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CCC Trail

 4.5 (6)

Short trail that winds from the Palo Duro Canyon rim to the canyon floor with dramatic views along the way.

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Point to Point

3,401' 1,037 m


2,919' 890 m


66' 20 m


549' 167 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife


The CCC Trail starts from a turnout on the Palo Duro Canyon rim, very near the Visitor Center. There are many small paths going down into the canyon from here, so carefully make sure to get on the CCC Trail. Basically, go northwest on the wide path that follows the road into the canyon. There are trail markers every 0.1 mile along this trail. So while alongside the road, one should see the first 0.1 mile CCC Trail marker, and the canyon dropping off to the right/east of the trail.

At the 0.1 mile mark, the CCC Trail veers away from the road as it continues along the edge of the canyon rim. Soon a small stream bed is crossed and the trail does a U-turn as it continues to follow the canyon edge, but now it is on a ridge that will eventually lead to Goodnight Peak to the southeast. The drop off into the canyon is still to the right. At the 0.7 mile mark Triassic Trail is passed on the left and CCC Trail bends to the right. There are several dramatic overlooks here.

The ridge leading to Goodnight Peak narrows around the 0.8 mile mark, so narrow that there are steep drop offs and views on both sides of the trail. From here, the trail veers to the other/east side of the ridge and finishes its descent to the canyon floor. As it continues descending, the steep red cliffs of the canyon walls rise above the trail to the west. After a couple sets of switchbacks, the trail ends on the canyon floor at the amphitheater and a parking area.

Flora & Fauna

A lot of juniper, some prickly pear cacti, other plants, dirt and rocks.


Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 6 votes


  4.5 from 6 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Texas


9 Views Last Month
1,667 Since Feb 4, 2019



Several great places along the trail to take a break and enjoy the views
Apr 26, 2019 near Canyon, TX
Palo Duro Canyon from the rim viewpoint on a sunny February day.
Feb 6, 2019 near Canyon, TX
Palo Duro Canyon from the canyon rim viewpoint. 90 degree panorama. Left/east to right/south - ridge to Goodnight Peak with Prairie Dog Fork Red River behind it, Timber Creek in the foreground, and Timber Mesa on the far side of Timber Creek.
Feb 6, 2019 near Canyon, TX
Palo Duro Canyon looking southeast from about a quarter mile from the CCC Trail start.
Feb 6, 2019 near Canyon, TX
The colorful Fortress Cliffs canyon walls across the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River to the east, seen from high on Goodnight Peak Loop.
Feb 16, 2019 near Canyon, TX
The CCC Trail runs along a narrow ridge that leads to Goodnight Peak, as the sun sets on a late afternoon in February.
Feb 6, 2019 near Canyon, TX



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Oct 16, 2021
Clay McCarthy
Starting from the amphitheater parking lot and ascending first then descending the 1.4 back down.
Aug 24, 2021
Jorge Duke
Apr 28, 2021
Jan More
May 15, 2020
Monica Schmidt
So worth it! Hike from the top trailhead to the canyon floor with amazing views along the way. Trail ends at amphitheater parking lot or hike back up 2mi — 0h 54m
Jan 7, 2020
Eric Lynch
Dec 31, 2019
Isabel Malagon
Great !!! Definitely a nice challenge short hike. You can find one entrance at the education center. The other end is harder to find, by the amphithea 2.1mi — 2h 00m
Mar 20, 2019
Lawton Jung
Done this trail a lot. It's a good one. 1.4mi