To view a previous entry on this park, please see "Hiking Report: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area" from May 2012.
The drive to the park is interesting in and of itself. As we crossed Crabapple Creek, about 12 or 13 miles north of Fredericksburg, we looked to the west and saw some elk grazing in an open meadow. What an unusual site for anywhere in Texas.
|Bull elk grazing in a pasture on the west side of FM 965 just north of Crabapple Creek.|
|Entrance sign to the park, with the Big Rock as background.|
|Many of the trails in the park are this well maintained. This trail is composed of crushed granite.|
|You can clearly see the trail worn on this exposed granite along the western part of the Loop Trail.|
After the spur trail to the scenic overlook, the trail heads northeast and slopes down to the Walnut Springs Primitive Camping Area. The Walnut Springs Trail splits due north while the Loop Trail continues northeast.
|Trail junction at Walnut Springs Camping Area. Note kiosk along trail as well as primitive toilet in left part of picture through brush.|
At Moss Lake, we decided to veer off the Loop Trail to see the lake. After viewing the lake, we should have backtracked to the trail junction to continue on the loop trail, but the map indicated that the Moss Lake Trail would wind back to the north and intersect the Loop Trail. However, this section of the trail system was not clearly marked and we wandered around the splinter trails in the Moss Lake Primitive Camping Area for quite a while before giving up and heading towards Echo Canyon.
|Donna standing in front of Moss Lake with Enchanted Rock in the background.|
|Another view of Moss Lake. Enchanted Rock on left, Little Rock on right.|
One of the problems in this park is all the splinter trails that branch off in various directions. These trails are not marked, and this causes some confusion. Normally, we try to stay on marked trails, but in this area of the park, even these trails are not clearly marked.
Near Echo Canyon, we picked up the Base Trail and followed it east along the base of the Big Rock (Enchanted Rock). This area is one of the more popular areas with rock climbers; indeed, Enchanted Rock SNA is one of the premier rock climbing venues in the state. For further information, check the Climbing Areas Map as well as the Climbing Information section of the park's website.
|This is why rock climbers throng to this park. This slope is probably about 200 feet high.|
|Over time, rocks crack, exfoliate, and slide to the bottom to create rock piles.|
|Rock pile of exfoliated rocks.|
|View south from Turkey Pass|
|Summit Trail to Enchanted Rock. If you look closely in the center of the picture just below the "tree line" so to speak, you'll see a person with white top and dark pants climbing the trail.|