While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


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.

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).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "BLANCO CANYON," accessed July 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rkb06.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...