68
      Monday
      93 / 62
      Tuesday
      90 / 63
      Wednesday
      93 / 65

      Part of Palo Duro Canyon remains closed to visitors

      After 10 groups were stranded deep in the Palo Duro Canyon State Park Friday, officials closed nearly 75 percent of canyon.

      "Almost every Memorial weekend we have something happen," Acting Superintendent Nathan Londenberg said.

      Park officials said just a few years ago, a fire caused them to close the park for Memorial weekend, this year it was the rain. Londenberg said they had to bring in TxDOT and highway officials to clear the mud from the water crossings in order to get to the campers.

      Since Friday visitors traveling by vehicle are only allowed up to Water Crossing 1.

      "It looks fine up here, but the ground deep into the canyon can't hold any more water. So if we allow people to start to go deep into the canyon there's just a very strong chance they'll get stranded again," Londenberg said.

      Every campsite in the park had reservations, but many campers were forced to ask for a refund. Londenberg said not only is the front office busy refunding campers their money, but the office in Austin is also receiving requests.

      "We have been busy with refunds because this was going to be a very busy weekend for us," Londenberg said. "The park lost a lot of revenue because of the rain event, however we love the rain."

      Londenberg said their main concern is major mud buildup around the water crossings. He said it's too risky for those on wheels, but if visitors don't mind a little mud they can preceed on foot, and pass the barriers.