Nov 4, 2010

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon State Park entrance

Red Rock Canyon State Park is one of my favorite fall road trips. I grew up taking day trips with my extended family to check out the turning leaves, enjoy the crisp air and munch on a potluck picnic.

Located in Hinton off of I-40, it's a nice hour-or-so drive from Oklahoma City which is just long enough to feel like you're getting away without causing travel fatigue. While the town of Hinton has changed and expanded quite a bit in recent years, I'm happy to report that Red Rock Canyon is just as wonderful as I remember it as a child.

The entrance to the park looks pretty unassuming, but once you pass the cool retro sign and small gift shop and park office the road quickly turns steep and winding as you work your way down into the canyon.

Drive down into the canyon

Once inside the park, nature literally surrounds you and there are many breathtaking scenes to soak in. I'm not much of a rappeler or hard-core climber, but there are several bluffs designated for rappelling if that's something you enjoy. Meanwhile, I follow the non-gear-required trails to work my way up onto the canyon walls.

Here are a few more pics from my recent visit:

Small lake beside a bluff

Group camp nestled in the canyon walls

Step grooves allowing hikers to get up on top of the canyon walls sans climbing gear

Can you read the subliminal message in the grass?

A man was mowing some areas of the park the day I visited and I stumbled across this artistic expression and it made me smile. Can you see the shape of Oklahoma carved out from his riding lawnmower? He even remembered to add the small dip in the southeast corner of the state. Idabel and Broken Bow would be proud!
Cool tree and moss spotted up on top of the canyon wall

The leaves had just started turning yellow when I was there last week so you may still be able to catch the peak foliage this year. Even without the leaves changing, this canyon landscape is enough to inspire and rejuvenate you.

-- Lindsay

No comments:

Post a Comment