~Lake Rita Blanca Park~

Looking out over the dried up portion of Lake Rita Blanca from a trail
Looking out over the dried up portion of Lake Rita Blanca from a trail

Lake Rita Blanca means Little White River. The name comes from the Spanish Sheepherders that inhabited the area in the mid 1800s. Lake Rita Blanca is located near the town of Dalhart, Texas south of Rita Blanca National Grassland. It is located in Hartley County, on the south side of Dalhart.

Howard found this camping spot, which at one time was a Texas State Park. I have tried to find additional information, on the web, about this camping location and all I can find is the statement – call the City of Dalhart for information.

Eight site with full hookups.
Eight sites with full hookups
Another view of our site from the other end of this beautiful park.
Another view of our site from the other end of this beautiful park
We are up the hill
We are up the hill
Howard washing off the coach
Howard washing off the coach

No longer a Texas State Park, now a Dalhart city park. There are eight RV sites, overlooking the lake, with FULL hookups: Electric, Water and Sewer. Howard was a happy camper stating: “Steady, good voltage”.

Price to stay ~ $15.00 ~ a night! The sites are located in a big gravel lot, which is level. There are utility poles with lights that light up the area at night. Since arriving on Tuesday we have had only one other RV camping here, they stayed one night and left. We are all alone, but not lonely!

We have enjoyed hiking the trails in the park, watching the wildlife in and around the  lake, visiting the downtown area and meeting some of the locals.

Lake Rita Blanca Trailhead
Lake Rita Blanca Trailhead
Lake Rita Blanca trail
Lake Rita Blanca trail
Having fun!
Having fun!
Whoa, beautiful fall colors
Whoa, beautiful fall colors

We were on a hike yesterday and stopped to speak with a lady walking her dog. She mentioned that Hilmar Cheese built a plant here in Dalhart. She told us that Hilmar is responsible for maintaining the beautiful trail we were walking. They did this to please their employees, which they moved from California to Dalhart in 2007 when they opened the plant. We later looked them up on the web and read about Hilmar building a state of the art faciltiy here. We drove to the plant today to see if they had a store and if they gave tours, but they didn’t. They do at their Hilmar, California plant.

Brown Cow
Brown Cow
Hilmar Cheese Plant
Hilmar Cheese Plant, Dalhart, Texas

We quickly learned that if  you want to eat out in Dalhart the best place to do so is at the local grocery store deli. The grocery is named United and I have to say it is a lovely store! Their staff are the most friendly people working in a grocery store I have ever met. The hot food at their deli was excellent! I also purchased some Hilmar, Pepper Jack cheese.

United Supermarket
United Supermarket

After leaving the Hilmar facility we drove through downtown Dalhart, just to experience the local area. The streets downtown are layed red bricks.

Downtown Dalhart
Downtown Dalhart
Dalhart Court House
Dalhart Court House
Memorial to 305th Airdrome Squadron
Memorial to 305th Airdrome Squadron

A little history of Lake Rita Blanca: (taken from the web)

Lake Rita Blanca is located in the High Plains region of the Texas Panhandle. The vegetation is a native, short-grass, prairie plant community. This plant community, blue grama-buffalo grass series, is representative of much of the High Plains region and provides a unique opportunity for education with the local schools and the general public.

Although Lake Rita Blanca no longer has a fishing recreation opportunity, it is the second-most important wintering area in the Texas Panhandle for migratory waterfowl in the central flyway. Each year, thousands of ducks and geese come to Lake Rita Blanca to winter. It is estimated that the number of geese alone generally ranges between 40,000 and 100,000. A large number of neotropical, migratory birds also frequent the park each spring and summer.

In addition, there is a wide variety of wildlife, including scaled quail; bald eagles; mule deer; and swift, gray, and red foxes that make their home in the park.

Recreational opportunities offered at Lake Rita Blanca includes hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, nature walks and educational classes.

