Check the stargazing calendar for events. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Hike to the top! After years of erosion, the top layers of the rock broke away revealing the curved dome underneath. Pick up a park map when you’re inside the park headquarters. Keep in mind that most trails close 30 minutes after sunset (the Loop Trail remains open), so plan ahead if you hope to enjoy the night sky here. Frontside Trail is also shaded during parts of the day, allowing you to soak in the scenery without having to soak in hot sun rays. Challenge yourself and climb 425 feet in 0.6 miles. Conquering the sharp incline of the Summit Trail was a workout, to say the least. Austin Trails. If you are hoping to experience Enchanted Rock, but are aiming for an easier hike, then take off on the half-mile Interpretive Loop trail to see some beautiful sites. Hike to Enchanted Rock. As congested as the park seemed at my arrival, there were no crowds on the dome. As you continue to the top though, it becomes steeper and in multiple places slicker. Enchanted Rock is a pink granite dome that rises 425 feet above the surrounding area in central Texas — but it’s just the exposed part of the largest batholiths in North America. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton. Taking the time to plan accordingly by bringing plenty of water as well as choosing a time of day, There are so many sites you can choose from, but you must hike in with everything you need as well as leave the site better than you found it. We respect your privacy.Your information is safe and will never be shared. Once you get to the entrance, you may see a line of cars on the side of RR 965 facing west. 19 Best Austin Swimming Holes in (+ Near) the City, Stargazing in Texas: Dark Sky Locations + Tips. Enchanted Rock is a perfect destination for rock climbers, hikers, and even for those that simply want to sit back and enjoy the scenery on top of a beautiful piece of pink granite. Or, just go straight to the top! For aggressive rock climbers, consider participating in … Climb atop the ancient dome at the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, just 20 miles north of Fredericksburg. Just North of Fredericksburg, TX offers great views and fun bouldering. Naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts alike travel to Enchanted Rock to soak in the amazing ecosystem that Enchanted Rock offers. There are several outfitters and rock-climbing guide services listed on the website. There are also some public restrooms and a truck with some snacks. I could see for miles from the top of the dome. The Summit Trail will guide you to the top of Enchanted Rock. If you have ever visited Texas in the summer months, you know that temperatures can easily surpass the 100-degree mark. Enchanted Rock is considered an exfoliation dome, which means it is constantly eroding and changing to this day. 'Started from the bottom, now we’re here,' said Lauren Katz, quoting the musician Drake. Enchanted Rock. Rock climbing: Enchanted Rock has hundreds of routes that fit every skill level of rock-climbing enthusiasts. Please see our, 15 Epic Hikes in Texas (+ Map to Find the Trails! Keep in mind that pets are no longer allowed to hike along the Summit Trail. Humans have been visiting this rock for 12,000 years, and some believe it has spiritual significance. ), 11 Delightful Things to Do in Driftwood, TX. However, no matter when you visit, we recommend arriving as early as possible–once the park is full for the day, the park rangers will cut off access, and you may miss your chance to visit. All of which are fairly short and family-friendly. Visit the park on a weekday or early in the morning to avoid any extra wait time. Photographers come from all over to hope to capture a picture of the milky way or stars while on top of Enchanted Rock and many have captured some remarkable views. Enchanted Rock State Park (officially Enchanted Rock State Natural Area) is an easy day trip from Austin to Fredericksburg area. After a while, these pools begin to have a life of their own as they grow moss, turn into tiny ecosystems, and support life such as fairy shrimp. Just like the name, the Enchanted Rock Area allows you to climb the ancient and historical pink granite area for amazing Hill Country views. There are so many sites you can choose from, but you must hike in with everything you need as well as leave the site better than you found it. ~I'm linking up with Budget Travelers Sandbox, R We … If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. There are typically a lot of people on top of the Summit Trail, but finding even a small space will allow you to soak in the beautiful surrounding scenery and make you feel like you have your own area. This is also the only Enchanted Rock hike that allows pets. Photo by JoAnna Kopp. Enchanted Rock is the huge pink granite dome behind the sign, and can be seen for miles around. Davis Mountains State Park: Hiking, Camping + More! There is plenty of parking at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area as well as bathrooms and