In the beginning of May 2018, my mother and I visited Caprock Canyons State Park outside of Quitaque, Texas, about 100 southeast of Amarillo. Caprock encompasses over 15,000 acres, an abandoned train tunnel that is home to half a million Mexican free-tailed bats, the Texas State Bison Herd, and over 90 miles of trails.
The park is in Texas’ transition zone from rolling plains to high plains, creating the area’s signature canyons. The soils are rich in iron oxide and produce its signature red tint. The flora reflects the environmental conditions of the canyons: arid and extreme in temperature. Winter lows are regularly single digit and summer highs reach over 100.
We began a 9 mile loop trail that traveled up through a canyon to an intermittent waterfall, scaled a steep slope to a ridge, then quickly descended again through a series of slippery switchbacks to our starting point. The following photos are an account of the flora we encountered.