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After recommendations from multiple people and reading this blog post by Jeff Hester (one of my inspirations for writing about my travels), I took the morning to drive to Fredericksburg from Austin, TX to check out Enchanted Rock (a granite exfoliation dome). On Apple Maps the trip is listed at around 2.5 hrs, but if lights and traffic are agreeable, Enchanted Rock is about 1.5 hrs from Austin, TX.
Update: I’ve been back to Enchanted Rock a handful of times since my first adventure, and each time has been just as fun. There’s plenty to explore on subsequent trips.
The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is small and unassuming, and features space to picnic, camp, and multiple trails for hiking. During my first trip, I parked near the ranger station and later found out it’s possible to park much closer to the trailhead. If you want to get to the top as quickly as possible, take Summit Trail which leads directly to the top of the granite dome. The hike to the top is steep. Remember to bring a jacket, hat (tight fitting), gloves, and a scarf. It gets mighty windy (and cold) at the top. It’s also probably best to take the hike on a dry day as the granite can become slippery when wet.
The view from the top is nothing less than other-worldly. In-fact I’d describe it as looking more like a lunar surface than a Texas landscape (I’ll double-check that description if I ever make it to the actual moon). Plan to arrive at the park and wait for 10-20 minutes to enter on busy days. Each car is required to register with the park office and pay a fee.
Want to explore even more? There are other trails to explore on the grounds which lead behind Enchanted Rock and into craggy bouldering and climbing areas.
Oh, and if you’re headed to and from Austin, there’s a great BBQ food truck on the way back to Austin called Gordo’s Tortas. Highly recommend. 🙂
So, let us know how your trip to Enchanted Rock went, and leave your tips for other visitors in the comments!