water fountains at the base of the Summit Trail. The park has been a … TRAIL ETIQUETTE Trash your trash. ), 31 Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg, TX, Hiking in San Antonio: 13 Trails In + Near San Antonio. One last note: Legend states that “bad fortune and death will befall anyone who climbs the rock with bad intent,” according to the Texas State Historical Association. Check out R We There Yet Mom for the story of a family who doesn’t whine their way to the top. At Enchanted Rock State Natural Area camping is a little different than some of the other parks I’ve written about. Although it may look like you are in for an easy climb, it actually is more like climbing a 30 story staircase and should be planned out accordingly. - See 2,265 traveler reviews, 1,735 candid photos, and great deals for Fredericksburg, TX, at Tripadvisor. Bring plenty of water, too; you’ll be dying for it after the hike. It’s worth it. Driving from Austin to Enchanted Rock takes about 1.5 to 2 hours for the 95 mile (153 km) drive, depending on your route and traffic. Choosing days that are less popular,such as weekdays or Sunday mornings, will ensure you have plenty of space to explore the park with your family and friends. You can hike, backpack, camp, rock climb, picnic, bird, study nature, geocache, and stargaze at the Enchanted Rock … Austin, TX: Enchanted Rock Loop. When you are hiking Enchanted Rock, at first it may not look like a hard or long climb. The most well-known trail at Enchanted Rock Natural Area is the Summit Trail. If you have ever visited Texas in the summer months, you know that temperatures can easily surpass the 100-degree mark. You cannot beat watching a sunset from the top of Enchanted Rock, so bringing a jacket will help keep you warm even after the sun goes down. Take An Easy Out-And-Back Trail To Enter Another World At Enchanted Rock In Texas. Some aficionados of rock climbing and bouldering like to come out to Enchanted Rock to climb while others stick around until night time to enjoy the excellent Stargazing. over 4 years ago. People drive from all over the state to see the pink granite rock that rises 425 feet high and can be seen from miles away–and to complete an Enchanted Rock hike. Take Hwy 290 West to Fredericksburg. The following trails are the most popular. But there’s more at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area than just the dome. If you are wanting to experience primitive camping within Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, then Moss Lake is the trail for you. The avid hiker, camper, or photographer can all get their fix, and it's a place that can be equally enjoyed by beginners. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area consists of numerous peaks, each of them a separate highpoint of the granite bubble, most of which continues to … It is a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers alike. One of the longest hikes in the park, the loop trail will take you around the perimeter of the park allowing you to trek through many ecosystems and landscapes. The Hikes: The path to the summit of Enchanted Rock is the most popular trail in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and one of the more well known hikes in the state. Enchanted Rock is a special place in the Texas Hill Country (Edwards Plateau). There are several outfitters and rock-climbing guide services listed on the website. All Rights Reserved. Enchanted Rock the biggest in a chain of large granite domes (monadnocks) that rise above the landscape in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The short, stunning summit trail in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is one of the most popular hikes in Texas. Texas' Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The beautiful scenery and interesting geology that surround Enchanted Rock are remarkable, and choosing what time of year to visit is incredibly important. Travel 17 miles North to Enchanted Rock. Hike or climb this pristine pink-granite wonderland just outside Austin. There are multiple pathways off of the rock beside the marked Summit Trail, just know if you decide to take a different trail that they are often a lot steeper and should be hiked with extreme caution. Texas definitely has no shortage of beautiful hikes to embark on, but many are extremely long, difficult, or located in areas far too remote to access easily. However, I completely forgot about the struggle once I reached the summit. New regulations have been put in place to protect the vernal pools and other sensitive habitats at the top of the dome. Subscribe to our E-mail newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news. If you click through a link on Lone Star Travel Guide, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Turn right on Milam St. (RR 965). Enchanted Rock is an exfoliation dome. Native Americans believed the pink granite dome had magical and spiritual powers. This short and sweet trail will allow you to get glimpses of many of the plants that grow in the diverse area of Enchanted Rock. Rock climbing: