CCC & Goodnight Peak Trail

Page Type
Texas, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours

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CCC & Goodnight Peak Trail
Created On: Mar 4, 2017
Last Edited On: Mar 4, 2017


CCC is a 1.5 mile long trail that takes you from the park’s Visitor Center on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon, five hundred vertical feet down to Pioneer Amphitheater at the bottom of the canyon. Along the way a short side trail will take you to the top of a peninsula the end point of which is known as Goodnight Peak.

CCC Trail was constructed by the depression era Civilian Conservation Crops in the 1930s. It apparently fell out of use for several decades until it was revived more recently.

Getting There

Upper CCC trailhead is at the visitor center a short distance after entering the park. The low end of it is at Pioneer Amphitheater on the canyon floor.

Route Description

A one-way hike from the top trailhead to Goodnight Peak and then down to Pioneer Amphitheater is 2.25 miles long.
Elevation at top trailhead is 3410 ft
Elevation at bottom trailhead is 2920 ft

View from the top trailhead near Visitor Center.

From Upper Trailhead
From Upper Trailhead

Following the trail down into the canyon.

Hiking down on CCC Trail

This stone bridge was apparently constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

Old hiking bridge

The red slopes will come to view.

Red colored canyon
On CCC Trail

You will then reach a place where you can see the park road below you down a steep slope/wall.

Right above the park road

At an unsigned trail split, I took the right branch to a flat-top peninsula for 0.4 miles to the end of it where Goodnight Peak came to view.

Goodnight PeakGoodnight Peak

Pioneer Amphitheater was right below me.

Pioneer Amphtheater from near Goodnoght PeakPioneer Amphitheater

I then returned to the same trail split and continued on the main trail further down.

Near the lower trailhead

Looking back at the peninsula.

Slopes of Goodnight Peak

Texas Longhorns

These huge Texas Longhorns were kept at the entrance to the park.

Texas Longhorn