Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Enchanted Rock are one of most enchanted, fun, and inspiring spots in Texas to spend some time camping, picnicking, climbing the "Rock," star gazing, or just enjoying the panoramic vista from the top of the Rock. Enchanted Rock sits on 1643 acres on Big Sandy Creek just north of Fredericksburg and it is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome that rises 425 feet above ground and covers 640 acres making it one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formations uncovered by erosion) in the United States. The Rock is best known for climbing and hiking to the top for the view. Thanks to Texas Parks & Wildlife for the pictures below.

Climbing the RockEnchanted RockHiking on enchanted rock

"Thanks to our friends at Ultralite Films for providing the following film. www.ultralitefilms.com is an Austin, Texas video production company that produces commercials, brand films, and documentaries around the world."

 

Enjoying Enchanted Rock

Most enchanted rock visitors come here to climb to the top of "the rock" which from the base is a steep half mile walk up the face - but the view from the top is well worth it. The trail to the summit climbs 425 feet in elevation - take some water with you - and the peak of Enchanted Rock is 1825 above sea level. From the top you can take a the same route back down or blaze your own trail through the boulders or steep faces off any of the sides of the Rock.

Enchanted RockHiking on Enchanted RockEnchanted Rock

The loop trail goes around Enchanted Rock and it's a 4 mile loop that has some ups and downs and is a fun trail to hike. There are several other trails that circle the Rock.

Overnight tent camping is allowed in any of the four primitive camping areas, one of which is close to the parking lot and the others require a hike.

 

Climbing on the Rock

The climbing at Enchanted Rock is similar to that of many granite areas in the United States. The potassium-felspar-rich granite has a porphyritic crystalline texture; many crystals measure as large as one or two inches. These large crystals enable spectacular face climbs on steep rock and make crack climbing a joy for those who love pain. Smoother granite requiring extreme friction is also common. Most climbs in the park are in the one rope-length variety, but many of the best face climbs are just over a rope length. The Shield in the center of the Backside provides many of the most classic face routes, covering a wide range of difficulties and commitment. The best crack climbs are often found on the surrounding smaller domes, with Buzzard's Roost having the highest quality rock. Many, however, prefer the Triple Cracks because of their classic character. All parts of the park offer superb bouldering, with Lunch Rock in Echo Canyon being the favorite place because of its central location.

Excerpt above is from The Dome Drivers Manual by James Crump, Robert Price & Scott Harris ©1990 by Big Fun Publications

 

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