See the beauty and grandeur of both Palo Duro Canyon and Tule Canyon by driving north from Texas 86 on to Texas 207 from Silverton to Claude on one of the premier scenic drives in Texas.
See the edge of the High Plains along the Caprock as it joins the Rolling Plains on Texas 256 traveling east from Silverton along the northern boundary of Caprock Canyons State Park down historic Schotts Cap road.
Texas 86 from Silverton to Quitaque provides another scenic route down the edge of the Caprock with wonderful views.
Travel south out of Quitaque on FM 1065 for four miles, then take FM 689 to cross Caprock Canyons State Park Trailway at Monk’s Crossing and ascend the Caprock for a spectacular view.back to top
Gateway to the Canyonlands
“Quitaque” (pronounced “Kitty-kway) was at one time used to refer to the region just beneath the Caprock escarpment, north of the Quitaque peaks and south of the Little Red River. Now, Quitaque is the name of a small town that is steeped in western heritage and breathtaking scenery.
Quitaque has a long history of occupation by people from many cultures, beginning 10,000 years ago. North of town, on the shores of Lake Theo, archeologists unearthed evidence of the Folsom culture at a bison kill site that is now marked by a Texas Historical Marker. More recent evidence of occupation by the Apaches, Kiowas, and Comanches abound throughout the Quitaque Valley. When Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado traveled through this area in the 1500’s, the people he encountered were the Apaches. However, not long after Coronado’s expedition, the Apaches were forced out of the area by the Comanches.
The Quitaque Valley was a stronghold of the Comanches during the 1700s and 1800s. They traded livestock and slaves for weapons and goods with Comancheros from New Mexico. One of the first known settlers to this area was a Comanchero named Jose Tafoya who had a dugout on the Quitaque Creek.
Famed cattleman, Charles Goodnight, purchased 140,000 acres around Quitaque in 1882 and named it the “Quitaque Ranch”. The headquarters for this ranch was built on the upper reaches of Quitaque Creek, south of the current town site. “Colonel” Goodnight, as he was called, fenced the ranch for his 2,000 head of “Lazy F” cattle in 1883.
In 1927, Quitaque went from being a stage-stop to a rail stop along the railroad spur from the main Fort Worth to Denver rail line. In 1989, the railroad spur was abandoned and 64 miles of it were turned into a trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
The community has been and still is primarily a ranching and farming community. However, with Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway nearby and abundant wildlife habitat all around, Quitaque is becoming a well-known location for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many opportunities for hunting, wildlife watching and photography, biking, camping, and just relaxing in Quitaque. Folks in town are friendly and you will find a welcome smile everywhere you go.
You can find just about everything you need in Quitaque. It has a bank with ATM, restaurants, guest houses, grocery store, hardware store, convenience store, weekly newspaper, library with internet access, thrift shop, post office, farm supply store, beauty salons, automotive repair shops, community center (large group meeting facility), and gift shops. Visit www.quitaque.org for more details.
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS: Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, Texas State Bison Herd, Valley of Tears, Clarity Tunnel, Midway Drive-In Theatre, Camp Resolution Historical Marker, Dark starry skies, 90 miles of hiking, biking, & horseback riding trails
AREA ACTIVITIES: Camping, from primitive to full hook-ups, Horseback riding, Hunting, Wildlife watching, Bat flights, Photography opportunities, Fishing, Hiking, Trailway toursback to top