Originated in 1878 as headquarters for huge T Anchor Ranch; seat
of Randall County and gateway to spectacular Palo Duro Canyon
State Park; home of West Texas State A&M University.
BUFFALO LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK
PANHANDLE PLAINS HISTORICAL MUSEUM
- BUFFALO LAKE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
- One of the major waterfowl refuges on the Central Flyway, the
7,t677 acre refuge is a winter haven for a million ducks and 80,000
geese. Once known as Tierra Blanca Water Conservation Project,
the lake now holds very little water but refuge about 12 miles
west continues to draw visitors on its interpretive walking trail
and 4.5 mile auto interpretive rail. Activities include picnicking,
sightseeing, birding, nature study, photography, and campsites
with tables, grills - no water or electricity. Open daily from
8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Refuge headquarters; 3 miles south of Umbarger
on F.M. 168.
- PALO DURO CANYON STATE PARK
- One of the state's largest state parks. 15,103 acres amid scenic
landscape of Palo Duro Canyon. On the tabletop expanse of the
Texas High Plains, a branch of the Red River has carved the incredible
spires and pinnacles of Palo Duro. Walls plunge a thousand feet
to the canyon floor, exposing brilliant multicolored strata. Camping,
picnicking rest rooms and showers, horseback riding, hiking trails,
Sad Monkey miniature train ride, souvenir and snack shop, interpretive
center, and amphitheater where shows are staged during the summer
season. About 12 miles east via Texas 217 and Park Road 5. Admission
Within park is historical marker citing last great Indian
battle in Texas. On a sweep across the High Plains in 1874, the
famous Col. Ronald S. Mackenzie, leading troops of 4th Cavalry
from Fort Richardson discovered huge camp of Comanches in the
canyon. The Indians had broken from their reservations and were
menacing a wide area. Achieving surprise, troops quickly overran
the village and captured some 1,400 horses. The Indians fled to
strong points in canyon. In a master stroke of tactics Mackenzie
did not try to dislodge the Indians, but burned the village and
slaughtered their horses; the proud plains warriors had no choice
but to plod back to their reservations in Oklahoma.
- PANHANDLE PLAINS HISTORICAL MUSEUM
- On campus of West Texas State A&M University honors pioneers
of Texas' colorful past. Entrance doors ornamented with historic
brands, fascinating Old West exhibits include chuck wagon, extensive
gun collection, prehistoric fossils and wildlife. Other collections
show prehistoric Indian cultures, archaeology and Frank Reaugh
Collection of Southwestern Art.
Don Harrington Petroleum Wing, opened in 1986, incorporates
latest in exhibit design and museum interpretation. Geology, underground
tool and oil field displays give viewer feeling of "being
there". Open Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (6 p.m. June -
August). Sunday and holidays (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and
the day before, and New Year's Day) 1 to 6 p.m.
- PIONEER AMPHITHEATER - Setting
for "TEXAS' spectacular outdoor drama by Paul Green, presented
nightly except Sundays from late June through late August. Located
in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, backdropped by 600 foot cliff.
Cowboys, Indians, and settlers move over huge stage; riders spotlighted
on cliffside trails, stereo music echoes through the canon. Nationally
acclaimed show. Separate admission for the park and show, but
free; park admission after 5:30 p.m. for those attending the
show. All seats reserved; advance reservations advisable. Canyon
nights are cool even in midsummer, and a wrap is recommended.
Tickets available a theater, also at "TEXAS" Information
Office, 1514 5th Avenue, Canyon, Texas 79015.Ticket prices from Monday through Friday are $7, $12, and $14 dollars. On Friday and Saturday the prices are $8, $14, and $16. A barbeque dinner starts from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m and the price is $6.50. The play starts at 8:30 p.m. Checks and Cash are accepted. NO credit cards. Call 806-655-2181.
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