2013-01-11: 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.
Enchanted Rock is a special place in the Texas Hill Country (Edwards Plateau). The rock is said to be "enchanted" because it "sings" at sundown - creaking and groaning caused when the granite cooks in the Texas heat all day, then cools rapidly after the sun dips below the horizon. Enchanted Rock the biggest in a chain of large granite domes (monadnocks) that rise above the landscape in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.
While the summit of Enchanted Rock can be reached via a simple hike, the dome is well known as a rock climbing destination. The non-technical hike to the summit involves 425' of vertical and can be done in less than an hour. However, E-Rock (as it is known among local climbers) is home to hundreds of established rock climbing routes. Here you will find a wide variety of trad routes on slabs and cracks, together with a few bolted lines. Most routes are one pitch or less, but a few two pitch climbs are found on the "backside," or north face of the main dome. There are also numerous boulder problems around the park.
Enchanted Rock is said to be the second largest granite monadnock in the U.S., next only to the granite dome in Georgia. Although Enchanted Rock is not as big as the mountains in West Texas, it is an unusual sight in the undulating hills of Central Texas. From the summit, there are incredible and relatively unspoiled views of the Hill Country.
Texas Rank: Unranked Prominence: 255 feet USGS Quad: Enchanted Rock
Enchanted Rock offers a multitude of technical routes. There are a number of excellent cracks and many more face climbs. Some of the face climbs are bolted and some can only be toproped. Many of the routes were put up back in the 70s by hardcore climbers who bolted the routes as they lead them for the first time, so expect long run outs on the older bolted routes. There are a handful of bolted routes that were put up in the 80s and 90s, and these are much more enjoyable leads.
Climbing Guides & Resources:
•Falcon Guide Rock Climbing New Mexico and Texas.
•The "Enchanted Rock Overview" published by the Texas Climbers
•The Enchanted Rock Page on Rockclimbing.com
•Click here for a climbing map that is put out by the park rangers.
•There is also an out-of-print guidebook to the area, called the Dome Driver's Manual. This is a good guide for the park, and it has more detail than the Falcon Guide, if you can get your hands on a copy. Otherwise, there is a courtesy copy available for your perusal at the park headquarters.
•Sharp End Books the publisher.
There is easily enough rock here to keep you busy for 2-3 days or more. The weather is excellent here in the spring and fall, but expect to share the routes with a lot of climbers. Winter in Central Texas can be pretty mild at times, if there is not a cold front blowing through. Therefore, climbers from cold climates should consider a winter trip to Central Texas.
Climbing and bouldering in the park
From Ranch Road 965 NE | bajatexas
Enchanted Rock State Park is located about 80 miles northwest of San Antonio and about 80 miles west of Austin.
From Fredericksburg, Texas, follow main street (HWY 78) northwest until you reach the junction with FM 965. Turn right on 965 and head north for about 18 miles until you reach the park entrance on your right.
Fredericksburg is located about 80 miles northwest of San Antonio and about 80 miles west of Austin. To get here from San Antonio, take I-10 west toward Kerrville and El Paso. After about 50 miles, youl will reach the town of Comfort, Texas. From here, exit off of I-10 at the HWY 78 exit and head north on 78 for about 20 miles until you reach Fredericksburg.
From Austin, follow I-35 south and then get on 290 heading west. After about 40 miles, 290 runs into, and joins, US HWY 281 north for a few miles until it reaches Johnson City. At Johnson City, leave 281 on 290 and continue heading west on 290 for another 30 miles until you reach Fredericksburg.
Enchanted Rock resides within its namesake Texas state park and regulations govern recreational use of this area. The area is teeming with fragile flora and fauna, so the park has been designated a state natural area.
Entrance Fees Adult: $7 Daily Child 12 Years and Under: Free
Open 7 days a week year-round from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
You will need to sign a release if you plan to partake of the rock climbing.
There are limits on the number of people who can enter the park. Peak season is September through May, with heaviest crowds on weekends in the spring or fall.
You can rock climb at E-Rock any time of the year. Spring and fall, when the daytime temperatures are in the 80s, are the best. Summer months (June, July, August) can get unbearably hot, so getting an early start is a good idea during these months. Make sure to bring lots of water.During the dead of winter, many days in this area enjoy temperatures in the 60s or 70s, so E-Rock is an excellent winter destination if the weather is holding. Beware, however, as cold fronts can bring in nasty weather, including sleet and snow.
State Park Camping
The state park provides 30 primitive backcountry sites and 46 walk-in sites (near the parking lot). Reservations are recommended, particularly during spring and fall weekends. Visit this page for more details.
Wildlife: Campground wildlife raiders include deer, squirrels and armadillos. Keep your food in a secure container!
The area around Enchanted Rock is nice to visit. The town of Fredericksburg is a quaint hill country community that has an old fashioned mainstreet lined with neat shops, excellent restaurants (many of them serving German cuisine), and coffee shops. A lot of people from the nearby cities venture up here for the weekends and stay in the many bed and breakfasts found in the area. Nearby is the venerable Texas music capital of Luckenbach, where you can be sure to find some good, live music and plenty of cold beer.