What’s better than enjoying Palo Duro Canyon, a round of golf at Comanche Trails Golf Complex, a tasty steak at Big Texan, and a relaxing evening at Starlight Canyon B&B?Nothing! So, grab your hiking shoes, mountain bike, and golf clubs and head to Amarillo for a fun weekend.

Here’s the plan:

  • Bike, ride, or hike some of Palo Duro Canyon’s 35 miles of Texas trails
  • Try to eat a 72-ounce steak, or watch someone else try it, at the world famous Big Texan
  • Play golf at Comanche Trace’s Arrowhead course, rated No. 5 as the Best Economy Courses in Texas by the Dallas Morning News
  • Relax the muscles and sleep soundly at Starlight Canyon B&B
  • Enjoy some of the other nearby Amarillo attractions

Getting A Fantastic Start at Starlight Canyon B&B

deer at Starlight Canyon

Starlight Canyon B&B is a small four room B&B located in the perfect place for this weekend adventure. It’s halfway between Amarillo and Palo Duro Canyon. It also has four comfortable, unique, and well-appointed rooms for you get some rest after a fun-filled day of activities.

Starlight is situated on five well-treed acres in the upper Palo Duro Canyon. When we arrived, there were 8 deer in the front yard staring us down. I think they were questioning what we were doing on their beautiful grazing grounds.

We stayed in the Aspen room and loved it. It is a spacious and features a west Texas decor. That includes an aspen four poster king bed with soft pillows and fine Egyptian cotton bedding, a large wood burning fireplace, antler chandelier, leather couch, an oversized bathtub, satellite TV with DVD player, mini kitchen with fridge, microwave, and a coffee maker.

Not much is better than a bottle of wine or a couple of beers and sitting in a hot tub with your best friend. You can work out the kinks from a full day of biking, hiking, and golfing while sitting under the majestic star-filled sky. That’s the best treat of all.

Historic main house at Starlight Canyon

What Else the Starlight Canyon B&B Has to Offer

It might have been better if we had scheduled an in-room Swedish Massage. We could have been pampered with Moon Massage in the outdoor gazebo with soft music, candles, and fresh air. The third option was a couples massage.

Starlight also offers other packages to make your weekend enjoyable, some of which include romantic add-ons like patio candle service, rose petals and room candles, or chilled champagne. If that isn’t enough, you can get a candle-light dinner or a picnic lunch for your day trip to Palo Duro Canyon.

Before you head out for your first adventure, make sure to partake in a full made-to-order breakfast beside a roaring fire in the historic stone main house at Starlight Canyon. You’ll need the energy. Get an early start if you plan on heading to Palo Duro Canyon for a day of hiking and biking, or just enjoying the scenery.

Introduction to Palo Duro Canyon

Unusual rock formations in Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the United States. You guessed it, the Grand Canyon is deeper.

Palo Duro offers visitors unbelievable scenery, spectacular geologic wonders, and a panorama of colors. Palo Duro is known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas” and is a “Texas must-visit” location. It’s a true historic and ecological treasure. The Canyon is more than120 miles long and 800 feet deep with geological formations over 250 million years old.

a rock formation
a rock canyon available for rent
Palo Duro Canyon is loaded with history

Palo Duro State Park controls access to the canyon and maintains the trails, campsites (RV, tent, and backpacking sites), visitors center and store, cabins, and Pioneer Amphitheater. Read our article on Texas state parks to see all the great things you can experience in these hidden gems.

Speaking of Pioneer Amphitheater, you might want to plan your trip around one of the events at this outdoor amphitheater with the majestic canyon walls as the backdrop for the play. From June to August, the amphitheater is home to the musical drama “Texas” and several other events and concerts throughout the year.

