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On the north shore of Lake Meredith, the Lake Meredith NRA/Blue West is a peaceful, off-grid campground in the Texas Panhandle. It boasts excellent views across the lake and offers easy access to all the recreational pursuits that the water offers, as well as being less than an hour’s drive from the vibrant city of Amarillo.
RV camping at the Lake Meredith NRA/Blue West includes access to a handful of basic sites, with no hookups available. While there are only vault-evaporator toilets and no drinking water sources at the campground, there are picnic tables and shade shelters for campers to utilize.
A highlight of camping at the Lake Meredith NRA/Blue West is its access to all the recreational pursuits of the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. It centers around a 10,000-acre reservoir that was created following the construction of the Sanford Dam along the 906-mile Canadian River. Stretch your legs along the Harbor Bay Trail that offers impressive views of Lake Meredith or soak up the sweeping vistas of Fritch Canyon while mountain biking through the NRA. There are several boat ramps for getting out on the water, with catfish, crappie, and bass luring anglers here from near and far. Horseback riders are also permitted on some of the trails while the Canadian River can be negotiated by canoe or kayak. While you’re exploring the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, keep your eyes peeled for cottontails, collared lizards, and ornate box turtles, as well as birdlife ranging in size from small painted buntings to bald eagles.
Adjacent to the Lake Meredith NRA is the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. Its red bluffs have been visited by humans for thousands of years for their flint. Begin at the modern visitor center to browse the interactive exhibits and watch a short film about the site’s history, then join one of the tours that lead through the Alibates Flint Quarries. Also at the site is the Alibates Interpretive Garden and the short Mesquite Trail, which winds around a small mesa adjacent to the garden.
Around 90 minutes’ drive from the Lake Meredith NRA/Blue West is the Rita Blanca National Grassland, which lies near the community of Texline. Together with the Kiowa National Grassland, it encompasses around 230,000 acres that were once home to several Native American tribes. Following the Homestead Act of 1862, settlers began moving into the prairie, but with a severe drought and farm price collapse in the 1920s, many homesteaders struggled to survive. The area was transformed into the National Grasslands in the 1960s.
Campsites at the Lake Meredith NRA/Blue West are 30 minutes’ drive from Dumas, where you’ll find a couple of supermarkets for stocking up on grocery supplies. There are also gas stations here if you need to fill up your RV rental and a good choice of eateries that include fast-food restaurants, taquerias, and a Chinese buffet.
An hour’s drive south of the Lake Meredith NRA/Blue West is the city of Amarillo, which is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle. It centers around the Historic Route 66 District and features several museums detailing the local culture and history. Don’t miss a visit to the Cadillac Ranch, which comprises several old Cadillacs stuck nose-first into the ground and covered in graffiti. You can add your own artistic details using the spray cans provided or clamber through the open interiors.
Also not to miss in Amarillo is the Sixth Street Historic District, which is lined with original buildings fronted by traditional signs. Settle in at one of the atmospheric restaurants and browse the vintage-inspired shops while stopping to read the plaques in front of the area’s historic buildings.
History buffs shouldn’t miss a visit to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, which is the largest history museum in Texas and boasts one of the Southwest’s most impressive art collections. Learn about the American Indians who inhabited the land and the Panhandle’s pioneering settlers, as well as the oil booms and innovations that have shaped its development. Also of note is the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, which details one of the most popular horses ridden by cowboys in the Southwest. You can learn about the biology of the quarter horse and individuals who have played an integral role in developing it, as well as some of the most famous horses of this breed. Carved into the floor of the museum’s Grand Hall are the bloodlines of quarter horses traced back to the late 19th century.
Whether you want to explore the waterfront pursuits of Lake Meredith or discover the rich history of the Texas Panhandle, book an RV rental in Hutchinson County and start planning your next vacation.