Enchanted Rock is a Texas State natural area 17 miles north of Fredericksburg. If you are looking for things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas, Enchanted Rock is one of them. If heading to Enchanted Rock from San Antonio, it will take approximately 90 minutes depending on traffic and the route taken.
The most notable aspect of the park is the mountain of pink granite. This gives the mountain a bald, dome-like appearance which is extremely noticeable upon approach. In order to spend the day hiking at Enchanted Rock you must pay an admission cost of $7. Several areas throughout the park are dog friendly. Sadly, dogs are not allowed to climb the rocks. I was really hoping to find out if my girl could make it to the top with me. Although I can only imagine that her facial expression from the top would be about the same as it is from the bottom!
How To Get There
When visiting Enchanted Rock you will stop at the park headquarters and purchase admission. You can pick up a map of the area and any gear from the shop that you would like. Bring an adequate amount of water because you will not find much around the park. Heat stroke is a definite possibility because it gets very hot. Furthermore, you will not find much shade on the Rock for protection from the sun. This may be a great time for a hat or cap of some sort. The parking lot should have space available if you were not turned away on the way in (make a reservation or get there as early as possible). Choose a shady spot to keep your vehicle cooler and you will be ready to hike, climb, jog, sight see, or camp.
Things To Do With Your Dog
If you take a look at the park map you will notice all of the dog friendly areas colored in green, but the other areas are off limits. The dog friendly areas include three camping areas, the picnic areas, as well as the four mile loop trail. If you bring your dog(s) and you want to climb the Rock, you will need someone watching your dog(s). Do not leave a dog in the car! There are limited things to do with your dog at Enchanted Rock, but the park is large. What kind of dog would not enjoy camping, or hiking the loop trail?
How Long Does It Take To Climb?
If you choose to adventure without a pet, you will have access to nearly 11 miles of hiking trails including the summit trail which ascends the Rock. Enchanted Rock boasts an elevation of over 1800 feet. If you are an experienced hiker, or fairly fit individual it will not take you long to climb Enchanted Rock. Ascending the Rock is more of a steep walk than a climb. If using the park trails, the difficulty is intermediate at best. However, most experienced hikers will find Enchanted Rock “easy” to hike.
It may take you anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes to get on top of the Rock depending on your level of fitness and rate of climb. I attempted a speed run once and wrote about that in the article, “How Long Does It Take To Climb Enchanted Rock?” I imagine some experienced climbers could do it in five minutes or less if inclined. Plan on spending at least an hour in this area because there is much to see from the top of Enchanted Rock. Wave to all of the people you passed on the way up the Rock and throughout the Hill Country.
What You Will See From The Top
The Hill Country, surrounding you for miles, can be seen from the top of Enchanted Rock. Take some time to get a panoramic view of Texas. To see various terrain you will need to move around the top of the Rock because it takes up a substantial amount of space. You will most likely see buzzards or eagles soaring through the sky around you. If there are any clouds you will notice the shadows they create around the Hill Country.
A very small lake is visible to the northwest near the campgrounds. A couple of narrower peaks should be easy to spot to the east. I saw tiny people climbing on the other peaks. At least they appeared tiny from my elevation. Everything else looks to be a mixture of green and brown due to the distance of the dirt, rocks, bushes, trees and cactus. Even with contact lenses it’s hard to tell exactly what is out there. I’ve been to the Rock twice so far, but each time I was at a disadvantage because I could not see enough. Next time I will remember to bring my binoculars.
Do Not Underestimate The Heat
To get back down from the top you can return the way you came or take your own path to the bottom. Be very careful on the Rock when it is wet because it will be easier to slip and fall. For this reason, the summit trail may be closed if it gets wet enough. September through May is considered the busy season. You decided to go during this time didn’t you? If you can tolerate the heat and lack of shade, the summer months are also an option.
Take extra water and be aware of early signs of heat stroke. If you get a sudden headache, become dizzy, confused, weak, red, or have trouble breathing you are in danger. Drink some water, retreat to a shady area and use water or a wet clothe to cool yourself. In the park it may be impossible to call for help due to loss of signal. Keep track of where you are in the park and how you feel. As soon as you are able, return to an air conditioned vehicle.
Enchanted Rock is like no other place. The Rock is not too high for the average person and most people can take advantage of the fabulous panoramic view. The view of the Hill Country is unmatched. The hiking trails should be fairly easy for most people. The dog friendly loop trail offers you and your four legged friend an exciting four mile hike. Whether you are a resident, or a visitor looking for things to do in Fredericksburg, Enchanted Rock will provide you with an unforgettable experience. Don’t worry about how long it takes to climb Enchanted Rock because you can do it! Let us know how many times you have been to the Rock and what you saw from the top.
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Even though I promote places, or things, and emerge from the woods unharmed, I am not at all responsible for you, your family, your friends, or your pets. You are solely responsible for following in my footsteps and trying things I have described on this site. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.