Pedernales Falls State Park is a large, dog friendly park in central Texas. Pedernales Falls is nearly 5,200 acres and is approximately one hour west of Austin. One of the nearest cities is Johnson City, former home of our 36th President Lyndon B. Johnson. Hiking, camping and swimming (in marked areas) are potential activities at the park. Pedernales Falls, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, will most likely require a bit of travel, but it’s well worth the experience.
How To Get There
Unfortunately, there is only one road (Park Road 6026) that leads into Pedernales Falls State Park. Additionally, there are no Interstates near the park. Either you head west on Pedernales Falls Road from Dripping Springs, or east on Robinson Road (which is the same road) from Johnson City. There are a few other roads which will take you to this road from the south, but they may or may not save you time. Upon reaching Park Road, you must still drive a ways north to reach the headquarters, and even further to reach the falls. The park is open from 8am – 10pm and I suggest getting there as early as possible. When we left (shortly after noon) the park was turning people away because of full capacity.
- Dog friendly
- Public restrooms
- Natural & gravel trails (26miles)
- Swimming (marked areas only)
Things To do
Horseback riding may be done on the orange and yellow trails which are located on the west side of the park. Several areas are designated for primitive camping within the park, but dogs cannot stay overnight. You may swim on the east side of the park, but not the north side. Mountain biking and hiking are permitted on approximately 26 miles of trails. The blue colored trails tend to be easier, while the red and green trails may be a bit longer and tougher. The black trail is the longest hiking trail, and possibly the most challenging. Other things you can do at Pedernales Falls include bird watching, picnicking, and tubing.
Of course Pedernales Falls State Park is dog friendly. If you have a fit and active dog, Pedernales Falls is a great place to find dog friendly hiking trails and scenic views. Pedernales Falls was our first stop on the 4th of July, and most of our time was spent in the north part of the park near the falls. We began at the scenic overlook and hiked down to the Pedernales River. The water level being as it was, it was possible to wander inside the river area. When the water is lower the rocky area can become more difficult to hike, especially for dogs.
Our girl, Abbey, does not normally play in water, but she took this opportunity to try it out. I was able to get a really good picture of her playing and biting the water. It almost appears as though she is ripping the water out of the river with her jaws! Be careful on the river because it’s littered with deep craters, some of which contain flowing water. At one point Abbey tried to step across and fell into a deep section. I had to pull her out of the water, but not before her whole body had went under for the first time. At least she cooled off, although not the way she wanted.
Another Adventure in Texas
Our adventure at dog friendly Pedernales Falls will be remembered. We only saw a couple of dogs at Pedernales Falls State Park, but there are many, many miles of dog friendly hiking trails to find. Abbey loves parks, she loves hiking, and she loves to go on daily adventures. If your dog does as well, Pedernales Falls may be one of the best parks in Texas to find dog friendly things to do. Unfortunately, we could not stay very long because we had other plans, but we will definitely return to Pedernales Falls State Park.
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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.