RVers looking for a Texas adventure in the panhandle area of the state should visit Caprock Canyons State Park in Quitaque (pronounced kitty-quay), Texas. The park is approximately 100 miles south of Amarillo and 100 miles north of Lubbock.
Caprock Canyons State Park operates year-round and is most busy during the spring, summer, and the fall. The park has many unique facilities and explorable historical landmarks, most notably, the state of Texas Official Bison Herd. The herd, some of the last remaining members of the southern plains bison species, were relocated to Caprock Canyons State Park in 1997 after JA Ranch donated what was left of their herd to Texas Parks and Wildlife. This herd, once almost killed off by hide-hunters between the years of 1874 to 1878, have a rare genetic makeup, and the bison, once nearly extinct, roam protected within the park’s boundaries.
This herd now wanders through the park and visitors can experience the protected bison up close. As with any wildlife, bison are unpredictable. This is especially true during the rut, or mating season, which takes place in July and August. People should stay at least 50 feet away from bison and never crowd or approach them. According to Texas state law, it is an offense (Class C misdemeanor) to harm, harass, disturb, feed or offer food to any wildlife. If you notice any visitors putting you or bison in danger, you are asked to leave the area and notify a park ranger immediately.
RV Rentals in Caprock Canyons State Park
Transportation in Caprock Canyons State Park
Caprock Canyons State Park is 102 miles south of Amarillo, Texas. Take I-27 south to Tulia and turn East on Highway 86 to Quitaque. The park is three miles north of Quitaque from off of Ranch Road 1065.
The park is 101 miles northeast from Lubbock, Texas. Take I-27 North to Tulia and turn East on Highway 86 to Quitaque. The park is three miles north of Quitaque from off of Ranch Road 1065.
Please be aware that the park charges a daily entrance fee that is an additional cost added to camping and other park fees.
Drivers heading to the park on any of the unpaved roads should exercise extreme caution. Unpaved roads outside of Caprock Canyons can be very muddy and slippery after periods of excessive rainfall. We recommend not driving on those roads until they dry. All of the roads to the park and in the park are all-weather roads with paved surfaces, so plan your route accordingly.
Campgrounds and parking in Caprock Canyons State Park
Campsites in Caprock Canyons State Park
The home of Buddy Holly, Lubbock, Texas is proud of its musical roots, the Museum of Texas Tech University, the Science Spectrum and Omni Theater and, of course, the Buddy Holly Center. You’ll love Lubbock KOA, outside of the city limits, but just minutes from downtown. With its mature shade trees, Lubbock KOA is an oasis in the middle of the West Texas Plains. Enjoy a dip in the indoor heated pool, relax in the hot tub, and take in a double feature at the drive-in theater. Lubbock KOA is fun for kids of all ages, with a playground and snack bar, too! Stay connected with Wi-Fi and cable TV, and enjoy all the comforts of home with restroom and laundry facilities, and a general store.
Wild Horse Campground
Equestrians who wish to sleep in a horse-friendly campground can reserve a space at the Wild Horse Campground, a more primitive camping facility. Tents, trailers, and motorhomes are allowed at these sites, and there are a maximum number of eight people and horses combined per site. Non-equestrian camping is permitted. Each space has a picnic table, fire ring, and two 10x20 horse corrals that can hold 1-2 horses each. There are no hookups and no restrooms in this camp loop, and the only water on site is for horse use only. Trailers and motorhomes up to 50 feet are allowed in this campground. Please contact the campground for more equestrian rules before booking your stay. The park asks that you quiet your generators between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am to celebrate nature’s noises.
Honey Flat Campground
Reserve an RV spot in Honey Flat, a premium camping location. These sites are considered premium locations because of the amenities offered within the two camping loops. Sites 1—25 have water hookups and a 30 amp electrical service and sites 26—35 have water hookups and 50 amp electrical service. Both loops have spaces with shade shelters, picnic tables, fire rings, a lantern post, and access to restrooms with hot showers. RV spaces up to 40 feet in length are available in the Honey Flat Campground. A dump station is located near the entrance to the campground. The park asks that you quiet your generators between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am to celebrate nature’s noises.
Seasonal activities in Caprock Canyons State Park
If you have a small, engineless boat, or you enjoy fishing from a pier, then you will like the relaxed fishing experience that you can have on Lake Theo in Caprock Canyons State Park. The park rents fishing poles if you don’t have your own gear. Stop by the park’s headquarters when you ask about poles and see if they have any worms for sale. They don’t have bait, but will occasionally stock worms. A fishing license is required of anyone who fishes in the public waters of Texas. For fishing information, contact Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Visit the park and take part in many of the classes, events, and educational opportunities. Park rangers create activities that spark interest in young children while entertaining adults. The special events change often, so ask a park ranger or check the events calendar for updated information. The special events encourage park patrons to take a guided hike, have a hands-on learning experience with bones and skulls of the animals native to the area, or learn about Caprock Canyons State Park history through a series of narrative stories.
During the hot afternoons of spring, summer, and fall, Lake Theo is the perfect place to cool off. Swim or boat in the no-wake lake, and see the park from a different view: from the water! The swimming area is located next to restrooms and a playground. Visitors should swim in designated swimming areas only. The park recommends that all swimmers wear personal floatation devices as there are no lifeguards on duty. There are no boat rentals at the park, so you will need to bring your kayak or canoe for a day of paddling.
Bring your handheld GPS devices and the supplies you might need for a day outside on the trails, and look for some of the caches hidden within the park. This modern-day scavenger hunt takes cachers to locations all over the world, including many state parks. Find your coordinates on the Geocaching website, and begin your hunt inside of the park! Remember to follow all of the rules of the park and the Geocaching protocol. Because wildlife, like snakes, is present inside the park, always be aware of your surroundings when picking up a cache.
All of the trails in Caprock Canyons State Park are multi-use trails (unless otherwise indicated) that meander through scenic canyons and past wildlife habitats. Visitors can bike, hike, and horseback ride on 11 trails with more than 25 miles of trails that have difficulty levels ranging from easy to challenging. Print the well-labeled and color-coded maps or view the maps on a mobile device. Visitors can also get a map from any park ranger station or office. Please keep leashed pets near you at all times and observe trail etiquette. When hiking, biking, or riding on the trails, take a gallon of water per person with you.
Caprock Canyons State Park is home to many different wildlife species. Visitors might spot pronghorn antelope, grey fox, mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, raccoon, or jackrabbits. Reptiles, including 14 species of lizards and over 30 species of snakes (including rattlesnakes) reside inside the park. Over 175 species of birds also live here, and many of the waterfowl use Lake Theo for a source of water. Besides the occasional animal sighting, there are two species in the park that people go out of their way to see. The Texas State Bison Herd roams over 10,000 acres inside of the park, and the Mexican free-tailed bat roosts in Clarity Tunnel on the Trailway. Visitors should always keep a safe distance from wildlife.