Description - The Panhandle Plains region is made up of the geographic regions known as the Rolling Plains and the High Plains. The Rolling Plains region, together with the High Plains region is the southern end of the Great Plains of the central United States. Topography is gently rolling to moderately rough and dissected by narrow intermittent stream valleys flowing east to southeast. Elevation is 800 to 4,500 feet, sloping gently toward the southeast.
The original prairie vegetation included tall and midgrasses such as bluestems and gramas. A short-grass association dominated by buffalo grass is the most important plant association on the High Plains. Mesquite is a common invader in parts of this region. Stream floodplains are dominated by various hardwood species. Juniper clings to the steep slopes along rivers.
- Much of the recreation in this region is centered around reservoirs and state parks. Some of the large reservoirs include Lake Meredith, Hords Creek Lake, O.C. Fisher Lake and Twin Buttes Reservoir. Lake Meredith provides over 100 miles of shoreline and over 16,000 acres of water surface area and is surrounded by 200 foot, steep-walled canyons and broken grassland.
Some of the state parks include Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, Copper Breaks, Palo Duro Canyon, San Angelo, Fort Richardson State Historic Park and Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway.
Alibates Flint National Monument is located north of Amarillo, near Lake Meredith. Alibates Flint, distinctive for its varied coloration, occurs in dolomite outcrops atop Permain Aged Redbeds in the Canadian River breaks near Amarillo and Fritch, Texas. Early inhabitants left shallow pits as evidence and quarry activity.
Buffalo Lake and Muleshoe are two National Wildlife Refuges found in this region. The outstanding attraction at Muleshoe NWR is the wintering sandhill cranes. Buffalo Lake serves as a valuable wintering area for migrating waterfowl, thousands of ducks and geese. Both of these refuges offer opportunities for viewing wildlife and enjoying the outdoors.
Recreation - Boating, fishing, waterskiing, hiking, and camping are some of the most popular activities in this region. Other popular activities include picnicking, viewing nature, wildlife, and historic sites.
Climate - This region experiences very warm to hot summers and cool winters. Snow is not uncommon during the winter months but rarely stays on the ground for any extended period. Annual rainfall ranges from 15 inches in the west to nearly 30 inches in the eastern portion. A summer dry period with high temperatures and high evaporation rates is typical. Rainfall is lowest in winter and mid-summer and highest in April or May and September or October.
This region encompasses the Texas Panhandle and much of northern Texas. It includes the cities of Amarillo, Lubbock, and Abilene. Interstates 40, 27 and 20 lead through the region.