Enchanted Rock State Natural AreaLeave review
About Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Campgrounds in Enchanted Rock
Amenities, shemenities. Who needs ‘em when you’re surrounded by the great outdoors? Similar to Walnut Springs, campers must hike 1-3 miles on...
Walk it out to the walk-in campsites, where groups can stay and stare in awe of the enchanted rock (among other activities like hiking, etc. )....
Amenities, shemenities. Who needs ‘em when you’re surrounded by the great outdoors? Similar to Moss Lake, campers must hike 1-3 miles on rugged...
Drop some Enchanted Rock knowledge on us.
Don't let first impressions fool you—E-rock doesn't look like much when you first see it from a distance—this hunk of granite does indeed live up to the park service's claim of being "Magical, Mystical, Enchanted." Complete with some very decent hiking trails, good rock climbing, and even a cave to explore, this camping destination provides plenty to do.
If interested in the hike, I recommend a bottle of water per person and some good hiking shoes. I've seen more than one bloke attempt the steep incline in cowboy boots only to discover what it feels like to have mother nature knock you down a peg or two. The best time to hike is in the evening; sunset is truly breathtaking from the top. Take some wine and a blanket and you'll quickly discover why this rock earned its enchanted title.
The only caution is to beware of crowds on weekends. Visitors are a friendly bunch, but the aforementioned booted blokes can sometimes distract from the serene beauty of the environment. Additionally on crowded holiday weekends, the park can reach capacity by mid day and you might be turned away. However if you're already camping in the park, then you won't have to worry about this.
Every Texan and Texas visitor should make Enchanted Rock a priority. You won't be able to visit just once.
Enchanted Rock SP recently received recognition from the International Dark Sky Association as an official Dark Sky Park, one of the few in Texas to have this honor. What that means for you is some of the best star gazing the state has to offer can be done just an hour and a half from Austin or San Antonio! If you can't get out to Big Bend or the Davis Mountains, E-Rock is the next best thing. Bring a red headlamp to hike to the top of the summit for a great 360 view of the milky way.
Camped and visited Enchanted Rock for the first time last weekend for the Geminids Meteor Shower. It's a fantastic place for stargazing that's not too far from Austin.
The campsites are walk-ins, so you cannot drive right up to your campsite to unload. We wanted to be closer to the rocks and trails, so we opted to have a few-minute walk from the parking area to our campsite. We were in campsite #35, which was next to some large rocks that helped shield us from the wind and felt more secluded. There are also campsites near the restrooms/showers and parking area that would only be a few steps from your car.
There is ice and firewood for sale in the park store (cash only). Bring flashlights/headlamps for walking around at night.
I would not go here for a weekend trip, but one over night or just a day trip is worth it! Its a super cool spot when no one is there. It literally felt like we were at Mars or something. BIG PLUS: they have heaters in the restrooms during the winter!!
Enchanted rock is a must visit in Texas! For great views take the Echo Canyon trail to Mirror Lake..Echo Canyon also has a lot of side trails to explore if you're looking for other things to do besides the Summit Trail!
Great changes are coming to Enchanted Rock. When I camped there in September of 2015, I noticed a good number of the walk-up campsites had been disassembled and marked off with survey tape. Turns out, they are retiring about 1/4 of the campsites. This may seem like it would make it harder to get a campsite, but the real advantage of doing this is to allow for more space between campsites and improving the overall camping experience. Also, they are lowering the number of people from the outrageous eight per site to six, which is still quite generous.
Enchanted Rock is incredibly popular and with good reason, it's a wonderful park. These changes will only make the camping experience even better in the future.
Pros: The Enchanted Rock really is unique. Views on top are good, but the rock itself is what is really impressive. Limited light pollution made star gazing nice. PET FRIENDLY!! They had signs up though that they will be limiting the pet friendly areas 03/01/16.
CONS: Noisy. People are on the rock from 9am-10pm. Yelling is pretty common up there because it gets so windy. Those yells are heard easily on the ground. Once nightfall came, you could hear cars from the highway hit a cattle guard over and over. Not a lot of room here either. It would be hard to find a site further than 20 yards from a trail.
Best for a day hike or family over night. I wouldn't recommend for those accustomed to backcountry camping.
I took my kids (4 and 6) primitive camping for the first time at Enchanted Rock. The Moss Lake campground was spectacular. We were very lucky to be the ONLY ones at the campground on a busy spring weekend. If you want to stay in a popular park but not be surrounded by people, check this out!
The nearby composting toilet was a great amenity. Tap water is only a ~1.25 mile hike away and we drank filtered water from the lake.
I'm not sure if they've changed the rules recently but I was explicitly told "no hammocks" when checking in.
Plenty of shady spots to choose from in this area. Unfortunately for us, a boy scout troop moved in at 1 AM! I think this might be a more crowded campground as it is a short hike from the parking lot. Moss Lake may be a better bet for a more secluded night, but it may depend on the day. Ask the rangers before heading out which campground has had more check-ins!
History of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area sits on Big Sandy Creek on the border of Gillespie and Llano counties. It is 18 miles north of Fredericksburg.
The Nature Conservancy of Texas purchased the property from Charles Moss in 1978. It later sold the 1,640.5-acre property to the state of Texas. The state bought an additional three acres to add to the park.
Enchanted Rock opened as a state natural area in October 1978. It is a National Natural Landmark, and is on the National Register of Historic Places as an Archeological District.
More than 400 archaeological sites have been found in the park. All are protected, and 120 of them are designated State Archeological Landmarks.
More than 250,000 people trek to the park each year to experience the magic of Enchanted Rock. In fact, it is one of the most visited parks in the state park system.