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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area




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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
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General Information

Enchanted Rock
Copyright: Texas State Parks & Historical Sites
Enchanted Rock
Description - Enchanted Rock State Natural Area consists of 1643.5 acres on Big Sandy Creek, north of Fredericksburg, on the border between Gillespie and Llano Counties. It was acquired by warranty deed in 1978 by the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Inc., from the Moss family. The state acquired it in 1984, added facilities, and reopened the park in March 1984, but humans have visited here for over 11,000 years. Enchanted Rock was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet above ground, 1825 feet above sea level, and covers 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States.

Tonkawa Indians believed ghost fires flickered at the top, and they heard weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say resulted from the rock's heating by day and contracting in the cool night.

Attractions - The primary attraction to this beautiful State Park is its ability to provide visitors the opportunity to experience the natural world. The four major plant communities of Enchanted Rock are open oak woodland, mesquite grassland, flood plain, and granite rock community. Live oak, post oak, and blackjack oak dominate the oak woodland, with black hickory in moister areas. Common shrubs are Texas persimmon, agarita, white brush, and prickly pear. Bluestem, three-awn, and grama grass often are found in the shade of the oaks, while American tripogon is more common on gravely slopes which are seasonally wet. The mesquite grassland, once an area of bluestem, is now covered with three-awn, grama, Texas wintergrass, panicum, and sand bur, along with invading mesquite. Elm, pecan, hackberry, black hickory, soapberry, and oak characterize the floodplains. Common shrubs are white buckeye, agarita, Texas persimmon, Roosevelt weed, and buttonbush.

Recreation - Visitors can enjoy primitive backpacking, camping, hiking, technical and rock climbing, picnicking, geological study, bird watching, and star gazing (minimal light pollution). Remember, at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, do not disturb plant or animal life, geological features, or Indian or historical artifacts. These park resources are protected by law! Bring your own firewood. Rock climbers must check in at headquarters; route maps and climbing rules available.

Climate - Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is located at an elevation of 1825 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January minimum of 36 degrees and a July average maximum of 95 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 28.7 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Location - The park is 18 miles north of Fredericksburg on Ranch Road 965, or from Llano, take State Highway 16 for 14 miles south and then go west on Ranch Road 965.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: JStephens (Cedar Park, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is an excellent family hike. Just enough to get the blood going but not so much that you can't do it. I would consider this hike with children 7 and up. There are several Caves on the rock and easy access to them. (Bring a flashlight). Mountain is easily accessable and there are trails around the base to explore as well. Best part about it, is that you can do the hike and be back in Austin or San Antonio for lunch. The rock Rocks!

Filed By: Jacob Simms (age 7)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: There's a place for you to put a tent up and camp, and then you can walk up the rocks! It looks like a big mountain but it is one big giant rock. There is plants growing on top of the rock and you can even camp there! Kids can even walk all the way to the top, it's not hard or scary. From the top of the mountain you can see people down on the ground and they look like little tiny people and other mountains too! Bring water and comfortable shoes, it is a bit of a hike up the big rock! (Camera!)


More Information

Contact Information:
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, 16710 Ranch Rd 965 , Fredericksburg, TX, 78624, Phone: 915/247-3903

Additional Information:
Hill Country - The Hill Country region is located in central Texas. Because of its hilly scenery, this is one of the more popular areas in Texas for outdoor recreation.
Texas State Parks - Texas State Parks occupy more than 500,000 acres of pristine ecosystems, historical sites and facilities. The state parks, state natural areas and state historic sites are scattered throughout Texas.

Links:
Texas State Parks - Official Agency Website

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