Featuring two small lakes and ten miles of trails, Copper Breaks State Park in Quanah, Texas is the perfect RV vacation destination. The park is mellow and quiet, with 1,898 acres available for you to explore and enjoy. Originally, Copper Breaks State Park was part of the land held by the Comanche and Kiowa Native Americans. Although Comanche Mounds are not found inside the of the park itself, there are Comanche Mound sites within Hardeman County. The land for the park was purchased from a private landowner in 1970, and the park was opened to the public in 1974. This park is one of two in Texas state parks that have been designated as International Dark Sky Parks, a distinction that is awarded to areas that promote sky conservation and environmentally responsible outdoor lighting throughout the world. Along with stargazing opportunities, there are many recreational activities to enjoy in the park, including boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife viewing, backpacking, and kite flying.
If you want to stay the night, choose one of the 24 powered camping sites that have 30-and 50-amp electrical hookups, fire rings with grills, lantern posts, and a waist-high grill. If you would rather have a space with water rather than electricity, there are 11 of those sites available. Equestrian camping is also available along with group sites and primitive camping areas. Peak season in Copper Breaks State Park is during the spring and summer months.
Copper Breaks State Park is located in the northern section of Texas and is around 26 miles from the Oklahoma border. The park is in between a few smaller towns, with Crowell in the south, Quanah in the north, and Vernon to the east. Oklahoma City and Amarillo are around three hours away from the park, Wichita Falls is approximately two and a half hours, and Abilene is about two hours. Driving to the park is very easy as the area is extremely flat. There are no real deterrents, such as tight roads or mountain driving. There may be some snow during the wintertime, but usually, there won't be enough to cause driving issues.
Getting into the park shouldn't be an issue either as there are no overhanging trees, and each campsite has ample space. If you are coming from Wichita Falls, you can take US 287 West to Quanah. From Abilene, take US 277 North to Stamford. Parking is plentiful in Copper Breaks State Park, so you won't have to worry about not being able to find a spot within the park. However, you may want to leave your rig at the campsite and walk, bike, or go horseback through the park, so you don’t have to worry about maneuvering around curves or corners.
The Comanche Camping Area offers 25 spacious sites that have a 50-amp electric connection. There is also one full-service site that has a 50-amp connection along with water and sewer hookups. The camping area is very spread out in an open field so that you won't be cramped up. All sites come with a picnic table, a lantern hanger, a campfire ring, and a standup BBQ grill for cooking. The tables are shaded with large wooded teepee-like structures, which help to provide a unique picnicking experience. Parking pads range from 39 to 53 feet in length. Other campground amenities include a playground, showers, toilets, and a dump station. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash and supervised at all times. You may struggle to find good cell reception, but you can pick up one or two bars of signal around the camping area. It is important to reserve your site ahead of time because they fill up fast.
There are 13 equestrian campsites for campers with horses. Each site has water, a lantern hook, picnic table, a campfire ring, and a BBQ grill for cooking. The parking pads range from 28 to 55 feet long, so make sure you reserve a spot that is big enough for your RV or trailer. You will have to use a string line to secure your horses and do not tie them to shrubs or trees. The park also has restrooms nearby, and you can use the showers from the other two campgrounds if needed.
These wooded sites are close to the Big Pond where you can swim or fish and the 3.8-mile Equestrian Trail where you can take a hike with your four-hoofed friend anytime you want. If you would rather walk, the 1.3-mile Chris’ Link Trail is accessible from here as well. Pets are welcome as long as you keep them adequately restrained and supervise them at all times during your stay.
The Kiowa Campground has 11 large campsites with water, and each of them has a lantern post, a campfire ring, picnic table, and a BBQ grill for cooking. The parking pads here range from 26 to 33 feet long, so your camper should fit, but you should reserve a spot just in case. There is also a shower house, restrooms with running water, and a camp store where you can purchase supplies, snacks, and bait. Pets are allowed, but you must supervise them and keep them restrained at all times.
