TEXAS CANYON, AZ (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - Arizona and Texas share a few things, like coyotes, canyons and cactus. So it's a strange story to hear why you have to come all the way to Arizona to find a place called Texas Canyon.
You'll find shapes that look like frozen giants, weathered boulders or polished cliffs.
Texas Canyon is perhaps one of the easiest attractions to get to in Arizona. A good slice of it is right off Interstate 10 between Tucson and Willcox. Just slow down and pull off at exit 322 near Benson.
The canyon sits between two ranges of the Dragoon Mountains, split by the San Pedro River valley. You won't find much more than streams and washes now at Texas Canyon. However, much of this was once ancient lake beds. Scientists think that water could have been 300 feet deep at one time.
The Chiricahua Apache traditionally lived and moved through this stunning landscape. Around 1880, a man named David Adams moved to this part of Arizona from Texas and eventually brought much of his extended family to join him. Local lore says all those newcomers from the lone star state quickly gave the canyon its name, and it’s been stuck on area maps ever since.
Adams’ descendants still live and ranch in the area. Most of the majestic shapes seen there are eroded granite. The entire San Pedro Valley area is a great example of what geologists call thrust faults and folds. Old timers say Arizona's worst recorded earthquake made one side of the valley drop by nine feet. That was back in 1887.
This is a paradise for any rock-hound or photographer. Just be aware that when you’re there, you’re nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Summer monsoon storms can be swift and sudden. And the whole area cools off pretty quickly at sunset. Especially in the winter time.
For those equipped with a 4x4 vehicle, there are some more adventurous, unpaved paths to get you inside the canyon as well.