Palo Duro Canyon is a special place to many of us. My children and I have made spending time in the canyon something we look forward to in the spring and early summer. I was surprised to find out there might be a lot more of the canyon that we're not being allowed to explore.

Just how much of the park at Palo Duro Canyon are we not being allowed to access?

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 Is There Really A Lot Of Land We Can't Access At Palo Duro Canyon?

A post on social media recently referenced a group/website/entity called "Open Palo Duro." In the post they mentioned that there is a massive portion of the park that is closed off to the public. According to them, though, this wasn't always the case.

For instance, you can take the popularity of the Kneeling Camel.

The Iconic, Legendary Camel Of Palo Duro Canyon

Usually, when someone posts on social media about a formation in Palo Duro Canyon, it's the Lighthouse. They've been to it. They've seen. Their grandfather proposed in front of it. They discovered their life's purpose near it. You hear it all when it comes to the Lighthouse.

You never hear about a camel.

Come to find out, there was a very unique formation called the Kneeling Camel. It was so popular that there were even postcards made of it. Good luck seeing it today. It's part of the "back-country" that's closed off to the public.

What All Is In The Palo Duro Back-Country And Why Can't You Go There?

There are formations, canyons, and supposedly there's even a bit of land and a ranch house that was going to be used for meetings and gatherings. Basically, it sounds like a whole second park that's been closed off.

Michael J. Rivera/TSM
Michael J. Rivera/TSM
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The reason(s) why are a bit complicated. There are supposedly some culturally significant sites in that area of the park. Also, ranchers have leased some of the land for grazing. Plus, you have to take into account the ability to hire on more people to help care for and protect that part of the park.

The group Open Palo Duro has a lot of information on their website that you can look through to find out more.

What Is It With The Texas Panhandle And Closed Off "Public" Land?

I get wanting to protect the land. As a person who loves and thrives being in the outdoors, I agree 1,000% that our land needs to be protected. It just seems like the Texas panhandle has an abundance of land that the public should have access to, but doesn't.

For instance, the only, only, BLM land in the whole entire state of Texas is just a few minutes north of Amarillo. Can you go there? Not really. It's a real pain to get to. Should you be able to get there. Yes. It's public land.

Now, supposedly, there's almost a second half of Palo Duro Canyon State Park that's closed off?

It's a shame. It really is. To be cut off the natural wonder and beauty that surrounds us, for whatever reason, is just plain heart breaking.

Fingers crossed we get all of these logistical nightmares cleared up that are keeping us from enjoying the land.

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