Trails Information

Natural beauty surrounds you in the canyons beneath the Caprock Escarpment.

Large bison standing on a prairie
American bison

“Hay sierras debajo de los llanos” (there are mountains below the plains) was a common phrase used by early Mexican travelers who crossed through the area. Today you can hike, bike, or ride horseback on more than 25 miles of trails through the scenic canyons, observe native prairie wildlife, and witness nature’s greatest living symbol of the American West, the official Texas State Bison Herd.

Trails

All trails are multiuse unless otherwise indicated.

This list may not include all trails in the park.

Trail Distance Time Difficulty Description
Eagle Point Trail  2.0 mi. 1.5 hrs. Moderate Experience the scenic transition from plains to canyons down to the Natural Bridge, where erosion has carved a natural “tunnel” underneath the trail.
Canyon Rim Trail  3.0 mi. 2.5 hrs. Moderate Travel along the rim overlooking Holmes Creek Canyon and into the mixed-grass prairie to view wildlife in their native habitat. Enjoy scenic canyon views as the trail continues further down the Caprock escarpment.
Old Ranch Road  5.9 mi.
(round trip)
4.5 hr. Moderate Named for the park’s ranching heritage, this trail offers hiking in the canyonland breaks where cattle and cowboy roamed.
Wild Horse Trail  2.3 mi. 1.5 hrs. Moderate Horseback ride or hike on your descent into the Little Red River to take in spectacular canyon views sculpted by wind and water.
Lower South Prong Trail 2.2 mi. 2 hrs. Moderate View the brilliant white veins of gypsum exposed by the flow of water along the creek bed as you travel through portions of the Little Red River.
Lower North Prong  2.9 mi. 2 hrs. Moderate Hike or horseback ride this trail to see the scenic canyon views of the north side of the park where the remote landscape brings you closer to nature.
Mesa Trail  3.1 mi.
(round trip)
2 hrs. Easy As its name implies, this easy trail circles around a flat-topped hill with a vantage point offering spectacular views of the southeast portion of the park.
North Prong Spur 1.3 mi. 1 hr. Moderate This multiuse trail ascends up the “saddle” where primitive camping and the Haynes Ridge, Upper North Prong, and Lower North Prong trails can be accessed.
Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail  2.3 mi. 2.5 hrs. Very Challenging Enjoy unmatched views of the Caprock landscape on our most popular trail leading up to the highest portion of the park. This trail offers a gratifying hiking challenge that is well worth the effort to traverse the 600-foot ascent.
Upper South Prong 2.6 mi. 2 hrs. Challenging Journey on a hike through time. See exposed geologic formations and rock fins millions of years in the making, and spectacular canyon views.
Upper North Prong  2.0 mi. 2 hrs. Challenging Follow this trail where erosion has sculpted beautiful hoodoos such as the “Last Dance” into amazing works of art. Continue down the trail to enjoy an oasis of maidenhair ferns and natural springs at scenic “Fern Cave.”
List of Trails

Points of Interest

GPS coordinates shown in decimal degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude Description
Fern Cave 34.4631° -101.1147° Here you will find natural springs that have created the ideal habitat for ferns growing along a scenic canyon overhang.
The Last Dance 34.4615° -101.0960° View a “hoodoo” geologic formation resembling a couple in a dance-like pose.
The Natural Bridge 34.4361° -101.0672° Walk under the Eagle Point Trail where nature has created a “natural bridge.” Stop at the wooden bench and use the small trail to walk underneath and through the Natural Bridge.
Folsom Historical Site 34.4152° -101.0705° Here you will find yourself going back 10,000 years to learn about the Folsom people and this unique archeological site. Be sure to visit the Interpretive Amphitheater Pavilion later, to check out the replica of the archeological feature found at the site.
The Prairie 34.4100° -101.0616° View the official Texas State Bison Herd in the restored mixed-grass prairie.
Honey Flat Prairie Dog Town 34.4212° -101.0538° Observe the quirky and amusing behavior of the black-tailed prairie dog in its natural habitat.
Holmes Creek Canyon 34.4199° -101.0475° Walk along the Canyon Rim Trail and enjoy spectacular views of the creek below.
Wildlife Viewing Blind 34.4152° -101.0733° Spend some quiet moments viewing a variety of native wildlife in a secluded portion of the park.
List of Points of Interest

Staying Safe

  • Know your limits. Prepare for sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent and appropriate clothing/hiking shoes.
  • Drink plenty of water. Your body quickly loses fluids when you’re on the trail. Bring a quart of water per hour of activity.
  • Tell others where you’ll be. If possible, avoid exploring alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Wear a helmet when biking. Check with park HQ to match the trail to your skill level. Wear a helmet to protect yourself in case of a crash.
  • Do not approach bison. Bison are wild. Stay at least 50 yards away. Never surround, crowd, approach or follow bison or any other park wildlife.

Trail Etiquette

  • Trash your trash. Keep the park natural. Pack out all of your trash and Leave No Trace.
  • Leave feeding to nature. Feeding wild animals will make them sick and more likely to harm people.
  • Take only memories and pictures. Please don’t disturb or remove any of the park’s plants, animals or artifacts.
  • Keep pets on leashes for their safety, and to protect wildlife.
  • Please stay on designated trails.