Amarillo: Trails on the High Plains

Rocks, wildflowers, dust, yucca, clouds and moody skies.  These are the things that the high plains are made of.

high plains landscape

This part of the country is really different from the west coast for a lot of reasons.  One of those reasons is the terrain.  We don’t have a lot of trees for shade.  There are no cool ocean breezes. It’s windy and rainy in Spring (and apparently snowy, seeing how we’re due for a snow storm this weekend!!!), hot in the summer and cold in the winter.  Fall can be hot or cold or nice or windy or rainy…It’s hard to predict what the skies are going to do.  One thing Matt and I’ve learned is to get the heck out of the house when there’s a nice day! “Nice” is defined by us as such:  Light wind (under 20 mph) and sunshine; hot temps but cool breezes; cloudy skies with no wind; cold air with sunshine.  We’ve had some very nice weather so far this Spring, and we’ve done our best to take advantage of it!

We’ve recently been trying out new trails in the area (new to us anyway).  Here’s one of my new favorites:

Amarillo Childrens Home trails 1

I’m not sure what the children’s home has to do with it-perhaps they donated the land?  Maybe the land was donated in their name???  At any rate, thank you High Plains Children’s Home!

Amarillo Childrens Home trails

It’s kinda’ close to/around a long corner from Wildcat Bluff.  There’s a parking lot and a bunch of different trail heads.  It’s easy walking (not too hilly since, well, there aren’t many hills on the high plains!), but wear your tennis shoes.  There are rocks, stickers, bugs and snakes in these parts.  “Where is this place?”, you ask?  Take a look at my very simple, not-to-scale map:

Amarillo Childrens Home trails map

It’s at the corner of Helium Rd. and Sw 9th Ave.

Amarillo Childrens Home trails Helium and ninth

Amarillo Childrens Home trails scenery 2

high plains trails and flowers

The wildflowers are really blooming right now.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure what will be left after this weekend if we get snow!

Amarillo Childrens Home trails sceneryAmarillo Childrens Home trails scenery 3

The dogs absolutely love it.  I’ve been 3 times in the last few weeks and we’ve seen maybe one other person there.   Maybe it’s busier on the weekend, but it seems like a hidden gem (not for long now, huh?)

high plains wildflowers

I think it’s the perfect place for a walk with the kids, your dog, for a cruise on the bike…If you live here, there’s really no reason you shouldn’t go check it out.  If you’re just passing through Amarillo, it’s exactly what we look for when we’re on the road to let the dog out and run around for a bit.

*It has come to my understanding recently that the actual name of this spot is “PITCHER PUMP HIKE AND BIKE TRAILS.”* What I’ve read says that these trails are maintained by the Girl Scouts and have trail names that reflect their cookie names, but I’ve never run across any trails out there with “Thin Mint” or “Shortbread” signs.  Also, it says to pay on the honor system, but there is nowhere to leave any money…Perhaps the Children’s Home took ownership of it from the Girl Scouts?  I really don’t know. 

Do you know of any cool trails in the area that are worth checking out?  Let me know by posting below!



3 thoughts on “Amarillo: Trails on the High Plains

  1. Hi there! I know you know about the Palo Duro Canyon, but you might still find this blog interesting: . There is WAY more than most people expect there and this guy is a great resource for finding some really, really cool stuff. You might also consider reading a couple of books, if you have not run across them already. One is Dan Flores’ “Caprock Canyonlands”. The other is John Erickson’s “Through Time And A Valley”. I read both during my four year sojourn in Texas and they both had a huge impact on me and my appreciation for the Llano Estacado. Also, if you have not been, the Wichita Mountains are magnificent and not too far away from Amarillo. They are certainly worth the drive.

    1. Thank you so much! We’ve only been to Caprock a few times, but it’s probably time we return! And I love to read so thank you for the recommendations; Wichita Mountains I’ve never even thought about-thanks for the tip!

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