2067 or

December 17, 2016 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm -- Christmas in the Canyon Balloon Glow

What do Santa Claus, hot air balloons and live music have in common? It must be time for Christmas in the Canyon!

This fun, family-friendly event lasts from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Activities include...

- Enter the park for free and help out folks in need! Free entry into the park after 4:00pm with a donation of nonperishable food items, to benefit the High Plains Food Bank

- See the canyon glow from within when the hot air balloons light up the night

- Relax to the sounds of The Dryland Dreamers as they perform throughout the evening

- Make sure you’ve been good boys and girls since Santa Claus will be here for photos

- Rock out with the Oakdale Elementary honor choir as they perform their annual Christmas show

- Kids can create their own lasting souvenir when they make a Palo Duro Mouse ornament

- After you watch the balloons glow in the cold, come inside for a cup of delicious hot chocolate

Prepare: Bring a donation of nonperishable food items (at least one item per person - more is always welcome!) to gain free entry into the park after 4:00pm. Be sure to dress for the weather, and wear shoes that are good for walking around the area.

Meet: This event will take place at the Mack Dick Group Pavilion, the first building on the left once you reach the floor of the canyon. Parking will be available in that lot, with overflow parking available across the street at the Pioneer Amphitheater.

Fees: Regular park entry fees will apply before 4:00pm ($5 per adult, kids 12 and under free). After 4:00pm, entrance fees will be waived with a donation of at least one nonperishable food item per person. All food donations will benefit the High Plains Food Bank.

December 31, 2016 - 11:30pm -- First Day Hike

Ring in the new year in a whole new way, and start the year off on the right foot… Literally!

Come celebrate the new year at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. We will meet at 11:30pm for traditional New Year’s luck food of black eyed peas and corn bread, all made the old fashioned way in a Dutch Oven. We will count down the new year at midnight and then take the very first hike of 2017!

Prepare: Dress warmly for the weather, wear good hiking shoes or boots and bring water to drink on the hike. No pets are allowed in the state building, but you can leave them in your vehicle and then take them on the hike if you would like. All pets must be leashed and friendly!

Meet: At the Mack Dick Group Pavilion, the first building on the left once you reach the floor of the canyon. Food and the countdown will be inside, and the hike will take place on the Lower Comanche Trail.

Fees: Regular park entry fees ($5 per adult, children 12 & under are free). No charge for this event.

January 1, 2017 - 5:00pm -- First Day Sunset Hike

Come help us close out the first day of the new year in a most healthy and beautiful way: with a sunset hike in Palo Duro Canyon! This hike will take us out onto Triassic Mesa, one of the most scenic spots in the park. We will enjoy a panoramic view of the canyon and of the sun as it sets on day number one of 2017. This hike will be just over a mile in length over a mix of easy and moderate difficulty trail.

Prepare: Wear good hiking shoes or boots, dress right for the weather, bring water to drink and a flashlight or headlamp for after it gets dark.

Meet: At the scenic overlook parking lot, ¾ of a mile inside the park gates.

Fees: Regular park entry fees ($5 per adult, children 12 & under are free). No charge for this event.

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