New Palo Duro Zip Line aims to up tourism at the canyon - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New Palo Duro Zip Line aims to up tourism at the canyon

Posted: Updated:

 For years, the Palo Duro Canyon has been about getting people out to the canyon to explore around inside it. But now, a new attraction, separate from the Palo Duro State Park, is less about taking people down in the canyon, and more about soaring over it.

Zip, glide, fly - whatever you want to call it - a new zip line is taking riders sky high above the Palo Duro Canyon floor. Four hundred sixty-nine feet high to be exact.

"The concept came about two years ago when I saw the property, saw the location, I saw the view that we have from that point," said Mel Smith, general manager for the Palo Duro Zip Line.

Smith opened the budding business Friday and offered first-timers a scenic jeep tour, a spectacular view, and a high speed zip back over the canyon.

"You're not going to be out there for hours hiking, you're not going to be out in the heat for too terribly long," explained Smith. "But you are going to get the thrill of a lifetime."

Commercially, the Palo Duro Zip Line is the only one of its kind in the entire Texas Panhandle, making the quarter-mile zip not only a thrilling experience, but also a great attraction for tourists.

"The canyon is such a great draw itself," said Eric Miller with the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council. "Then you add this zip line experience to all the hiking, to the camping, the horseback riding, to all the bird watching, whatever it is, what a package we have down there in the state park now."

The Palo Duro zip line is located just before the entrance to the state park making it either the perfect start or finish to a trip to the 'Grand Canyon of Texas', and tourist jewel of the Panhandle.

"You always have to be concerned about product development," added Miller. "So, this is important for us to have something new for our visitors to do."

"There's a half million people a year roughly that go through the gate at the state park," said Smith.  "We need to give them something to talk about, something to do, a reason to come off the interstate."

The zip has two lines, side by side, so you can race your friends and it's now open for business.

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Single car wreck kills one man

    Single car wreck kills one man

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:59:01 GMT
    One man is dead after a single car wreck on I-40.Police say Aaron Clay Crawford, 26, died after he was ejected from a vehicle Saturday afternoon.
    One man is dead after a single car wreck on I-40.Police say Aaron Clay Crawford, 26, died after he was ejected from a vehicle Saturday afternoon.
  • One dead after motorcycle wreck

    One dead after motorcycle wreck

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:58:14 GMT
    Around 3 p.m. Saturday, a man was pronounced dead after a wreck involving two motorcycles. Police say two men were traveling south on the Canyon E-way near the Hillside exit when one of the motorcycles stuck the back of a Toyota Camry. One male killed and the other motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital. Both the driver and the passenger in the Toyota were also taken to the hospital with minor injures.
    Around 3 p.m. Saturday, a man was pronounced dead after a wreck involving two motorcycles. Police say two men were traveling south on the Canyon E-way near the Hillside exit when one of the motorcycles stuck the back of a Toyota Camry. One male killed and the other motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital. Both the driver and the passenger in the Toyota were also taken to the hospital with minor injures.
  • Community helps support para-athletics in Amarillo

    Community helps support para-athletics in Amarillo

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:43 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:43:42 GMT
    Back in February we introduced you to Emilee Hibish, now a Senior at River Road High School. For years she was forced to sit on the side line watching her friends compete in sports because she was wheelchair bound. 
    Back in February we introduced you to Emilee Hibish, now a Senior at River Road High School. For years she was forced to sit on the side line watching her friends compete in sports because she was wheelchair bound.