Enchanted Rock State Natural Area features a grand, pink granite dome surrounded by various trails, rocks, and camp sites. Enchanted Rock is part of one of the largest batholiths [underground rock formations unveiled by erosion] in the United States. Vernal pools, located near the summit, catch rain water, and form microhabitats that play an integral role in the preservation of this natural area. This enchanted dome was considered a mystical location by Indian tribes, and they were hesitant of “ghost fires” that flickered towards the top and the sound of the rock creaking. Scientist contribute the “ghost fires” to reflections of the sun along the vernal pools, and geologists state the creaking is due to change in temperature.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit Enchanted Rock three times, and all visits varied in style and level of difficulty:
- On my first trip, we hiked up/down Summit Trail followed by a 2+ mile trail photo walk involving 2 encounters with snakes; one being a Texas Coral (“Red on yellow, kill a fellow”)!
- Second trip ended up being slightly more adventurous with an impromptu rock climb down a rocky region of the main dome.
- This last trip was definitely relaxing, and a good example of how those at various levels of fitness can conquer Enchanted Rock if they pace themselves & adjust accordingly.
Destination: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Where? 18mi. North of Fredericksburg, TX
When? June 21, 2015
What? Hike along the Summit Trail, up the pink granite dome known as Enchanted Rock.
Summit Trail: ~425 ft in .6 miles
Total Time: ~2.5 hours (at a leisurely pace, many photo stops, and relaxing/soaking in the view when we reached the top)
Moving time: ~1hr & 5 minutes
Total Miles: ~1.45 mi
Elevation gain: 449 ft
Max elevation: 1816 ft
Entrance Fee: $7 per adult
Arrival time: 8:45am
Weather: Temp 77º F cloudy | Wind 8 mph S | 83% humidity
Morning/Day Trip (6-21-15):
This was my third visit to Enchanted Rock, and it never disappoints. My mom was in town, so we wanted her to have one of the best views of Central Texas. I would say this was definitely our most leisurely pace, and probably rank it at a difficulty level of easy. It was a beautiful morning for a hike. The clouds were out, and every once in a while the sun would make an appearance. We made periodic stops on our way up for some photo ops and for my mom’s aching knees. There’s just something about reaching that highest point, and taking in the immense beauty of the Texas Hill Country.
Why should you visit?
If you’re planning a trip to Enchanted Rock, there’s so many ways to customize your trip.
- Day trip or Stargazing
- Short trip or All Day
- Picnics or Camping
- Hiking or Rock Climbing
- Nature Walks/Runs or Photo Walks
- Beginner or Extreme
- Explore or Guided Tour
Tidbits & Safety Tips
- Arrive early, close to opening time to avoid the heat during the summer & to avoid the rush. When parking reaches capacity, you have to wait in line until a vehicle leaves.
- When rain is expected, their facebook page is pretty good at keeping you updated on trail closures, or I just call them when we are on our way.
- Pack some snacks, or enjoy a picnic if you’re making it a day trip.
- When hiking up the main dome, don’t underestimate the level of difficulty, and know your limitations.
- Stay hydrated! We like to take our hydration pack similar to this –>> TETON hydration pack
- Be aware of your surroundings; step & check before you commit, and beware of dangerous animals & plant life.
- You can view the main park website for additional information.
“Movin’ To The Country, Gonna Eat A Lot Of Peaches” *
Decided to make a pitstop in Fredericksburg for nothing less than their AMAZING peaches. We decided to pick a random stop which sold peaches, jams, preserves, butters, and ice cream. It was located along the road while heading to Wildseed Farms (Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact location). Here are some photos…
* “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America
Have you ever visited Enchanted Rock?
What is one of your favorite day trip destinations?