Hike To Enchanted Rock

Austin Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    4 Miles

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic

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!

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Sun protection (100% exposed)
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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Went out to hike up the summit trail, but was told that dogs aren't allowed on the summit because they tend to fall and get stuck in between the rocks, totally understandable, just wish we got to do the summit hike. However there is a very nice 4 mile long trail that goes around the base of the mountain and up a few small ones. Beautiful streams and lovely landscapes. Just know that no furry friends are allowed on the summit!

23 days ago
23 days ago

We visited Enchanted Rock in November 2016, weather was great, we were able to climb up to the summit with our 2.5 years old daughter, we had a great time, landscape is amazing, the ride from San Antonio is worthy, bring a lot of water and some snacks, also save some energy to drive back. :)

8 months ago
8 months ago

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.

11 months ago
11 months ago

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!

12 months ago
12 months ago

Enchanted rock is such a breathtaking and rejuvenating place to go to with family or friends! I had so much fun exploring the whole summit and taking cool pics with friends. Would totally go back again

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Great place to go! Have hiked it multiple times! Go when it's cool and not right after a rain. Dog friendly!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Enchanted Rock is absolutely beautiful. I'd recommend bringing a hydration pack as its a pretty steep hike. Awesome view at the top though!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

We did this hike on Mother's Day. The flowers were in full bloom, the streams around Enchanted Rock were running strong, the weather was great. Highly recommended!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Haven't camped before, but a nice day trip from Austin for lunch on top of the rock!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Great camping and tons of trails to hike! This is a true hill country gem.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

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.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Bring PLENTY of water if you visit May-August. Texas is disgustingly hot and humid.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Worth the visit, bring friends & post a photo about your "enchanted" day :)

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Nick TortExplorer

I love to share what I find along the way so that others may experience the same joys. Sometimes my words fall short, but a photo can tell the story for me.

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