A graphic with the state of Texas with the words get outside inside of the state with bluebonnets and cacti on either side

Get Outside: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

By Kaitlyn Benacquisto
Assistant Web Content Manager

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is just a short drive away and offers a wealth of adventure, including rock climbing, over 10 miles of hiking trails, camping, and backpacking. 

Enchanted Rock is a sought out place, so it’s recommended to make a reservation ahead, even if you are only going for the day. There is a $7 entrance fee for those over the age of 12. If you’d like to go there to rock-climb but have never done it before, there are guide services that lead climbing tours at Enchanted Rock.

I have been to Enchanted Rock once. My friends and I went and climbed to the top of Enchanted Rock. I’d like to go back again and explore some of the actual trails; however, there is plenty of exploring to be done on just the rock itself. It’s also a bit of a workout, and as close as you can get to an elevation change in Central Texas– according to Texas Parks and Wildlife’s website, climbing Enchanted Rock to its peak at 1,825 feet is equivalent to climbing the stairs of a 30- or 40-story building.

The route and time from San Marcos to Enchanted Rock
Directions from San Marcos to Enchanted Rock Natural Area. Screenshot via Google Maps

Around the top, there is a cave area that one of my friends was familiar with. You can locate it by taking the Summit Trail to the top, then walk a bit down the backside of Enchanted Rock. He had told us about it before going, and I had had one of those big caves that you see at the San Antonio Natural Bridge Caverns in mind. It was, however, not anything like the San Antonio Natural Bridge Caverns. It was a legitimate tiny cave that you had to wriggle and squirm through, so if you are at all claustrophobic, proceed with caution. Only four or five of us could go at a time, and we needed headlamps. It took us probably between 20-30 minutes to make it all the way through to the exit.

The cave itself is not marked, at least not in my memory. Upon researching, I can actually find very little about it online. I have heard that it floods very easily, so be especially wary if there is a chance of rain or if it recently has rained. Be prepared with headlamps, flashlights, and grippy shoes. I would try to go with someone who has been in the cave before, or else it could very well be a scary experience. I never thought I was claustrophobic until I was in this cave. If you are up for the adventure and well-prepared though, it is so fun! I vlogged while in the cave, but the videos are cringy and will not be posted with this blog–sorry.

Enchanted Rock is the closest we are going to get to a mountain in the Hill Country, so I think it is something everyone must check out at least once. If you visit the nearby city of Fredericksburg, you can make a day out of the trip.

Featured Illustration by Gabrielle Hardy.

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