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Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas: Gigantic Batholith and Nature Lovers' Paradise

Visiting national, state, and local parks rates high on my wish list when it comes to vacations. Every park is distinct and memorable!

Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas

Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas

Enchanted Rock State Park

There is a state park near Fredericksburg, Texas that provides a fun place to spend a day hiking, climbing, picnicking, etc., and the name of it is Enchanted Rock. It is one of the numerous Texas sites worth exploring.

One time back in March of 1991, my mother, niece and I were visiting my brother and sister-in-law who happened to live in the Hill Country of Texas, Kerrville to be specific.

My brother had taken the day off to drive us around and show us things that he thought might be of interest to us. He was very familiar with that area of the country, and we got to enjoy Texas sites that we probably would never have discovered on our own.

Enchanted Rock State Park

Enchanted Rock State Park

Get an Early Start to See This Historic Landmark

Enchanted Rock State Park became a National Natural Landmark in 1970.

It became a part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 which was the date of its opening to the public as a Texas State Park.

The actual location is north of Fredericksburg on 16710 Ranch Rd 965.

One needs to get there early in the day if one wishes to be able to explore and enjoy the park. Once the parking lot reaches maximum capacity, the park is closed to any further visitors until someone leaves making room for an additional car. Sometimes this happens as soon as mid-to-late morning. There are no guarantees as to the timing of it becoming filled, so it is a first-come-first-served basis of being able to enter the park.

We got an early start and were driven there first to assure a look. Serious rock climbing was not on our agenda that day. We did do some walking but did not take any of the trails to get to the top of the pink granite dome.

The small amount of climbing that we did accomplish, considering that we were not prepared in advance, made it abundantly clear that this would be an excellent outing and place in which to spend more time.

Enchanted Rock Is a Batholith

What is a batholith?

A batholith is an underground igneous rock formation, usually granite or a similar rock type, that is uncovered by forces of erosion. There are many examples in North America, especially in the Sierra Nevada and Idaho.

But Enchanted Rock is the most massive batholith in the state of Texas, and in this part of the United States for that matter.

History and Facts of This Texas Park

The granite rocks composing Enchanted Rock are one billion years old!

Native Americans used to reside in this area in the later centuries, and the Tonkawa Indians are known to have named the outcropping of this significant rock formation.

The elevation is at 1825 feet, and Enchanted Rock rises 425 feet high above the surrounding scenery and covers about 640 acres of land out of the 1643.5 acres of the park.

What to See and Do

Enchanted Rock is a place in which to do the following activities:

  • Backpacking
  • Camping: There are 46 sites for tent camping only.
  • Hiking: There are 7 miles of hiking trails in total, some of them quite manageable and others more challenging.
  • Picnicking
  • Star Gazing
  • Bird watching
  • Rock climbing: There are 45 established rock climbing routes. One must check into park headquarters before engaging in any rock climbing activities. There is a 1,000-foot Enchanted Rock Fissure that is a challenging climb for enthusiasts.
  • Caving: People can go through one of the largest known granite caves if they are adventurous enough. One goes through these sometimes tight spaces with the only illumination being from handheld flashlights and headlights worn on one's head. Directions through the cave are by following arrows painted on the sides of the cave walls.

Watch the video below to see some of the caving done in this area. About two minutes at the front of this video there are great exterior shots of Enchanted Rock before the caving part of the video.

This article should have given you at least an introductory look at the Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas.

If you are ever in the mood to go exploring and are interested in hiking, climbing or having other types of outdoor fun, you now know where to head if in this part of Texas. Nature lovers of all kinds should find this park to be of great interest.

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 23, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

Except for people living in the area, Enchanted Rock is probably not known to many people, and it is definitely a site worth visiting. Thanks for bringing attention to it once again.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 22, 2020:

Since my last comment still applies, I will just post this on AH & FB so that hopefully more people will become aware of this park. Your photos are still fantastic and I think if people saw them they would want to see Enchanted Rock Park for real.

Hope your New Year has had a good start, and that good things will come to you all year long!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 08, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

Glad that I could inform you about this unique Texas State Park called Enchanted Rock. Would be fun to spend a day there sometime and do some hiking and climbing. We were not prepared to do that at the time but at least we got to see a portion of it and learn about it. Appreciate the votes and shares.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 06, 2015:

A very interesting sounding place and beautiful photos! Very useful first of all by informing of its existence. I've never heard of it before. Pinned to my 'Travel' board, voted up and BAUI, and shared with HP followers.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 22, 2015:

Hi pumpkincat201,

Nice that you got to climb that massive Enchanted Rock and that you did not fall into a crevice. Could have ruined your day for sure!

Courtney Rhodes on January 22, 2015:

I went there about 17 years ago now, wow, time really flies by!

