CANYON Population- 11,851 Altitude. 3,566
Sunset in Canyon Texas
Sunset in Cayon taken by Tycen Klemer


Canyon originated in1878 as a headquarters for the huge T. Anchor Ranch. Canyon is the current seat of Randa County and the gateway to the spectacular Palo Duro Canyon State Park, also the home of West Texas State A&M University.

Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge-

One of the major waterfowl refuges on the Central Flyway, the 7,677-acre refuge is a winter haven for a million ducks and 80,000 geese. Once known as Tierra Blanca Water Conservation Project, the lake now holds very little water but refuge about 12 miles west continues to draw visitors on its interpretive walking trail and 4,5-mile auto interpretive trail. Activities include picnicking, sightseeing, birding, nature study, photography, and campsites with tables, grills - no water or electricity. Open daily 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Refuge headquarters 3 miles south of Umbarger on FM, i68.

The mighty Palo Duro Canyon State Park.Palo Duro Canyon State Park-

One of the state's largest state parks, 15,103 acres amid scenic landscape of Palo Duro Canyon, On the tabletop expanse of the Texas High Plains, a branch of the Red River has carved tile incredible spires and pinnacles of Palo Duro. Walls plunge a thousand feet to the canyon floor, exposing brilliant multicolored strata. Camping, picnicking, rest rooms and showers, horseback riding, hiking trails, Sad Monkey miniature train ride, souvenir & snack shop, interpretive center, and amphitheaters where shows are staged during the summer season. About 12 miles east via Texas 217 and Park Road 5. Admission,

Within this park is a historical marker citing the last great Indian battle in Texas. While on a sweep across the High Plains in 1874, the famous Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, leading troops of 4th Cavalry from Fort Richardson (see Jacksboro) discovered a huge camp of Comanche Indians in the canyon. The Indians had escaped from their prison-like reservations and were "menacing" a wide area in Canyon. Colonoel Mackenzie had the advantage of achieving surprise. His troops quickly overran the village and captured some 1,400 horses. The Indians fled to strong points in the wild canyon. In a "master" stroke of tactics, Mackenzie did not try to dislodge the Indians, but instead, he burned the village and slaughtered their horses. Without shelter, provisions or the vital mobility of their horses, the proud plains warriors had no choice but to plod back to their reservations in Oklahoma and spend the rest of their days in captivity.

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum-

On campus of West Texas State A&M University; honors pioneers of Texas' colorful past. Built in 1933, the structure is finished in Texas limestone and features on its facade decorative stoneoi k and carvings. The building bears a State Antiquities Landmark designation awarded for its unique Art Deco architectural style. Entrance doors ornamented with historic brands; fascinating Old West exhibits include chuck wagon, extensive gun collection, prehistoric fossils and wildlife. Other collections show prehistoric Indian cultures, archaeology and Frank Reaugh Collection of Southwestern Art. it's really five museums in one with sections dedicated to petroleum, Western heritage, paleontology, transportation, and art.

A Research Center is open to researchers and contains historic records and photographs documenting the history of the Texas Panhandle and Southwest region.

A museum store offers a wide variety of gift items, including authentic Indian jewelry, cookbooks, rock specimens, posters, and much more.

Don Harrington Petroleum Wing incorporates latest in exhibit design and museum interpretation. Geology, underground tool and oil field displays give viewer feeling of "being there,"

Open Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (6 p.m. June - Aug.), Sun, and holidays (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and the day before, and New Year's Day) I - 6 p.m.

Pioneer Amphitheatre-

This outdoor stage is the setting for "TEXAS," the spectacular outdoor drama by Paul Green, presented nightly except Sundays from late June through late August. Located in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and back dropped by a 600-foot cliff. Cowboys, Indians, and settlers move over huge stage; riders spotlighted on cliff side trails, stereo music echoes through the canyon, and a finale that you will remember for a long time! Nationally acclaimed! Show begins at 8:30 P.M. CDT. Barbecue dinner (fee) served nightly before show. Separate admission for the park and show, but free park admission after 5:30 p.m. for those attending show. All seats reserved; advance reservations advisable. Canyon nights are cool even in midsummer, (a warm blanket and/or jacket is recommended). Tickets are available at theatre, also at "TEXAS" Information Office, 2010 4th Avenue (Texas 217) in Canyon. (806)655-2181.



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