Special Note2013-01-31: I have adopted this page from SP member dsnell. I have made updates to the page, including revisions to layout and content. Many thanks to dsnell for laying the foundation that this updated page will be built upon.
The hike up this striking granite batholiths is one you will not soon forget! Scrub oak and grasses dot the approach, cactus nestle into cracks in the granite, and higher up the route follows open, bald stretches of rock. This is a unique and special place in the Texas Hill Country and this relatively short route is a great way to enjoy Enchanted Rock.
Up close, you get to see the pockmarks and runnels in the granite and the plants clinging to life in thin soil blown into crevices. All the while enjoying the amazing site of bare granite against the Texas sky.
Roundtrip Distance: 1.25 miles
Elevation Gain: Less than 500 feet
YDS Class 1+
From the Ranger Station, turn left where the road forks, cross a small creek, and then turn right where the road forks a second time. Go to the end of the road and park in the parking lot. The trailhead is at the Gazebo just west of the parking lot.
From the Gazebo, follow the well marked summit trail straight up to the summit.
The trail drops down into a creek at first, but then begins climbing up the rocky lower slopes of Enchanted Rock. After a few hundred yards, the footpath ends and you are ascend steep granite slopes above. From this point, simply head up the best you can. You will likely have to traverse around several steep sections, but, if you stay on the correct path, you should not encounter anything more than 30 degree slopes.
Other: From the summit, continue heading north (the direction you have been heading since the bottom of the dome) until you reach a depression just below the main summit. In this depression, if you look hard enough, you will find the entrance to a cave. This cave goes a ways down the side of Enchanted Rock and is quite fun to explore.
Essential Gear• Comfortable hiking boots or shoes appropriate to the season
• Outerwear appropriate to the season, including a sun hat / sun protection
• Plenty of water and snacks
• A camera to save memories of the Hill Country views
External Links and Trip ReportsAustin Examiner Article
If you know of other trip reports, articles or resources describing this route, please share these with me via additions/corrections. Thanks!