Hike Caprock Canyon Trailway (South Plains, TX to Quitaque, TX)

Caprock Canyon Trailway is a trail system made up of almost 70 miles of the old Fort Worth and Denver Railroad between South Plains, TX and Estelline, TX. I'm proposing a 3 day (more like 2.5 day) backpacking trip along the most scenic portion of the trail: the 23 mile stretch from South Plains to Quitaque. I will be contacting the State Park for more information shortly, but here is a very rough itinerary to start with:

Friday, March 15th:
-(2pm)Meet up near Quitaque to take care of whatever park registration is required
-(3pm)Drop off a vehicle(s) in Quitaque to shuttle back to South Plains once finished.
-(4pm) Meet up at the South Plains Terminus and Hike in roughly a mile to spend the night and get an early start Saturday morning. Since we'll be so close to the cars, I believe elaborate food and beverage is in order (I still need to find out where/if fires are allowed).

Saturday, March 16th:
-(8-10am) We're doing a leisurely 13 miles today, so no need to start too early. South Plains to Clarity tunnel, with lunch around John Farris Station. Spending the evening on the east side of the tunnel.

Sunday, March 17th:
-(8-10am) Another easy day; only 10 miles to Quitaque. Lunch around Los Lingos.
-(3pm-ish) End in Quitaque. We'll probably decide on somewhere to eat in the area, then head back home.

Here is what is DO know:
-Water, while available some of the time, is NOT guaranteed. Be prepared to carry LOTS of water. I am told there are horse troughs in the section we are hiking, in which case bring your water treatment of choice.
-There are rattlesnakes. We will be on a nice, wide, clear-cut trail so we will be fine. Exercise caution and common sense.
-Bring pants, longsleeves, and a bandana for going through the tunnel. These are recommended by the park service as bat guano is a perfect breeding ground for Histoplasma capsulatum.
-Obviously, bring all the equipment you'll need to fully sustain yourself for 3 days.

This was designed to be a "leave work early on Friday, spend the weekend, and be home late sunday" kind of trip. We COULD hike the entire trail, but from Quitaque west it's just pretty boring open fields for the most part. I will be contacting the Park this week for water availability, fire restrictions, fees, overnight parking in Quitique, etc. Here is some information in the mean time:

Park website:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/caprock-canyons
Trailway Map:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/park_maps/pwd_mp_p4506_079k.pdf
A small sample of the trailway:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNF3o6ScIbE

Also, I would VERY much appreciate it if a seasoned member of the group wanted to take the reins on this one: As a full time student with a full time job, I often find myself short on time. Any and all input is more than welcome.

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  • Joel

    Have fun on it Ian, I want to do that one sometime, maybe tag teamed with another Palo Duro trip over a couple of days.

    March 15, 2013

  • David

    Checking my schedule to see what I can do...sounds like the date might change?

    February 25, 2013

  • Della M.

    Oh man....I wanna go sooo bad! Ian, did you schedule this to coordinate with your Spring Break?

    We need to add some events for April. Is this date flexible?

    February 12, 2013

    • Ian

      I'll admit, I did plan this around my spring break. the next weekend (22nd-24th) is also good for me. April is a little too far out to tell, who knows where I'll be for clinical rotations. That said, with enough notice I can arrange it. I'll look at my test schedule for April and pick a weekend that falls in a gap.

      February 12, 2013

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