What to do in Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area covers 2174.2 scenic acres in Bandera and Real Counties, north of Vanderpool on the Sabinal River. Acquired by purchase from private owners in 1973 -1974, the site was opened to the public on September 1, 1979. The annual visitation is approximately 200,000 visitors.

Archaeological evidence shows that this area was used by prehistoric peoples at various times. In historic times, which began with Spanish exploration and colonization efforts in the late 17th century, the Apache, Lipan Apache, and Comanche Indians ranged over the land and posed a threat to settlement well into the 19th century.

The park is open 7 days a week year-round except during public hunts. The busy seasons are October and November and spring.
through May.

The park is an outstanding example of Edwards Plateau flora and fauna. It is a combinations of steep, rugged limestone canyons, springs, plateau grasslands, wooded slopes, and clear streams. It features a large, isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde Bigtooth Maple, whose fall foliage can be spectacular. Generally, the foliage changes the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. The park is extremely popular during the fall and is often crowded. Parking is limited to 250 cars, so for maximum enjoyment and serenity, we suggest visitors schedule trips during the weekdays, if possible. To obtain information before planning a visit in October or November, call 1-800-792-1112 and select 3 and then 1 for weekly, foliage updates during those two months.

Rare species of birds, such as the Green Kingfisher, can be seen year-round. The endangered Black-capped vireo and Golden-cheeked warbler nest and feed in the park in spring and early summer.

Visitors enjoy picnicking, camping, backpacking, sightseeing, hiking, photography, birdwatching, fishing, swimming, and nature study. People should stay on designated trails, because maples have a shallow root system, and soil compaction from walking can damage the trees. Also, many natural hazards exist due to the steep/rugged terrain. Do not hike or climb on rocks or hillsides.

Lost Maples State Natural Area itself is located 5 miles to the north of Vanderpool on Ranch Road 187.

Lost Maples State Natural Area is located at elevations ranging from 71800 to 2250 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January low of 31 degrees and a July average high of 94 degrees. The park has an average annual rainfall of 35.1 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

HCR 1, Box 156
Vanderpool, TX 78885

Phone: 800-792-1112

  • Lost Maples State Natural Area Travel Q&A