Located off-the-beaten-path near the town of Quanah, Copper Breaks State Park is an invaluable natural geologic time capsule. The park takes its name from the gray-green streaks of raw copper that band its many rust colored mini-canyons and arroyos. An ancient inland sea helped form the area into a broken badlands of gullies, mesas and juniper “breaks.” Bordered by the seasonal Pease River, this land was once rich in buffalo and other wildlife and offered protection and bounty to generations of Native Americans—as evidenced by 10,000 years of archaeological remains. Nearby Highway 6, once known as the Mackenzie Trail, was a major cattle trail and pioneer wagon road. Comanche and Kiowa, cowboys and settlers all traveled and camped in the same places that visitors hike and camp today.
Despite its beauty, the park’s remote location keeps visitor traffic down and helps maintain a sense of seclusion and wilderness. The park offers 10 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. There are opportunities for camping, bird watching, nature study, swimming, picnicking, or fishing in Lake Copper Breaks. Its out-of-the-way location offers exceptional dark skies for star-gazing. The interpretive center at the park’s headquarters features natural and historical exhibits, and a portion of the official Texas longhorn herd roams areas of the park, giving visitors a chance to experience this Texas legend.