Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



This park isn't anywhere near Austin or the Hill Country, but it's a great Texas outing regardless! The best trai in the park is the Upper Canyon Trail. The Lower Canyon Trail is pretty dull, so my recommendation is to start at the South Prong Tent Camping Area trailhead and head up the Upper Canyon Trail to the Fern Cave. This section of trail is incredibly scenic and it gets very steep and rugged. Be prepared for about a 1000' elevation gain. Then continue along the Upper Canyon Trail to the Canyon Loop Trail which is the short-cut back instead of taking the boring Lower Canyon Trail. The Canyon Loop Trail is very steep going down.

The best camping area in the park is the Little Red Tent Camping Area. These are very scenic spots with lots of room. Try to get spot #56 since it is on the end of the loop and is the largest of the camping spots.

Beware of snakes! There are lots of rattlesnakes in this park - BIG ONES! We had one come into camp one night and someone almost stepped on it, so be careful when walkining in the dark, and keep your tents zipped up!


There's no easy way to get there from Austin, but the general idea is to take 183 and then follow whichever roads you think you'll like the most. The drive is about 7 1/2 hours including stops.

The park is just a short distance from Palo Duro State Park.


Upper Canyon Trail - Resting after a very steep section

Upper Canyon Trail - in the valley before the steep climb up

Walking in the creek bed below the Little Red Tent camping area

The rattlesnake that came to visit us - don't worry, she works for TPDW

©2001-2011 Brian Greenstone