What to do in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area consists of 1643.5 acres on Big Sandy Creek, north of Fredericksburg, on the border between Gillespie and Llano Counties. It was acquired by warranty deed in 1978 by the Nature Conservancy of Texas, Inc., from the Moss family. The state acquired it in 1984, added facilities, and reopened the park in March 1984, but humans have visited here for over 11,000 years. Enchanted Rock was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet above ground, 1825 feet above sea level, and covers 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States.

Tonkawa Indians believed ghost fires flickered at the top, and they heard weird creaking and groaning, which geologists now say resulted from the rock's heating by day and contracting in the cool night.

The primary attraction to this beautiful State Park is its ability to provide visitors the opportunity to experience the natural world. The four major plant communities of Enchanted Rock are open oak woodland, mesquite grassland, flood plain, and granite rock community. Live oak, post oak, and blackjack oak dominate the oak woodland, with black hickory in moister areas. Common shrubs are Texas persimmon, agarita, white brush, and prickly pear. Bluestem, three-awn, and grama grass often are found in the shade of the oaks, while American tripogon is more common on gravely slopes which are seasonally wet. The mesquite grassland, once an area of bluestem, is now covered with three-awn, grama, Texas wintergrass, panicum, and sand bur, along with invading mesquite. Elm, pecan, hackberry, black hickory, soapberry, and oak characterize the floodplains. Common shrubs are white buckeye, agarita, Texas persimmon, Roosevelt weed, and buttonbush.

Recreation
Visitors can enjoy primitive backpacking, camping, hiking, technical and rock climbing, picnicking, geological study, bird watching, and star gazing (minimal light pollution). Remember, at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, do not disturb plant or animal life, geological features, or Indian or historical artifacts. These park resources are protected by law! Bring your own firewood. Rock climbers must check in at headquarters; route maps and climbing rules available.

Location
The park is 18 miles north of Fredericksburg on Ranch Road 965, or from Llano, take State Highway 16 for 14 miles south and then go west on Ranch Road 965.

Climate
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is located at an elevation of 1825 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January minimum of 36 degrees and a July average maximum of 95 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 28.7 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

Address
16710 Ranch Rd 965
Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Phone: 915/247-3903

  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Travel Q&A

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