Was Palo Duro Canyon Shut Down This Past Weekend?
This past weekend we dealt with some extreme temperatures.
Highs were popping off in the 105-107 degrees range from Friday through Sunday, making it hard to go out and enjoy some activities.
I held a Dads vs Sons baseball game for my youngest son's team, and even with the extreme temps, we kept the date. It was just one of those things where it was hard getting everyone together so we braved the conditions.
Now keep in mind, we were just playing on dirt and grass and we had a bit of a breeze. Add in about four coolers loaded up with drinks and a five-gallon jug of ice water and everyone was able to maintain their cool and stay hydrated.
That however was not the case for those that ventured into Palo Duro Canyon this weekend. Officials had warned people ahead of time that the conditions would be more treacherous than usual. It seems quite a few people missed the memo.
Canyon Fire Department had posted on Facebook that they recommended NOT going out to the canyon this weekend due to the extreme heat. They said that the floors and walls of the canyon tend to get about 10 degrees hotter than the outdoor temperature. So that means on Sunday when temps were reaching as high as 105-106, the canyon trails were more along the 115 degree range.
In conditions like that, you need a heck of a lot more water than you would normally bring. It seems a lot of people didn't think that part through. CFD said they had to rescue 40 people from the Lighthouse Trail this weekend due to heat stroke or exhaustion. To me, that's not a place you want to be when you get slammed by heat stroke.
I had heard rumors that they shut down the canyon on Sunday due to the extreme temps, but I haven't been able to verify that. Either way, if it's a hot summer day like that and you were planning on hitting the canyon, please make sure you check for warnings and plan accordingly. Sometimes you can't get cell service in the canyon, and if you're the only one out there, you could find yourself in a life or death situation.