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Bandera, Texas

Hike the Medina Loop

5 Miles Total - 1800 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Clark Pantel

Hike through a historic ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Native American overlooks, spring fed rivers, and views that are expansive as anywhere in the state.

The Photos as seen above are from the Medina Loop hike.  I'll preface by saying that this isn't the hike I went to the park for, yet I'm incredibly satisfied with the experience.  

The Medina loop had everything you'd want in a hike.  Mixed terrains, wildlife to watch, and glimpses of expansive views of the Hill Country.  From what I experienced in the passing of rustic, rundown ranch outposts, I believe this section of the former Chapa Family Ranch was where they raised and bread their livestock.  Along the trail, you'll pass by multiple hay barns and chicken coops still standing as they were in the 1800's.

Path's can be described as easy to moderate.  Be aware of loose rock as you initially start.  That will give way to trodden down hay grass which in my opinion is a relief compared to the ever shifting loose limestone.  The hill's aren't difficult to ascend, and tend to be more gradual rather than a steeper climb.  Expect the round trip to take 2-3 hours depending on how many photographs you take.  And trust me, you'll have plenty of opportunities.

Highlights of the loop include the various ranch structures still standing on the site, Comanche Bluff, and Chaquita Falls.  

Comanche Bluff is the biggest attraction in my opinion.  An outlook that peers down the canyon which Chaquita Falls sets.  You'll perch at the highpoint with an incredible view across the property (seen above in photos).  The breeze up there is second to none.  

Once you come down from the Bluff, you'll immediately maneuver into the campsites that appear to be former resting spots for the Chapa Family Ranch hands.  Wide live oak trees with the expansive shaded area cool the temperatures by 15 degree's on a hot day.  

Lastly, you'll want to stop and enjoy the clear waters at the edge of Chaquita Falls.  The soft churning of the water coming over the 3 foot edge could relax even the most tense of individuals.  Spring fed water so clear, one can see right to the 5-6 feet deep thanks to the forgiving limestone bottoms.  

All in all a wonderful hike.  Was not worn to the core when I left, but didn't have enough gas to make another hike.  I'll be returning to the Hill Country State National area for a second hike, and by far the most picturesque of all the West Peak Overlook Trail. See a map of the Natural Area's trails here.  

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Tags

Camping
Mountain Biking
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Leave No Trace

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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