Enchanted Rock State Park in Texas: Gigantic Batholith and Nature Lovers' Paradise
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 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
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:
- 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.
- 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 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.
Would visiting Enchanted Rock be of interest to you?
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.
Questions & Answers
© 2009 Peggy Woods