Lake Rita Blanca is located just south of the City of Dalhart off of US Highway 385/87 and FM 281.

Lake Rita Blanca
Lake Rita Blanca
A Lone White Pelican
A Lone White Pelican
Lake Rita Blanca at sunset (another view)
Lake Rita Blanca at sunset
Lake Rita Blanca
Lake Rita Blanca (another view)
The Setting Sun beautifully highlight the Reeds
The Setting Sun beautifully highlight the Reeds
Blackbirds enjoy the Reeds
Blackbirds enjoy the Reeds
Last nights setting sun
Setting sun last night

I have some  more photos, which I will post.

Travel Notes:

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Departed: Capulin, New Mexico

Arrived: Dalhart, Texas

Traveled: 111 miles

Current location: Lake Rita Blanca (Dalhart city park)

Visited: Three nights (third night tonight)

In the morning we head to Copper Breaks State Park.

“Life’s journey continues another day”

13 thoughts on “~Lake Rita Blanca Park~”

    1. Hi Gay, it is a pretty place. If you enjoy the small town atmosphere then it is a very nice spot to stop. It was home to the famous XIT Ranch, which was the largest range ,consisting of 3 million acres. The Lake Rita Park is part of this old ranch. Thanks for keeping in touch! I hope you are having fun and enjoy your weekend.

    1. Hi Ingrid, yes we love taking our time and if we like a place we will stay for a little longer if not we move on. We are currently in no hurry; have to be at the MCD plant on the 10th. We arrived at Copper Breaks State Park today at 4:00pm. It is another wonderful Texas State Park! I am glad you are enjoying the posts and I also enjoy reading about your adventures! Have a joyful weekend, swim, drink and be merry! We ran out of wine and are in dry counties! 😦 So enjoy a glass for us!

      1. The MCD plant….new shades? Looking forward to a full review. I was just on their website. Be sure and let me know of any sale or discounts. These pleated shades are driving me crazy. Enjoy the TX SP and I’ll enjoy a glass of wine for you 😆 AND I did not know you are from NOLA.

  1. Found your comments interesting. We are the couple from CO that stayed overnight there in Dalhart with you (remember the wind that came up early in the morning?). You moved to Copper Breaks State Park, and we moved to Palo Duro Canyon for a few days. Stopped in and stayed in the River Bend City Park in Wichita Falls for a couple nights (you would enjoy that one, the river, the suspension foot bridge, the city park). Now in Glen Rose, TX . We must be moving at about the same speed, not getting anywhere really fast, and not in a hurry. By January we hope to be down on Mustang Island or South Padre Island. I will look in on your blog now and then, hope we cross paths again sometime. Bob and Ginny Hochnadel.

    1. Well, my gosh! Sorry we missed speaking with you! We enjoyed our stay there very much. We were slowly moving from state park to state park, which we enjoy, because we had an appointment in McKinney to get our blinds changed out in the RV. We are in McKinney, TX now. LIFE IS FUNNY, how did you find my blog? I will look and see if you have a blog, I assume you do. We will head, once we leave McKinney, to LA, MS and then to FL. Sorry, we missed you! We have HAM friends that live on Padre Island for the winter. Where in CO are you from? We didn’t even see you plates.

      1. We live in the black forest just north of Colorado Springs, we were almost burned out last summer but luckily the fire missed us. We were evacuated for about a week. If you ever visit the area give us a call. I found your blog just by checking out who was advertising our secret camping spot to the public (just kidding). We always stop there over night when we travel to or from TX, just too much driving for one long trip. We look for the unusual rest stops when we travel. Where did you stop when you stayed at Capulin ? Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a wonderful, quiet remote place to stay. They have two small campgrounds and tons of trails. The drive there is about 30 minutes due south of Amaraillo, the road down is curving and narrow. Always good for a two or three day stay. Take care in your travels and may we cross paths again someday. Bob and Ginny Hochnadel

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