In the communities surrounding Caprock Canyons State Park, a variety of other adventures await.
The city of Quitaque, Texas hosts the Comanchero Museum. This museum preserves the history of trade on the Southern Plains. The Comancheros, traders from settlements in New Mexico, traded with the Indian Nations in this area. The museum displays a collection of artifacts from the canyon area’s history. Comanchero Museum CCTG | Comanchero Museum
Each year, Quitaque hosts Bison Fest, or the Texas State Bison Music Festival. This live music event raises money that directly impacts the bison herds of Caprock Canyons. Money raised during the event provides funding for the continuing restoration and preservation of the unique Southern Plains bison.
Turkey, Texas is the home of the legendary Bob Wills, the creator of Western Swing. Turkey boasts a newly remodeled museum that celebrates the life of Bob Wills and tells the story of his music. The museum features memorabilia and artifacts to chronicle the legacy of the King of Western Swing. In addition, live shows featuring some of the greatest names in Western Swing continue the tradition. In addition to the Bob Wills Museum, Turkey is full of historical spots waiting to be explored. The city also hosts Bob Wills Day each year. This annual event is full of family friendly fun from parades and music to food and crafts.
Not far from Quitaque and Turkey is Silverton, Texas. Silverton served as the terminus of the rails for the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway. A small museum can be found in town. Silverton serves as the home of Western Swing artist Jimmy Burson. Burson graduated from Silverton High School and Texas Tech University. In 2012, Burson was named to the Western Swing Hall of Fame. At age 71, Burson still calls Silverton home.Tammy Lynn Penn is a sculptor known for her moving art sculptures. Her innovative pieces aim to highlight the spiritual connection of people with animals. Visitors to the Ghost Horse Gallery in Silverton can view and purchase her work.
Don't forget to check out some of Tammy Penn's work at the Ghost Horse Gallery & Night Owl Espresso and Tea Bar.
Also in the area of Silverton lies Lake Mackenzie Reservoir. The sporting area around the lake offers campsites and dirt biking trails. There are approximately thirty five ATV trails around Lake Mackenzie for sports enthusiasts to enjoy. In times of drought, boating on the lake can be limited. Fishing is permitted from the banks and via boat with a valid fishing license.
A little further north of Caprock Canyons State Park is the city of Canyon, Texas. Canyon is home to West Texas A&M University and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum on the university’s campus. Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is the largest history museum in the state of Texas, serving as home to more than three million artifacts. Permanent museum exhibits include Pioneer Town, antique vehicles, and petroleum industry artifacts. The history of the Plains Indians is well represented as well as exhibits that showcase fossils found in the Amarillo area.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Just a few miles out of Canyon, lies Palo Duro Canyon. Palo Duro Canyon State Park is America’s second largest canyon. Visitors to the canyon can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. The canyon offers sites for camping and picnics. Hiking trails are well marked and offer beautiful views of the area. Wagon rides and campfire breakfasts bring the past to life. In the summer months, Palo Duro Canyon’s amphitheater is home to the musical drama, “Texas.” The musical relates the history of the Texas Panhandle, including the struggles and triumphs of early settlers to the area.
A journey to Caprock Canyons State Park is just the beginning of a journey back to a simpler time. Here the history of the plains comes to life for new generations.