Called the Grand Canyon of Texas by many people, Palo Duro Canyon (the 132nd camp of my Photo Odyssey and first major photography stop of my Winter 2007/8 tour) might lack the immense scale and scope of Arizona's Grand Canyon, but if one disregards the comparison, Palo Duro Canyon in its own way is equally beautiful and far more accessible. Our camp was in the canyon itself.
I find Palo Duro Canyon something of a mix between a vastly scaled down Grand Canyon and the red rock country around Sedona, Arizona. Like Sedona, Palo Duro Canyon has a lot of red rock, but none of Sedona’s striking formations, and unlike the Grand Canyon, the floor of Palo Duro is not barren but covered with trees, cactus, and other plant life, so Palo Duro is actually unique to itself, at least in my experience.
The most startling feature of Palo Duro Canyon though is that it was carved out of the high plains (Llano Estacado) of the Texas panhandle – where the surrounding countryside is flat as a pancake and in many ways, equally as boring visually – and when one first sees the canyon in that setting, appearing almost as an apparition, the sight is almost unreal.