Caprock Canyon State Park is a hidden gym buried in the central panhandle of Texas. It’s remoteness makes it one of the best places to create night time photos as well as get away from the overcrowded parks in central Texas.
You can sign up for the workshop here via Precision Camera.
What to Expect
The park sits along the break down from the great plains to the Texas north central plains. The border is marked by large red sandstone cliffs. While the land is mostly flat on either side of the edge, the border is anything but.
The park offers a variety of hikes through the eroded (and eroding) environment, most marked by vibrant red cliffs and a variety of Texas vegetation including mesquite and cedar. Visitors may also fish and mountain bike in the park. See the park web site for specific requirements.
The park is home to the Texas state bison herd. Spring is the right time to see them with calves. The park is also home to a variety of other wildlife including ground hogs, porcupines, bats and bobcats.
During the camp out you are welcome to explore the park on your own or with Andrew during one of his guided photo-hikes. Andrew teaches exponentially and will work with everyone on his hikes to help them with their photography. He will also lead night photography outings and work with anyone along to get star trails and milky way photos.
Getting There and Around
Caprock Canyon State Park is approximately 7 hours by car from Austin. The nearest large cities are Amarillo and Lubbock. Both are just under two hours away.
Quitaque is the small town immediately outside the park. It has a gas station and a couple of small restaurants that are opened limited hours. Turkey is approximately 15 minutes east and has additional options. Bare in mind that these are small rural towns. Businesses keep much more limited hours than similar in or around Austin.
Cell phone service is available near the park, but depending on your carrier, might not work in the park itself.
We will be camping in the Honey Flats camp ground. All sites are “drive up” so your vehicle will be at your own site. All sites have water and 30 amp hookups. Site sizes vary, but most will easily accommodate a moderate size RV. Tent camping is also easy. We will send out instructions for arrival and finding your sites the week before the camp-out.
There will be a communal camp fire each night, burn ban permitting.
Everyone is responsible for their own food and cooking, but many will share. Andrew will prepare a shared camp fire desert atleast one night.
Spring in north Texas means highly variable temperatures. It will likely be warm during the days (80F+) and comfortable at night. There is potential for a cold front as well as strong thunderstorms during May. The pan handle is frequently very windy.
Hiking and Exploring
The park offers a variety of trails. Some are mostly flat while others involve significant altitude change. When hiking, everyone should wear appropriate shoes such as hiking boots, or other sturdy shoes. Flip-flops are not appropriate on the trails.
There is little or no shade on most trails. Wear protective clothing (sun shirts, hats, etc) and sun screen.
Heat exhaustion and other heat related illness are the primary risk factor when hiking. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to avoid heat related illness. Plan to hike with at least a half gallon of water or more per person. Everyone is responsible for their own safety on hikes! Be prepared. If in doubt about what is needed, just ask.
Photographers should bring their favorite camera and lenses. The locations offers a variety of opportunities including landscapes and wildlife. There is no “right” set of gear.
Be sure to bring along your chargers, extra batteries, extra memory cards (or a laptop to download) and any other accessories needed. A backpack with a good hip strap is recommended for hiking.
Weather permitting, Andrew will lead a group to do night photography each night. In addition to their core gear, those wanting to take part in the night photography should bring along a sturdy tripod, a wired shutter release, wide or ultra-wide lens and a head lamp.
During the night photography sessions we will have the opportunity to practice light painting, star trails and milky way photography
Leave No Trace Principles
We will follow “Leave No Trace” principles during this workshop:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impact
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information, check out the Leave No Trace web site, and their free online awareness course.
Andrew is a photography instructor teaching students of all skill levels in Austin, TX through Precision Camera and independently in San Diego, CA. He runs workshops around the United States.
He is a self taught experiential learner who is addicted to the possibilities that new (to him) gear open up. He loves to share the things he has worked out. Andrew started with a passion for landscape and night photography and quickly branched out to work in just about every form of photography. He is an ex-software developer with extensive experience in the IT realm.
Andrew is a full time wedding and commercial photographer in both Austin and San Diego. Andrew is a club founder and multi-time past president of North Austin Pfotographic Society.