It was really fun climbing up the rock, but I almost slipped into a crevice. Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2011:

Hi Billy,

I take it from your comment that you have been to Enchanted Rock State Park? Not surprising as it is not all that far away from the Houston area. I'll bet that your family loves hiking there!

billyaustindillon on October 12, 2011:

Peggy excellent representation of Enchanted Rock - it really stands out and can get some beautiful hues when the sun hits it right - always worth a hike.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2011:

Hi leahlefler,

Enchanted Rock State Park would be a fun place to spend a day if one had the time. There is so much to do and see in Texas if you ever come back this direction. You must be enjoying the Fall leaves up your way now. I miss that part about living up north. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

Enchanted Rock is definitely "one lovely hunk of granite." Nice to hear that you enjoyed learning about this unique spot in Texas. Thanks for your comment.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on October 12, 2011:

That is really beautiful! I've never really been to Texas (just driven through it on our move to the Great Lakes region), but this makes me want to visit. Those are BIG rocks!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on October 12, 2011:

That is one lovely hunk of granite. Great pix, Peggy! How odd that the number of visitors to the park is controlled by the capacity of the parking lot I've never heard of that practice anywhere else. But then your travel hubs are always enlightening! ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 11, 2011:

Hello shea duane,

Enchanted Rock State Park would keep you happily engaged with a camera and sketchbook. Just be sure and wear some good hiking shoes! :)) Glad you liked these photos.

shea duane from new jersey on October 11, 2011:

the pictures are beautiful... wow. great idea for a hub. i'd love to go there with a camera and a sketchbook!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 20, 2010:

Hi Austinguy,

Lucky 8th graders! being able to take field trips to places like Enchanted Rock State Park. Wish I had been able to do such things when I was in 8th grade! Strict rules must undoubtedly be followed to assure the where-abouts and safety of the students when hiking and climbing in that gorgeous and fun state park. Thanks for that additional bit of information.

Austinguy on June 20, 2010:

Enchanted Rock is an awesome place to visit and is a popular destination for 8th grade field trips.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 15, 2010:

Hello Brigitte,

Wishing you lots of fun on your visit to Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas. Do you plan on doing much climbing? If you do, carry lots of water with you and enjoy!!! After your visit, let me know what you thought of it if you get the chance. Thanks!

Brigitte Thompson from Austin, TX on March 15, 2010:

Love the article. We plan on visiting the Enchanted Rock first part of May.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 06, 2009:

Greetings Jenny-Anne,

So happy to hear that you enjoyed this "armchair" version of hiking and climbing in Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas. It must have been so much fun to have climbed Ayers Rock! We are also not traveling as much as in the past and enjoy reading and hearing about other people's experiences. Thanks for commenting. Going over to your hubs now and take a look.

Jenny-Anne on November 06, 2009:

Hi Peggy W, in my imagination,I'm a seasoned hillwalker so I liked this hub on Enchanted Rock. I climbed Ayers Rock in Australia about 10 years ago - but I can't afford to go too far afield just at the moment. It's nice to get a taste of other places by reading hubs like this. All the best!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 31, 2009:

Hello shamelabboush,

Thanks for commenting as you regularly do. As far as a tourist guide...guess people will just have to tune in to hubpages. LOL

Have many more hubs about places visited yet to write.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 31, 2009:

Greetings Irvans,

Nice to see a new face here. A geophysicist friend of mine just responded to my regular email that his family have often climbed on Enchanted Rock enjoying the hiking and fun times spent there.

He also said that supposedly Enchanted Rock is the 2nd largest batholith in the world, Stone Mountain in Georgia being the largest.

Ayers Rock in Australia is larger but it is a monolith.

Just some interesting statistics. All I know is that this Texas State Park is definitely an enchanting place.

Thanks for the comment. Hope you get to visit there sometime. Do you live anywhere close?

shamelabboush on August 31, 2009:

Oh wow, what a giant rock out there? SO, another trip of you Peggy :) Lucky you... Why don't you write a book about all that like a tourist attraction guide?

Irvans on August 31, 2009:

I am interested in reading this article, I am also from Texas, thank Peggy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 30, 2009:

Hello Wealthmadehealthy,

Nice to meet another person who has been there and can verify that Enchanted Rock is a fun place to hike and explore. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Wealthmadehealthy from Somewhere in the Lone Star State on August 30, 2009:

Oh the memories! I have been here and it is a really fun place to go if you like to hike and climb...never went to the top, but did a lot of hiking there! Great hub!!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 30, 2009:

Hi jill of alltrades,

Even if you never make it to Enchanted Rock State Park in person, at least you have had a look at it via this hub. I also like reading about other people's adventures knowing that it is not possible to see and do it all. But we get a taste...right? Thanks for your comment.

jill of alltrades from Philippines on August 29, 2009:

Wow! This looks so...enchanting! I think the name fits it perfectly! I wish I could visit, but I don't know if I will ever be able to since I live in another part of the world. Anyway, who knows?

Thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2009:

Hi Ethel,

Enchanted Rock is a bit on the wild side...just as nature created it. Not much done by man in the area to change it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2009:

Hello loveroflife,

You are most welcome. Glad you liked this hub about Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas. Someday it would be fun to go back and do more hiking. Thanks for the comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2009:

Hello Pete,

I agree with you that enjoying things in the great outdoors is always fun. Our many state parks have so much variety and we certainly liked being introduced to Enchanted Rock. Hope you get to see it for yourself someday and get to do some hiking and exploring. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on August 29, 2009:

Looks wild and inspiring Peggy

loveroflife on August 29, 2009:

Thanks for showing us another unique Texas natural treasure.

Pete Maida on August 29, 2009:

More people ought to adventure outdoors on vacation and feel the world around them. This looks like a great place to stop the next time we're in Texas.

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