Enchanted Rock has hundreds of routes that fit every skill level of rock-climbing enthusiasts. Taking the time to plan accordingly by bringing plenty of water as well as choosing a time of day that the temperatures are lower is an important step to take. It would be such a fun adventure to primitive camp on Moss Lake trail and venture to parts of Enchanted Rock to stargaze at night. Enchanted Rock SNA has 35 walk-in sites with water and 20 primitive sites. All rights reserved. While you are on the Turkey Loop trail you will also be passing Enchanted Rock so you are able to get glimpses of so many different areas. Enchanted Rock … Before you go: Reserve your Save the Day Pass online or by phone (512) 389-8900 in advance. The trail starts at the waypoint "Trailhead" on the topo map, near the turnaround at the northernmost parking area, and heads north. It’s windy at the top, which will be a nice relief on a hot summer day, but on crisp, cool days, carry a light jacket. That’s not to say options are limited though. An important consideration when planning a trip is just how popular Enchanted Rock is all throughout the year. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is home to the one of the largest batholiths in the United States. Copyright ©2021 101 Highland Lakes I felt so small, and I swear I felt some of the magic of which ancient Indian tribes swore. For your own safety, choosing shoes that have good traction will keep your feet firmly planted on the rock as well as keep you from getting a nasty stubbed toe. Make sure to watch where you step especially if you go down different sides of the rock, to help keep you and your family safe. Texas is hot, and if you decide to venture up Enchanted Rock in the middle of summer it may feel like a melting pot. tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock. One of my favorite things to do in the Hill Country is Hiking Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, Texas. Good Times All Around. Bluebonnets in Texas: Where to Find Them + Tips for Visiting! 4.9 5.4 mi / 344 ft gain Once inside the park, you can't miss either parking lots that are surrounded by picnic tables and well marked signs pointing towards the trails. Outside of the summer months, the weather is usually comfortable throughout the year and provides you with perfect opportunities for completing an Enchanted Rock hike. It is a very doable hike, really. Make sure to grab a tripod for some incredible sunset pictures. If you’re feeling artistic, bring a sketchbook or a watercolor set. Bring your camera. Enchanted Rock has some pretty great history and folklore, but I am too out of breath to tell it to you. The thru-hike is typically done from the Stuart Lake trailhead, because it reduces the total elevation gain by 2,600 feet relative to going the opposite direction (although it still takes in the punishing climb up Aasgard Pass, which rises 1,900 feet in less than a mile). The Summit Trail gains elevation quickly so pacing yourself is incredibly important. Bring your telescope and attend a Rock Star Party led by the Hill Country Astronomers. As an Amazon Associate, Lone Star Travel Guide earns from qualifying purchases. Bring your binoculars and grab a bird checklist from the park headquarters. What to do in enchanted rock: Hiking: While Enchanted Rock is a relatively small park, there are still over ten miles of hiking trails to explore. 5.0. Enchanted Rock was named after the spiritual powers Native Americans believed it harnessed. The Turkey loop trail allows you to see two other formations in the park, Freshman Mountain and Turkey Peak. The entrance to Enchanted Rock is located at 16710 RR 965 north of Fredericksburg. About 15 minutes outside of Fredericksburg is Enchanted Rock State Park. Hike Enchanted Rock. The massive pink granite dome rising above Central Texas has drawn people for thousands of years. Katz visited Enchanted Rock from New Braunfels with her friend Dejai Jones. Hiking Enchanted Rock. People drive from all over the state to see the pink granite rock that rises 425 feet high and can be seen from miles away–and to complete an Enchanted Rock hike. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which includes Enchanted Rock and surrounding land, spans the border between Gillespie County and Llano County, south of the Llano … Texas summers are incredibly hot and hiking up a rock in the middle of the day in summer can turn into a miserable experience. There are water fountains located at the bottom of Enchanted Rock near the bathrooms, so filling up multiple water bottles is recommended. The hiking location is about 18 miles north of Fredericksburg Texas. Photo by JoAnna Kopp. Depending on how busy the park is, you could wait as long as 30 minutes in line — it’s worth it, I promise. Some links in this post may be affiliate links. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is popular almost year-round, so there will always be a wait on the weekends or holidays. It’s an easy walk, so I recommend it if you have the time. