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BLANCO CANYON

BLANCO CANYON. Blanco Canyon, on the White River, begins just north of the intersection of Farm roads 37 and 3111 in southwestern Floyd County (at 33°59' N, 101°29' W) and runs southeast for a total of thirty miles to its mouth, on the eastern cliffs of the Caprock some eight miles southeast of Crosbyton (at 33°40' N, 101°10' W). At its beginning the canyon is about fifty feet deep, and its elevations range from 3,125 feet above sea level at the river to 3,175 feet on top of the escarpment. Its average width is 1,500 feet. The gorge runs southeast, gradually deepening and widening as it crosses U.S. Highway 62 south of Floydada and enters Crosby County. It extends six miles southwest of Floydada, a mile southwest of the Mount Blanco community, and three miles east of Crosbyton. Crawfish Canyon, labeled Cañón Cangrejo on some early maps, is the only major side-canyon. This five-mile ravine along Crawfish Creek in north central Crosby County enters Blanco Canyon south of the intersection of Farm roads 193 and 651. At its mouth, some eight miles southeast of Crosbyton, Blanco Canyon is six miles wide; its cliff heights average 300 to 500 feet. The soils are loamy up the canyon and clayey and silty near its mouth. Scrub brush and grasses predominate in the area. Blanco Canyon was a favorite campground for wayfarers, including Indians, soldiers, and buffalo hunters. Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie established a supply camp known as Anderson's Fort near the canyon mouth in 1871; it is now on the National Register of Historic Places. In the 1880s the canyon became the first point of settlement for newcomers to the region because water and wood could readily be found there. The Plains Baptist Assembly grounds and the Floydada Country Club are located in Blanco Canyon south of Floydada.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Claude V. Hall, Early History of Floyd County (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1947). Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, Carbine and Lance: The Story of Old Fort Sill (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1937; 3d ed. 1969). Ernest Wallace, Ranald S. Mackenzie on the Texas Frontier (Lubbock: West Texas Museum Association, 1964).

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Handbook of Texas Online, "Blanco Canyon," accessed July 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rkb06.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.