Wild Horse Campground - Amarillo, TX
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Wild Horse Campground
GPS Coordinates: N 34° 24.549 W 101° 03.029
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Courtesy of EatStayPlay.com
Wild Horse Campground is 100 miles southeast of Amarillo in Briscoe County. The park was opened in 1982 and consists of 15,313.6 acres (including the Trailway, a 64.25 mile Rail-to-Trail conversion, acquired by donation in 1992 from a Railroad entrepreneur). This acquisition added recreational adventure, stretching from the western terminus at South Plains up on top of the caprock escarpment to the eastern terminus of Estelline in the Red River Valley. This multi-use trail (hike, bike, and equestrian), opened in 1993, stretches the park through Floyd, Briscoe, and Hall counties crossing 46 bridges and running through Clarity tunnel, one of the last active railroad tunnel in Texas. The 64.25 miles of the Trailway are open to the public from Estelline to South Plains.
The escarpment's scenic canyons were home for Indians of several cultures, including the Folsom culture of more than 10,000 years ago. A decrease or disappearance of some species, from Folsom times to present, indicates a gradual drying and perhaps warming of the climate. Later Paleolithic hunters, associated with the Plainview culture, also occupied the area from 8000-9,000 years ago. Only slight traces of these people have been found at Caprock Canyons. As the climate became increasingly drier, the period of hunting and gathering cultures began. Smaller animals, as well as plant materials, made up the diet of the people. The Archaic period lasted from 8,000 to 2,000 years ago. Artifacts from this period include boiling pebbles for heating food, grinding stones for processing seeds, oval knives, and corner-notched or indented dart points. The Neo-Indian state was characterized by the appearance of arrow points and pottery. During the latter part of this period, 800 years ago until the Spanish exploration, permanent settlements were established, and agriculture was being practiced to some extent. These people traded Alibates flint for pottery, turquoise, and obsidian from the Puebloan groups to the west.
The region's historic era began when Spanish explorer Coronado traveled across the plains in 1541. After Spanish colonies were established in New Mexico around 1600, two-way trade between Plains Indians and New Mexicans began and gradually increased. The Plains Apache, present when Coronado arrived, acquired horses and became proficient buffalo hunters. They were displaced by the Comanche, who arrived in the early 1700s and dominated northwestern Texas, until they were finally subdued in the 1870s. During the Comanche reign, trade prospered and New Mexican buffalo hunters, known as caballeros, and traders, known as Comancheros, were frequent visitors to this area. Las Lenguas Creek, a few miles south of the park, was a major trade area, and a site excavated on Quitaque Creek has produced artifacts indicating that it may have been a caballero camp.
After 1874, Anglo settlement began, counties were organized, and ranches were established. Famed cattleman Charles Goodnight moved cattle into Palo Duro Canyon in 1876. In 1882, he bought vast areas of land for John G. Adair, who became owner of the noted J. A. Ranch. The land on which the park is located was included in the purchase. A railroad was built into this area in 1887, and by 1890, the town of Quitaque, with a population of 30, was a regular stage stop. The use of suitable lands for farming increased as more settlers arrived in the early 1900s, but most of the broken country is still ranch land. After passing through the hands of several owners, most of the land that now lies within park boundaries was acquired in 1936 by Theo Geisler, who died on August 15, 1969. The state purchased the land in 1975, and the park's Lake Theo was named after Geisler.
There are 12 campsites, none of which can accommodate RVs and trailers this is a developed equestrian campground with corrals, tables, grills, water for horses, and parking at individual sites. Combination of persons or horses not to exceed 8 per campsite.

Facilities: Wild Horse Campground has corrals, tables, grills, water for horses, vault toilets, and plenty of fresh drinking water.

Best Time To Visit: Wild Horse Campground is open year round but the best time to visit would be between the early spring and the late summer.

Fees: Wild Horse Campground charges an entry fee into the main park as well as a per night fee.

Accessibility: Wild Horse Campground is not handicapped accessible.

Rules: While at Wild Horse Campground all pets must be on a leash and remember to clean up after yourself.

Directions: To get to Wild Horse Campground from Amarillo, take I-27 south. Take exit 77 to merge onto US-87 south toward Tulia. Turn left at US-87 south/I-27 Frontage south. Continue to follow US-87 south. Turn left at TX-86 east/southwest 2nd Street. Continue to follow TX-86 east. Turn left at Geisler/Ranch Road 1065. Continue to follow Ranch Road 1065. Slight left.

Map: Click here for a map to Wild Horse Campground

Reservations: No reservations are required but they are accepted at Wild Horse Campground.

Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
PO Box 204
Quitaque, Texas 79255
General: (806) 455-1492

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