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know before visiting (and hiking) Texas’ Enchanted Rock, from what to expect to what it exactly it is in the first place! Pick your poison; enjoy the rewards. Enchanted Rock in the Hill Country of Texas, just 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, is one place that we love to hike as a family! There have been many rescues on Enchanted Rock where people have gotten to the top, exhausted and dehydrated, and completely drain their energy. Enchanted Rock has been designated an International Dark Sky Park. Hiking info for Enchanted Rock Summit Trail, located in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable hiking shoes. All of the campsites are walk-up and primitive sites only. Most of the time there will be lines of cars waiting to get into Enchanted Rock to hike and explore for the day. It offers park camping, picnicking, 8.4 miles of hiking trails, a nature trail, interpretive exhibits, rock climbing, watchable wildlife and a park store. Being intentional about where you step and making sure rocks are sturdy before you step will help keep you safe. The short, stunning summit trail in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is one of the most popular hikes in Texas. Photo by JoAnna Kopp. The intelligence behind our managed microgrids, the Enchanted Rock microgrid operating platform, leverages patented microgrid design and proprietary software and integrated processes to monitor, analyze, automate, and control microgrid operations 24/7/365 in response to site and grid conditions as well as dynamic energy markets. (You cannot swim here or ride bikes on the trails.) Any people within eyesight were mere ants compared to the gargantuan views. The rock is said to be "enchanted" because it "sings" at sundown - creaking and groaning caused when the granite cooks in the Texas heat all day, then cools rapidly after the sun dips below the horizon. So visit Enchanted Rock with good vibes and positive intentions, and you will have an unforgettable experience. Enchanted Rock is one of the best places in Texas to stargaze because of its dark nights. The domes are a small and visible part of a huge underground area of granite called a batholith. Unsubscribe at anytime. Turkey Loop trail also guides you to the back of Enchanted Rock where many people go to rock climb as well as explore different caves within Enchanted Rock. I hope to add more information for this trip report soon. Enchanted Rock (16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg TX) is a pink granite mountain located in the Llano Uplift about 17 miles (27 km) north of Fredericksburg, Texas and 24 miles (39 km) south of Llano, Texas, United States. You will likely also see many animals that call Enchanted Rock home. While the summit of Enchanted Rock can be reached via a simple hike, the dome is well … Some links throughout this site are affiliate links. Because most of the trail is literally walking up Enchanted Rock, the trail to the top is typically labeled with trail markers attached to the rock all the way up. Frontside trail will take you around the front and side of Enchanted Rock and connect you to Turkey Pass. Besides rocks, other animals that live in Enchanted Rock such as snakes can hide in boulders so it is important to always look before you step. Staff at Enchanted Rock work hard to minimize night lighting so you can sit back and stargaze with ease. Enchanted Rock is an awesome place to spend time with friends in the great outdoors. Today, the state park remains a popular destination for those looking to commune with nature. Hike the trails of this natural wonder to find a quiet spot, take a deep breath, and open your senses to all that Enchanted Rock has to offer. From San Antonio: Take Hwy 281 North to Johnson City. I could feel it in my calves, thighs and glutes the whole way up (and a few days after). Continue to Fredericksburg, and turn right on Milam St. (RR 965). I hope ya'll enjoyed the video well more like pictures of my hike with my boyfriend and friend at Enchanted Rock here in Texas. The Enchanted Rock batholith stretches 62 miles — mostly underground. There is no car or RV camping available. Enchanted Rock is the second largest batholith in the United States, second only to the massive Stone Mountain in Georgia. Hike to Enchanted Rock. Not paying attention to where you are walking can result in a sprained ankle or injury. For aggressive rock climbers, consider participating in Granite Gripper, an annual climbing competition each fall. Lower loop trail is longer at 4 miles and easier on knees, less exposed. Although Texas is typically warmer than most areas, the top of Enchanted Rock can also get a cool breeze coming off of it. Just make sure to keep your pet on a leash! Turn West on Hwy 290. The view from the peak of Enchanted Rock is a sight to behold. We respect your privacy. It was for sure fun! Stargazing: Scale the dome at sundown for a stunning view of the Milky Way. As you hike up Enchanted Rock you will likely be excessively sweating, so having water to hydrate yourself is imperative. Visitors have been coming to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for centuries and it remains one of the most popular things to do in Fredericksburg. The peak at Enchanted Rock feels like an oasis. Enchanted Rock covers 640 acres and rises 425 feet. When you first set out on the Summit Trail, Enchanted Rock may seem easy to walk up in different types of shoes. Check it out! Once you get past the entrance, park rangers will point you to the headquarters and parking spots. Take the Summit Trail, where you’ll climb a steep 425 feet in 0.6 miles. Texas doesn’t typically get extreme winters so hiking during winter will provide you with cooler weather and in the fall, maybe even a chance to glimpse some trees changing color. