FATMAP by Strava

Palo Duro Canyon: Comanche Loop

A classic singletrack loop pairing fast riverside flow trails with the infamous Comanche Trail, Palo Duro Canyon's most challenging singletrack.

Mountain Biking Difficult

14 km
243 m
243 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
843 m
High Point
970 m
Palo Duro Canyon: Comanche Loop Map

One of the newest additions to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the Comanche Trail offers some of the best technical mountain biking anywhere in the region. Steep washes and tight switchbacks alternate with fast chunder, and the epic views along the way will have you grinning from ear to ear. Ride the entire loop as mapped, or plan your own variation of the route by incorporating other trails like Juniper Cliffside, Capitol Peak, or even GSL.


On most maps, Comanche Trail is divided into upper, middle, and lower sections. The middle and lower sections seen here are typically considered to be the most technical, though your ability to manage short, punchy, and sandy climbs may make some sections a hike-a-bike. Local mountain bikers may be able to clean the entire trails with ease, but if you are accustomed to long flowing descents, this will be a challenging ride.

By most standards, this would be considered technical cross-country, with some of the descents feeling more like an enduro trail. As locals may tell you, a hardtail would suffice, but a 120 - 130mm full suspension setup would be ideal.

This loop pairs the entire Comanche Trail (difficult) with fast and flat XC trails like Rojo Grande, Sunflower, and Juniper/Riverside Trails (easy). If ridden clockwise, a rewarding alternative to this route is to descend the Rock Garden Trail instead of following the Comanche Trail all the way back to the road. The high-speed chunder makes it a local favorite. Then, you could pick up Rojo Grande Trail and make your way back to the start. Adding in GSL, Capitol Peak, and Lighthouse Trails are always great options as well, should you have the energy.

Chinaberry Day Use Area (seen here) is one of the best parking options since it has potable water, restrooms, and a large parking area. Its riverside setting also makes it a great option to relax under some shade trees after you finish up your ride. If you're staying at a campsite, you could also pick up this loop anywhere in the middle.

Note: Palo Duro Canyon is the most-visited state park in Texas, and there has been a large initiative to increase the number of trails in the park. Not all maps reflect the recent additions, but current maps can be found here on the State Park's website. You should also grab a paper map at the entrance station when you arrive.



Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Wet-weather friendly
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area