Palo Duro Canyon hiking trails closed - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Palo Duro Canyon hiking trails closed

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

Trails at Palo Duro Canyon are closed to hikers following severe storms over the weekend.

Cooler days like today are perfect for hiking at Palo Duro Canyon. However, that wasn't the case for today.

Parks Resource Trail Manager Mark Hassell says heavy rains made the trails muddy and dangerous for visitors.

"The trails are just kind of sloppy right now, we're giving them a few days to dry out," said Hassell. "If you've been out on them, you'll notice you get about six inches taller cause you're picking up all this wet sand." 

Hassell and other rangers are hoping mother nature helps dry out the trails before a crew is sent in to fix them. He says every time a big rain comes it's normal for the river to overflow.
"When we get heavy rains like that, it come over the banks and catches some of the old channels and will roll down the road." said Hassell.

The water from the river flowed through channels before exiting out into the main river causing the river to overflow its banks and onto the main streets .

Hassell says this isn't the first time trails have flooded. In the past, campgrounds and day use areas, like the Sunflower and Cottonwood, have been forced to close permanently due to massive rains .

"Sunflower campground, flood took it out probably going on 20 years ago," said Hassell. "Same way with the old Cottonwood day use area which was everybody's favorite down here. It use to have big Cottonwoods, and it flooded one time."

Hassell says if you do venture out to the canyon this weekend, remember to watch for storms that may create flash floods.

"If you are out here, kinda keep an eye on the weather," said Hassell. "If you're up on them, some of our trails do go up some of these side canyons, and I'm sure the flash floods kinda roll through there real quick. So, if you do get down here and you do see a wall of water kinda heading your way climb up to safety."

Hassell also encourages people to use common sense. Remember, 'Turn Around, Don't Drown'

"If you see water on the road don't try to drive through it, cause you never know how deep it is," said Hassell. "You know, turn around don't drown as they tell us."

Rangers hope to have the water cleared out and back open for the public this weekend.

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