One thing is for sure after I climbed the mountains in the Palo Dura Canyon, I’m not exercising for a VERY long time. At first, I didn’t think this was going to be that bad of a hike. The trails I’ve gone on in the GTA back in Canada are pretty flat or don’t stay steep for long. Also, I never have to feel like I’m being baked alive in the GTA. The different between trails in Texas and GTA are very different. Luckily, through all the exhaustion, I was able to get some bomb pictures.
If you’re planning on visiting the Palo Dura Canyon, I recommend the trail I went, which is supposedly the main trail there: The Lighthouse Trail. The standard trail is about 6 miles, but many people like us venture off the trail to explore and climb up a few mountains to appreciate the views. I’d say in total, we hiked and climbed about 7-8 miles in the Palo Dura Canyon.
The interesting contrast I found while hiking was how dry everything was compared to trails in the GTA. GTA trails are very green, can be moist, and can have many rivers, waterfalls, or lakes. Meanwhile in the Palo Dura Canyon, it literally looked like Mars, haha. So dusty, dry, and very red (especially through my sunglasses). Well, you can have a look at it yourself and determine hows Mars-like it is from my photos. Haha.
Above is actually one of the first mountains we climbed when entering the trail. Climbing this seriously exhausted me right at the beginning of the Palo Dura Canyon trail. The ground was mostly gravel, so it was similar to trying to climb up sand. This was also extensively steep. We definitely had to take a short break at this point to catch our breaths, drink some water, and prepare for the rest of the hike.
A side note, I clearly didn’t think this hike was going to be so difficult. I highly underestimated it from the hikes I’ve gone on in the GTA. So you can tell, I wasn’t so serious when I was prepping for the hike and brought a small swing bag instead of a backpack that I could have held water bottles and snacks in.
The hike past and up the final mountain was interesting. We accidentally took the harder route up with little footing because we figured it’d be easier for the dog we were hiking with to climb up. We ended up hitting a dead end from which we had to hold on to and climb sideways to reach the ledge to get up. When we finally made it, the view was phenomenal of the Palo Dura Canyon.
Overall, this hike was so much fun. Even though I couldn’t move the next day, it was totally worth it. I can’t wait to explore more of Texas while I’m here. Hopefully there are more fun places like the Video Game Museum, Botanical Garden, and Sculpture Garden.
Where’s the hardest hike you’ve gone on?