Contact
 
 
County
Briscoe
Region
Panhandle Plains
Nearby
Parks
Caprock Canyons Texas State Park
null
Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway Information:
This 13,960 acre park is located 100 miles southeast of Amarillo in Briscoe County. It features Lake Theo and the 64 mile Caprock Canyons State Trailway, a converted railroad bed (part of the Rails to Trails program) which was donated to the park in 1992 from a railroad entrepreneur. Clarity tunnel, located approximately 4.5 miles southwest of Monk’s Crossing, was the last operating railroad tunnel in the state, and was one of 6 railroad tunnels constructed in Texas. During the summer this tunnel is home to a colony of Mexican Free-tailed bats. The best bat viewing time is August and September. This park is the sister park to Palo Duro Canyons State Park, and though smaller in size, many consider Caprock to be more beautiful, though both parks are stunningly beautiful. Wildlife includes mule and white-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, a few pronghorn antelope, raccoon, African Aoudad sheep, opossums, porcupine, foxes, jackrabbits, and lizards and snakes, including the prairie rattlesnakes. Black-tailed Prairie Dogs were reintroduced to the park’s Honey Flat area as part of a prairie restoration project to return the park’s landscape and wildlife back to its appearance prior to European settlement. Visiting the prairie dog town is a favorite activity. Over 175 species of birds have been recorded at the park, including the rarely seen Golden Eagle. 700 acres of the park is home to a remnant of Charles Goodnight’s historic American Bison herd that he and his wife Mary saved in the 1870s. This herd is now the official Texas State Bison Herd. Lake Theo, formed by the damming of Holmes Creek, is home to waterfowl. If you wish to see tumbleweeds, this is the place to be. The Little Red River (creek) flows through the park. For more park information read the park brochure, watch the park video and bison video. Park entrance and camping fees apply.The park is located on FM 1065, 3.5 miles north of Quitaque off SH 86.  Caprock Canyons State Park Facilities Map
 
Texas State Bison Herd at Caprock Canyons State Park:
According to the March 2011 article in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine featuring the park’s bison herd (American Bison), in 1994 the state was considering taking over the last remnants of Charles Goodnight’s wild bison herd that was located on the JA Ranch. The problem was the ranch did not know where the herd was located. A plane was used to scout for the herd, but when the herd was spotted, the herd thundered off. In 1996, the ranch donated the herd to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the herd was moved to the park. Since that time the 79 member herd is undergoing dramatic changes. A breeding project has been undertaken to introduce more genetic diversity to the herd and ensure its survival. The bison now have 700 acres to roam. As time and money allows, the territory will be expanded to cover more of the parkland, a territory that once belonged to the JA Ranch. This may be the last genetically pure bison herd in the U.S. the American Bison is only distantly related to the American Buffalo. The herd may be viewed from a distance from the Visitor Center overlook.  Bison Video      
 
Little Red River:
This thirty mile long intermittent river is formed by the confluence of the North Prong and South Prong Little Red River in the Llano Estacado in southeastern Briscoe County. It flows northeast for 30 miles to its mouth on the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River in Hall County. It flows through the equestrian area of the Caprock Canyons State Park. 
 
Lake Theo, 120 Surface Acres:
In 1972, Folsom points associated with Pleistocene age bison were found lakeside. Further excavations unearthed more Folsom and Plano age artifacts associated with two different Pleistocene bison bone beds. It is believed the site was a bison butchering camp. Lithic artifacts from the site include projectile points, end and side scrapers, gravers, knives, projectile-point preforms, and abraders. Artifacts and records of the discoveries are located in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.
 
Caprock Canyons State Park Directions:
The park is located on FM 1065, 3.5 miles north of Quitaque off SH 86.