These campsites are right by Lake Copper Breaks where you can fish and swim. The group picnic pavilion is close by as well, which has six picnic tables, grills, a restroom, and a water spigot. The Longhorns from State Longhorn Herd are nearby, and there are three trails accessible from the campground. If you take the Long Bull Canyon Trail, you can hike to the Pease River, about a mile away from the lake.
Copper Breaks State Park is also home to some of the official Texas Longhorn herd. First known as Texas cattle, and later as Texas Longhorns, the animals were prevalent in the 1800s during the time that Texas won its independence from Mexico. These early longhorns, almost completely wild, continued to roam Texas until the end of the Civil War when popularity started to decline. If it's your lucky day, you could catch a glimpse of this historic breed of cattle during your stay.
The headquarters of the park also doubles as a museum that is worth checking out during your stay. While the museum is not huge, it does have some fantastic information on the history of the state park and the exhibitions show off some of the artifacts from the local area. Visiting the museum is also a great idea if you want to find out any information on specific events happening at the park during your stay. The museum also has plenty of supplies so you can pick up some snacks, bait, and other necessities during your visit.
Hiking in Copper Breaks State Park is vastly different than hiking in other state parks in the country because this park's location is in a semi-arid region. The growth of bunch grasses, shallow breaks of juniper, cottonwood, mesquite, wildflowers, and scattered native pecan, hackberry, and soapberry dominate the park. The semi-arid climate and the dispersed plant life creates an open landscape, so many of the trails pass through sparse trees and open fields. Some of the popular trails include the easy 1.1-mile Short Bull Canyon Trail, the moderate 2.4-mile Long Bull Canyon Loop, and the challenging 1.6-mile Rocky Ledges Loop.
Most hunting takes place from the middle of November until the beginning of February, and the entire park is closed to non-hunters during these hunting dates. The big game animals include elk, javelina, moose, deer, and pronghorn. The smaller game animals include rabbits, hares, squirrels, turkey, and rails. There is also a plethora of waterfowl like ducks, geese, and other aquatic birds for those who prefer to hunt birds. No matter what you plan on hunting, make sure you follow the rules and regulations, carry your hunting license and tags, and wear hunter orange.
Were you thinking of taking a dip during the hot Texas summer? Pack your floaties in the rig because swimming is fun at Copper Breaks Lake with a beautiful swimming area on the eastern side of the lake near the Cottonwood Group Campground. The lake water is clean, and swimming is one of the most popular activities in the park. If you plan to swim at Copper Breaks Lake be aware that there are no lifeguards posted at the lake, so take care and be safe in the water.
Copper Breaks Lake is also a great spot to go for a paddle during the summer. The lake is usually tranquil, and there are no real obstacles, so even if you are a beginner, there is nothing that should cause you any problems. There is one launch ramp available on the northern end of the lake. If you don't have your own kayak, or you forgot to put it in the RV, you can rent one from the park during the summer months.
There are two bodies of water in Copper Breaks State Park that you can fish at so make sure to pack your fishing gear in the camper before heading out. Both Copper Breaks Lake and Big Pond hold a plethora of aquatic life. The 60-acre Copper Breaks Lake is the most popular fishing spot, and it is equipped with a fishing pier that you can use year-round. There are many different species of fish stocked in the waters of Copper Breaks State Park, including catfish, small and largemouth bass, muskellunge, and rainbow trout.
Since Copper Breaks State Park is so far from the neighboring towns, the darkness here is total and perfect for gazing at the stars and other stellar bodies. The bright lights of the city are far enough from the park that they will not interfere with the black canvas of Texas sky, and if you bring your telescope, you can see even more celestial beauties. Once a month during the busy season from April until October, the park hosts the Star Walk. This walk is a short hike with a guide who uses a laser pointer to show you the stars as a giant game of connecting the dots.