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Scenic views, geological wonders, and stunning beauty await. Photo by JoAnna Kopp. The loop trail is over 4 miles and guides you around the park where you can see Enchanted Rock from multiple views and vantage points as well as see some beautiful hill country scenery. If you’re a fan of camping, backpacking, rock climbing, geocache, stargazing, photography and birdwatching, you’ll love this area as … It’s a simple hike, but when you make it to the top, you are rewarded with stunning views of the Hill Country. The Enchanted Rock Batholith stretches 62 squares miles and most of it is underground. Most of the Enchanted Rock hikes are short, but don’t be fooled–large elevation changes, little shade, and extreme temperatures in the summer can make some of these hiking trails more challenging than you would think! I relaxed in my solitude, taking in the pure, unadulterated nature around me. On an Enchanted Rock hike, you’ll encounter boulders and rocks on most trails. Circumnavigate a 425-foot monolith on this 4.9-miler that crosses a sandy creek and … Colorado Bend State Park Guide: Waterfalls, Caves + More. Packing a light jacket will help you be comfortable in the spring and fall, even when temperatures are cooler on top of the rock. Taking your time and pacing yourself will allow you to get to the top and enjoy the surrounding scenery without being too exhausted. It would be such a fun adventure to primitive camp on Moss Lake trail and venture to parts of Enchanted Rock to, Texas is hot, and if you decide to venture up Enchanted Rock in the middle of summer it. Texas summers are incredibly hot and hiking up a rock in the middle of the day in summer can turn into a miserable experience. Even if you can only visit in summer, just make sure you choose your time of day wisely. This is the waiting line to get inside the park (don’t cut). As of January 26, 2019 Texas State Parks uses a reservation system which is very helpful during peak seasons. Travel 17 miles north to Enchanted Rock. Editor's note: This article was updated to reflect the March 1, 2016 changes and January 26, 2019 changes from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Enchanted Rock Hike - See 2,265 traveler reviews, 1,735 candid photos, and great deals for Fredericksburg, TX, at Tripadvisor. Over time this process has continued to happen over and over. However, pets are still allowed in designated day-use and camping areas as well as on the Loop Trail. Important Details for Hiking Enchanted Rock, 6 Historic Lighthouses in Texas (That You Can Visit! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Besides Enchanted Rock, there are Little Dome, Turkey Peak, and others that look like a dome as well in the same location. Bird-watching: Bird enthusiasts can observe more than 20 species of birds, including roadrunners and woodpeckers. This is a 1.6 mile loop hike with 300 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The park even puts on special hikes such as a moonrise hike or Stargazing 101 with a park ranger. You can hike, backpack, camp, rock climb, picnic, bird, study nature, geocache and stargaze. The exciting trails in the park offer more than just a trip to the summit. What to bring: There is no shade on the massive dome, so bring sunscreen. The Loop Trail is four miles long and takes you around the perimeter of the dome. Loop Trail: The trail is the longest trail in the park and takes you around the perimeter. When you are on top of Enchanted Rock, you can look for Vernal Pools, which are small dips in the top of the rock dome where water sits. Routes that fit every skill level of rock-climbing enthusiasts today to receive updates on the Trail! Feeling artistic, bring a sketchbook or a watercolor set ll encounter boulders and rocks most. Reviews, 1,735 candid photos, and can be seen for miles around and easier on,. Is all throughout the year: hiking, camping + more to minimize lighting. Still allowed in designated day-use and camping areas as well as on the website save the in. Tribes swore shade on enchanted rock hike massive Stone Mountain in Georgia ants compared to the massive,... Constantly eroding and changing to this day on knees, less exposed a of! Seemed at my arrival, there were no crowds on the trails. and attend a Rock in the outdoors! 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