A Guide to Texas Panhandle

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The Texas Panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by New Mexico and Oklahoma. It includes northernmost 26 counties and has a land area of 25,823.89 sq. mi, or you can say it covers nearly 10% of the state’s total area. An extra 62.75 square miles is covered by water. The Panhandle is slightly larger than West Virginia.

Panhandle-Plains_Historical_Museum_in_Canyon_Texas_USA

More than 72% of this area’s residents live in the Amarillo Metropolitan Area, one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the region. Texas Panhandle is also one of the fastest-growing wind power-producing regions because it receives strong, steady winds.

One can view the breathtaking canyons in this region along with the Old West heritage that is still preserved in this area today.

Texas Panhandle has mostly grassy, flat plains or land. These plains are a part of the same flat grassland, which is sometimes also called Staked Plains or the Llano Estacado. The land is on a flat, high plateau and is mainly treeless. However, the Panhandle’s eastern part, called a rolling plain, is lower in elevation and is not utterly flat.

The eastern half is brushy, and there is more rainfall in this region. The tributaries and rivers carved deep canyons strikingly divide the eastern and western parts of the Panhandle. Moreover, Caprock Canyons State Parks and Palo Duro Canyon fall in this region. The remarkable canyons, carved by rivers, are sometimes called inverted mountains. It is because the land is flat until you reach the steep and long canyons.

Major Rivers of the Texas Panhandle include Colorado, Canadian, Red, Pecos, and Brazos.

Major Aquifers include Seymour, Alluvium, Pecos, Ogallala, Nacotoch, Cenozoic, and Edwards-Trinity.

Vegetation: Honey mesquite, Western soapberry, prairie crabapple, silver agarita, prickly-pear cactus, sugarberry, Bur oak, Mtn. mahogany, eastern red cedar, acacia, plains cottonwood, peach-leaf willow, chokecherry, saltbush, fragrant sumac, and Texas poppy-mallow

Major Cities and Towns of Texas Panhandle

  • Amarillo
  • Abilene
  • Borger
  • Brownwood
  • Boys Ranch
  • Canyon
  • Clarendon
  • Dumas
  • Hereford
  • Lubbock
  • Lamesa
  • Muleshoe
  • Midland
  • Memphis
  • Perryton
  • Pampa
  • Paducah

Wildlife of Texas Panhandle

Texas Panhandle has a wide variety of wild animals that include swift fox, pinyon mouse, snowy plover, plains hognose snake, roadrunner, prairie dog, Swainson’s hawk, burrowing owl, thirteen-lined ground squirrel, mule deer, badger, black-capped vireo, and western diamondback rattlesnake.

Moreover, you will also find some rare animals and habitats in this part of the state, including Texas Kangaroo, Palo Duro mouse, and black-footed ferret.

Things to Do in Texas Panhandle

Panhandle plains, the rectangular region at the very northernmost part of Texas, gives Texas its unique shape and offers tourists an excellent experience. Panhandle plains provide the visitors with the opportunity to partake in many substantial outdoor recreational activities. Moreover, it is also the home to several iconic landmarks and towns, such as Cadillac Ranch and Abilene.

The family-friendly vacation destinations feature attractive Palo Dura Canyon, the United State’s second-biggest Canyon, and famous parks.

Camp and Hike at the Palo Duro Canyon

Palo_Duro_Canyon_State_Park_2002

Palo Duro Canyon, one of the most splendid natural attractions in the country, lies in the Texas Panhandle’s heart, north of Canyon’s town. A fork of the Red River designed the Canyon – it was one of the earliest places where Texans used to leave. Palo Duro Canyon, also called the Grand Canyon of Texas, is over 800 feet deep, 20 miles wide, and 120 miles long.

The attraction is a part of 30,000 acres of Palo Dura Canyon State Park, and it spans between the towns of Silverton and Canyon. Camping, bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking are among the most well-liked activities, including wagon rides and horseback tours.

Visit Iconic Amarillo

Amarillo_Skyline_at_Dusk_in_January_2018

Amarillo’s frequent breezes and an altitude of over 1,118 meters (3,670 feet) make it a great family vacation destination. The town is well-known for some of its unique attractions, including Wonderland Amusement Park, the well-admired Cadillac Ranch, the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, and the Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian.

Moreover, tourists can also enjoy international cuisine – be it pizza, sushi, or Mexican food.

Delight in the Abilene

Abilene_from_the_Enterprise_Building

By highlighting the magic of literature of children at a yearly event and appealing destination, Abilene earned the name the Official Storybook Capital of America. The city is well-known for its famous and unique museum, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. In this museum, you can attend free family art activities or view the displays by award-winning illustrators.

Storybook Sculptures characters is another significant stop to explore in Downtown Abilene. You can find the sculptures at various locations, including the Abilene Public Library, the T&P Depot, Everman Park, and many others.

See Bats and Bison at Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway

Caprock_Canyons_Haynes_Ridge_2005

For tourists seeking natural beauty, Caprock Canyon State Park &Trailway in the small Panhandle city of Quitaque is a favorite stop. It includes outdoor recreation, wildlife viewing, and an abundance of wildflowers in spring. The tourists get to see the Mexican free-tailed bats flying around the Clarity Tunnel and Bison roaming over ten thousand acres.

For biking and hiking, all of the 90 miles of trails are open. Moreover, camping sites are available, including the one available through horseback riding, hiking, and drive-up sites. Also, Lake Theo offers no-wake boating, fishing, and swimming.

Enjoy the Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac_Ranch

Cadillac Ranch, located on I-40, about 12 miles downtown Amarillo’s west, is an art installation and iconic attraction. It consists of ten painted Cadillacs, sowed nose-down into the ground. Moreover, Ant Farm, a California-based group of artists, created the landmark at Amarillo by a millionaire and art patron, Stanley Marsh 3.

To represent the signature tail fins of Cadillac, ten cars with definite years were chosen. In 1997, it moved to its present location due to the ever-expanding city limits. If you want to know how long a Cadillac or other vehicles can reach South Texas from the Texas Panhandle, you can read our article, How Long Is the Drive From the Panhandle of Texas to South Texas?

Conclusion

The Texas Panhandle is one of the best places to go for your extensive stays and family vacations. The region offers hundreds of incredible attractions that captivate tourists from all around the globe. So one thing is sure that you will never get bored there.

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