Hike To Enchanted Rock
Austin › Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Added by Nick Tort
This 4-mile hike with minimal elevation gain gives you gorgeous 360° views of the Texas Hill Country. The summit has a lot of surface area, giving you the opportunity for a little privacy. This hike is great for all ages and is family and pet friendly.
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. There are also some public restrooms and a truck with some snacks. Once geared up, head straight towards the Summit Trail and begin your adventure!
The trail is incredibly easy to follow - there are signs at every turn along the way. You are making your way through small boulder fields and lush desert vegetation. Once you get onto the granite boulder itself, you will see pockets of lichen and lonesome tree patches seemingly growing straight out of the rock. The trail leads to the base of the boulder and it's left up to your imagination to pick your own path to the top.
The summit is huge so there are plenty of spaces to carve out some privacy as well as mini boulder fields that offer a break to the wide open expanse you will find yourself in. In any direction you look, you will be seeing miles of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Take out your camera, snap some photos, grab a snack and soak it all up.
On the descent, I recommend heading down the west face where Enchanted Rock meets Little Rock. Here you can see the power of the earth in action - big & small fractured pieces of granite are seemingly frozen in place as they have broken away from the top layer and have began sliding down the face. Enchanted Rock is an "exfoliation dome," meaning it has layers like an onion, and as the outer layers are pushed up by the base layers, they crack and fall away.
Head up onto Little Rock to look back at Enchanted to truly appreciate the unique beauty of it. Also keep an eye out for climbers making climbing their way up!
You can easily spend the better part of a day just exploring the summit and surrounding areas! If you have the opportunity to stay for sunset, well, now you may have struck granite gold!
- Sun protection (100% exposed)
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
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Incredible, to say the least
I had no idea what to expect when my sister-in-law told me to visit this place. She had said how they used to take field trips here when she was in grade school and it was always the coolest thing. Well, that is certainly true. Enchanted rock is one of the most amazing places I've ever been to in the United States. Really, it's that incredible. Hiking up the somewhat steep side of the giant rock is absolutely surreal. Your equilibrium almost seems out of whack when you look back down at the base of the mountain. But once you're up on top, the view is astounding. You can see for miles around. Traveling back down the other side of the rock leads way to caverns and crevices which beg to be explored. Then, once back on the ground, you can explore the almost southwestern-desert nature of the surrounding trails. This is one MUST DO when in Texas.
Good Times All Around
Enchanted Rock is an awesome place to spend time with friends in the great outdoors. The avid hiker, camper, or photographer can all get their fix, and it's a place that can be equally enjoyed by beginners. Check it out!
One of my favorite places in Texas.
Incredible geological structure. There are campsites at the base with water access and primitive camping around other parts. There are also many trails going all around these massive rocks that offer some great running!
This is one of the most amazing spots in Central Texas. It rises out of nowhere and it is really incredible. One of the coolest things is staying in the park in one of the hike to campsites where you can hear the rock creaking as it contracts at night after being heated by the sun all day.
Solid As A Rock
Coming through the park gates, you see the majestic mountain beauty rise up. Both formations look daunting - the smooth, level ascent up a granite mammoth to the right, and the jagged cluster of stone that makes up the peaks to your left. Been coming since I was a kid and continue to feel a sense of adventure when exploring the trails. Get here early, and pack a lunch, because you will be staying late.
Enchanted Rock is awesome! Though it can be a very popular destination on the weekends and the trails can be overloaded with people. I suggested doing a hike to watch the sunrise, you beat the heat and the people (just don't forget a head lamp). Also if it's raining they will shut down the trail to the top because the granite becomes so slippery, so keep that in mind if you want to visit during inclimate weather.
Love Enchanted Rock! Once you hit the summit trail be sure to wander down the Echo Canyon Trail on your way back down. There are little trails that offer some fun exploring. Also hit up Moss Lake for an amazing view looking up to Enchanted Rock.
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