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The 60-mile Palo Duro Canyon, sculpted by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River over the past 90 million years, presents a grand contrast to the ubiquitous treeless plains of the Texas Panhandle. Its 800-foot cliffs, striped with layers of orange, red, and white rock and adorned by groves of juniper and cottonwood trees, present a stark beauty that make this the preeminent state park in all of Texas. Simply put, it is the one "can't miss" natural attraction in the region. Palo Duro, which is Spanish for "hardwood," is a geology buff's dream: The base of the canyon is walled by red shales and sandstones from the Permian period (ca. 250 million B.C.); these are topped by colorful Triassic shales and sandstones; and the top of the canyon is made of a pastiche of stones only a few million years old. Of the 200 species of animals that venture into the canyon, you're most likely to see mule deer and wild turkeys. There's also the famed Pioneer Amphitheatre, the venue for the musical drama Texas; several hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails; and a visitor center/museum/bookstore with interpretive exhibits on the canyon's formation, history, and wildlife.