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Palo Duro Canyon

 
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SPINNINCIN
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Joined: 07 May 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:06 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Palo Duro Canyon Reply with quote

Hey Doc - this is not about an injury, but this seemed to be the best place to contact you. I may have occasion to be in the Canyon area June 8-10 and am wondering if you can give me advice on the trails at the park. I plan to ride on Saturday the 9th. Are the trails well marked? Anything else you can advise me on? Wanna ride? Smile Cindy Weisinger
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The Bike Doc
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Joined: 08 May 2003
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Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:58 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cindy:

Depending on your skill level there are some great options. A fun out and back ride with great scenery is the Lighthouse Trail. Well worth the trip, 7 miles total out and back. There are bike racks at the trail end so you can park you bike and hike/climb up to the Lighthouse formation. I have taken my wife (novice rider) and kids (novice to intermediate riders) out there and I have a blast as an experienced rider with the rolling water bars, catching air on the down his runs and cranking through the bob sled like turns. Capital Peak is an EXPERIENCED level ride. Not fot the timid or weak constitution but a great ride for the experienced (around 6 miles). You can make a great loop out of Cliffside trail, Sunflower trail and Juniper trails (about 6 miles, intermediate level). Another great trail is Spicer-Lowery-Givens running trail. This one will make you work-up a major hyperventilating sweat but is quite fun. It starts out with some serious climbing but has great views and is a scream coming back. (about an 8 mile out and back ride). You can do a major epic ride and loop all these above trails together and get in a 26 mile ride. The park headquarters has a great map of all these trails. Hit it early. The temps are in the 50s in the morning and hit the 80s by mid-day. I would recommend staying away from the Equine trail at the end of the park road loop; leave that one for the horse riders. All the trails are multiuser so you have to watch for hickers, runners and an occassional horse. The horse riders tend to stay on the designated Equine trail. Much as I would love to have my kids and I join you, I will be out of town that weekend.

Thanks,
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StumpjumperDave
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Joined: 21 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:59 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spinnin..

I second everything Doc said.. just got back from Palo Duro last weekend, it was in great shape, wild flowers everywhere. definetly take your camera with you on the ride, some beautiful sites out there. watch out for the biting flies.. bug spray with some deet will keep them off you.
and if it looks like rain at all...get off the trail and back to your campsite or out of the canyon if you staying somewhere else or you might get stuck in a flash flood. We barely made it back to camp last weekend before the skies opened up and poured on us.. This was our 2nd Memorial Day weekend trip out there.. last year, it was beyond dry.. this year it was green and perfect. trails dry out very fast if it does rain..

Dave
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SPINNINCIN
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:34 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great information! Thanks to both of you! Cindy
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The Bike Doc
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:46 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how was the trip to Palo Duro Canyon Cindy?

Thanks,
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Redmountainbike
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:43 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Palo Duro Reply with quote

Hey, Cin, Palo Dur (as you probably now know) is a wonderful place. We were there on June 3rd. The canyon itself and the wildflowers were beyond beautiful. We did Lighthouse Trail when we got there, and then Lighthouse & Fox Cayon in the morning. We used the interior trail on the paved loop to get back and forth to our campsite. The only down note were the tan biting flies -- an absolute torment both in camp and on the trails --- they bit us through our bike shorts, and seemed to really enjoy insect repellent.
Also heard that there will be a TMBRA venue there in the fall. Seems like the perfect place for a bike race, since you could put the race course up at the Lighthouse end of the canyon and never have to cross any roads.
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SPINNINCIN
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:09 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Palo Duro was spectacular! Absolutely like riding in a garden! I took beautiful pictures, but don't know how (or if it's possible) to post them here. The trails were wonderfully fun. I took the running trail to the fox loop to cottonwood flats to the lighthouse trail to capitol peaks (met a guy who told me there was some downhill stuff on that section, but I couldn't find it). Took the Cliffside trail to Sunflower, but had trouble following the trail (it was probably hidden under the wildflower blooms) and ultimately bailed out to the road for a few minutes to Paseo del Rio and back to the car. The running trail was my favorite. The trails were fantastic! Is gonna make for a great race - though I almost hate to see large numbers of people go out on that fine narrow singletrack. There were several sections so narrow that I was barely squeezing through the tall grasses and worried a little that it would get tangled in my brake levers. It was AWESOME! Thanks so much for the route suggestions! Cindy
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spinner-spare
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Location: The lake formerly known as Northshore Trail

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:35 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what is the TMBRA race course going to look like?

From your description above, I'm going to guess that you'll probably use either the Cliffside/riverside 6-mile loop (Sunflower/Juniper/Rojo Grande), or...

it also looks like the running trail could link with part of Lighthouse to make a good 8-mile loop.

Am I close? And, any idea which direction will the race run?

Hoping to make it up there to check it all out this weekend...
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The Bike Doc
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:52 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

The race course is not finalized. Last years race used a combination of Capital Peak loop (Sport/Expert), Cliff Side, Riverside and Sunflower trails. There likely will be some variation with this fall's race from lessons learned in last years race. Direction has yet to be determined. These trails ride well in either direction. There will be some hike-n-bike sections in either direction for the sport and expert loops because of the steepness (David Boyd excluded!) Wink

Thanks,
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SPINNINCIN
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:56 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Link to pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9417519@N04/sets/
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spinner-spare
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Location: The lake formerly known as Northshore Trail

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:03 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advance info.

The trails were nice and the scenery was beautiful. It was definitely worth the drive from Dallas, especially with everything here rained out!

I guess I'd say the Cliffside trail was my favorite, but going off the little 2-foot ledge on the way up to Lighthouse was fun too...

See you in September for the race!
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