Hike to Gorman Falls
Austin › Gorman Falls Trailhead
Added by Korey Taylor
3 miles roundtrip, -200 foot elevation gain$6 Entrance Fee (Free with TX State Parks Pass)65 feet of cascading waterA unique "living" waterfallScenic hikeDog-friendly
Gorman Falls is truly a gem of the Texas Hill Country. This waterfall is situated in Colorado Bend State Park, one of the most diverse state parks in the area, and is what is considered a "living" waterfall. While most waterfalls will get smaller over time, Gorman Falls gets bigger. This is due to the high concentration of carbon dioxide in the water that runs through the large limestone deposits in the area. Changes in temperature and pressure dissolve minerals in the water forming deposits on tiny underwater plants and surfaces. Over time the deposits build up and form a rock called Travertine, which has made Gorman Falls 650 feet wide and 60 feet thick over millions of years. However, these soft layers of Travertine can be crushed so they area right around the waterfall is restricted to foot traffic in order to preserve the fragile environment. So be respectful to the area if you visit, it's still a stunning sight!
The entrance to Colorado Bend State Park is off FM 580 in Bend, Texas. If you are visiting the park just for the day there is a self-service pay station right as you enter on the right. If you are planning to stay the night you must continue along the park road for another 6 miles to the park headquarters to pay for a camping site. Gorman Falls Trailhead is located right near the park entrance and conveniently has a parking lot at the start. The trail itself is 3 miles roundtrip, however the park does have a free two hour scheduled group tour that will take you on a shorter 1.5 mile hike to the falls (call ahead for times if interested in the tour). The hike itself is pretty rugged through an arid, hot landscape that is surrounded by thousands of cacti. It's best to start as early as you can to beat the heat and make sure you bring lots of water.
- Sturdy shoes for the rugged trail
- Lots of water - especially in the summer
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
even in winter, the sun is fierce!
Visited in November and while the weather was cooperative, the sun is very fierce. The path is rocky and full of stones so if you're traveling with a dog, beware their paws if they're not used to hiking. The falls are very beautiful, but I think a couple angles from pictures here are only possible if you don't obey signage warning to keep off the falls...the area near them for relaxing is very small and there's not much to look at besides the falls themselves. But their beauty bumps overall review up into a 4.
Worth the hike
My boyfriend and I camped at Colorado Bend State Park the first weekend in April, hoping the weather would cooperate. We did the Gorman Falls hike on our last day, and it was a great end to our weekend. I should note though, that there is little shade on the whole hike so bring lots of sunscreen so you don't get burned like we did! The waterfall area is nice and cool, though it gets to be a steep downhill slope so make sure to have good hiking boots and to hold on to the railing they have set up on each side of the path. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to see the biggest waterfall in Texas!
This hike is definitely worth it! My friend and I hiked it in September and the Grotto at the end of it is breathtaking! I would plan on getting to the end and taking some lunch or snacks and just enjoying the view there for awhile.
This is a must see if you live in Texas. Colorado Bend is a park where you definitely feel like you are in a remote area. Deer will even walk right up to you and will linger around your campsite. Gorman Falls is beautiful and very unique to Texas!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Riverplace Nature Trail
Austin / River Place Nature Trail Trailhead
This is a great trail to get some exercise close to downtown.
Hike Up Mount Bonnell
Austin / Mount Bonnell
The trail up is a combination of manmade and natural stairs that take you up to the top. At the summit, you will find beautiful views of the area, and a pavilion where you can have a picnic lunch.