Hiking and Biking at Palo Duro State Park

lots of great trails at palo duro canyon

On your way to Palo Duro, you’re first “wow” will be the majestic view as you start to descend over 800 feet to the base of the canyon. Now comes the hard part, should we:

  • Bike – If you want a good cardiac workout and a thrilling ride, then take the 16 miles of roadway through the park and up to the top of the canyon. It’s not for the faint of heart or inexperienced bikers. Alternatively, choose from several easy to strenuous mountain bike trails to enjoy.
  • Hike – You can hike along any of the easy trails along a meandering creek at the base of the canyon, or you can trek any of the other trails ranging from easy to heart pumpers that traverse to the top of the canyon.
  • Jog – You’ve got several choices for pumping the legs.
  • Ride – Why not replace the baseball cap with a cowboy hat and enjoy the scenery on a guided horse back trail ride with Old West Stables, located inside the park.

A Hiker and Biker Heaven

I am not aware of anyplace in Texas that offers a better variety of trails for multi-use. Palo Duro Canyon is truly a hiker and biker heaven. There are more than 10 trails of various lengths and degrees of ruggedness difficulty.

Speaking of degrees, it gets hot in the summer. At each trailhead, there is a thermometer to alert you to the potential heat danger. Be sure to bring lots of water.

Some of the easy trails are along the base and follow a meandering creek. Other tails zig zag their way to the top of the canyon. The signature trail is the Lighthouse Trail, which ascends to the Lighthouse Peak and the famous hoodoo. Most of the trails are multi-use, meaning you can hike, mountain bike, or ride a horse.

the famous hoodoo at palo duro canyon

The Park Rangers can provide you with lots of good information on the trails as well as some of the history, historic sites to visit, and geological formations of all shapes and colors.

Amarillo By Morning

It doesn’t have to be morning to head to Amarillo. Any time of day is nice.

the huge chair at The Big Texas steakhouse

You’ll enjoy sitting in the hot tub after a full day of hiking or biking in the canyon. Of course, you can’t stay in the hot tub all night. You must feed your face and add some calories to help you have a good round of golf the next morning.

Amarillo has lots of choices for dining. If you want a steak, then you’ve got to visit the famous Big Texan. The Big Texan is home to the “Free 72-ounce steak”. It’s only free if you can eat the whole thing along with a salad, a roll, and baked potato. You have to do it within an hour.

The record is an unbelievable 8 minutes. Only 1 in 12 people who try it are able to devour that much food within the hour. If you don’t make it, you’re out $72. But you’ll have enough steak left to feed a family of 4! It’s worth the visit to “go for it” or watch the contestants at the 72-ounce table (set on a platform and center stage).

The other steaks are pretty good, there are roving country singers, a game room, and more in what may be one of the biggest touristy restaurants in Texas.

singers at The Big Texan steakhouse

Golfing in Amarillo

After soaking the sore muscles in the hot tub, getting a good night’s sleep, and eating a hearty breakfast, it’s time to chase that little white ball!

Comanche Trace golf course

Comanche Trace Golf Complex is home to 36 holes of golf. The Arrowhead Course is consistently ranked in the top 5 of the Dallas Morning News’ “Best Economy Courses.”

Arrowhead is a links-style course created by moving a lot of dirt to add contour and berms to what might have been flat terrain. It’s a fair, fun, and challenging course and provides an opportunity to score well if you can play the wind. Read our review of Comanche Trace’s Arrowhead Golf Course to learn more about this affordable must-play Amarillo course.

Another course to consider is Ross Roger Golf Course. It also gets high ratings as one of the best economy courses in Texas. Check out our map of Texas golf courses, including the ones we’ve played, reviewed, and rated.

What Else You Can Do in Amarillo

If you have time, here are some other things to see and do in or around Amarillo:

Visit the Amarillo Visitors Bureau to find more things to see and do in Amarillo. Above all, have fun!

Cadillac Ranch
Mike Sharp
Author: Mike Sharp

I have a passion for travel and outdoor activities, and now I'm enjoying retired life. I will continue my traveling, golfing, boating, and enjoying life all across the great state of Texas.

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