What to do in Colorado Bend State Park

Colorado Bend State Park, a 5328.3 acre facility, is located west of Lampasas in San Saba and Lampasas counties. The park site was purchased partly in 1984, with the balance acquired in 1987; the park was subsequently opened in 1987. The park is located at the former sites of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches above Lake Buchanan.

The park is open 7 days a week year-round, except for Public Hunts (call for dates). The busy season is the Spring White Bass Run.

Colorado Bend State Parks offers visitors a diverse variety of outdoor recreational activities. Much of the attraction to the site is its natural beauty. Birders can enjoy viewing some of 155 species of birds found in the park, including specialties such as golden-cheeked warblers, black-capped vireos, and bald eagles. Gorman Falls is located on the western bank of the Colorado River, approximately 10 miles above Lake Buchanan and includes a portion of Gorman Creek which feeds Gorman Falls. Gorman Falls is an impressive, 60-foot-high waterfall. The falls' travertine formations and associated lush vegetation are very scenic. Small travertine dams have formed quiet pools of clear water which support a variety of aquatic communities. Special mention needs to be made that due to the protection of the fragile environment of the Gorman Falls, the area currently can only be visited through guided tours.

Facilities: The main camping area offers drive-up sites (with picnic tables, fire rings with cooking grills, a lantern post, potable water in the area); riverbank tent sites (with picnic tables, fire rings with cooking grills, a lantern post, and potable water in the area); chemical toilets, a fish-cleaning table, and a boat ramp. (It is 9 miles to Lake Buchanan.)

There are also 2 back pack areas where you must carry everything you need and pack out absolutely everything you don't use. (Bring containerized fuel to cook; nearest gas station is 35 miles away.) The River Back Pack Area is about 2 miles from a chemical toilet and water faucet. The Windmill Back Pack Area is about 2.5 miles from a chemical toilet and water faucet. Ground fires are also prohibited everywhere in the park except in designated fire rings in the main camping area.

There are also two group areas: The developed Live Oak Group Area where you can drive to the site with picnic tables, a lantern holder, a large fire ring, water in area, and a chemical toilet in area; the premium, developed River Group Area where you can drive within 75 yards of the site with picnic tables, a lantern holder, a large fire ring, water 1/4 mile, and chemical toilet 1/4 mile. The park has 11.7 miles of hiking trails and 8 miles of mountain bike trails.

Close by attractions include Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Caverns, and Fort Hood.

Camping and entrance fees vary. Current weather conditions, including fire bans and water levels, can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Recreation
The park currently offers the outdoor enthusiast access to primitive camping, hiking, fishing, which at certain times is terrific, swimming, mountain biking, birding, and nature watching, and guided tours. When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park's boat ramp all the way to the lake, approximately 10 miles. This is a trip on slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado.

Other day activities include guided tours to Gorman Falls and guided, wild cave tours, both walking and crawling. Also, due to various hazards in the caves such as low oxygen levels and poisonous gases and the fact that the caves are a nonrenewable natural resource, ALL CAVES in the park are closed except through guided tours. Reservations are highly recommended for the cave tours due to the limited number of people which can be taken on any given tour. Contact the park to make reservations and check questionable weather conditions. Substantial footwear is recommended for all tours.

Location
The park is west of Lampasas, southeast of San Saba. From the intersection of US Highways 281 and 183 in Lampasas, take FM 580 west 24 miles to Bend and follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance. From San Saba, take US Highway 190 about 4 miles to FM 580 and follow the signs 13 miles to Bend; follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance. The headquarters and main camping are 6 miles past the entrance on the gravel road (unmarked County Road 442). (Access road subject to flooding.) Note: No Gasoline Sevice in Bend.

Climate
Colorado Bend State Park is located at an elevation of 1025 feet. Temperatures within the park range from a January average of 46.2 degrees and a July average of 85.9 degrees. The First/last freeze are November 20 / March 11. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Address
P.O. Box 118
Bend, TX 76824

Phone: 915/628-3240

  • Colorado Bend State Park Travel Q&A

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