We hadn’t gotten to visit the little town of Fredericksburg before we left Boerne, so even though we were further away in Junction we decided to make the drive back. We had heard that Enchanted Rock was a really nice place to visit, so we went there first. It’s a Texas State Park about 15 miles north of Fredericksburg that has several hiking trails and some tent camping.
We thought there might be a scenic drive we could take through the park, but there wasn’t – if we wanted to see the dome, we would need to hike. We weren’t really prepared for a hike, but we decided to try it anyway.
Enchanted Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet above ground, 1,825 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.
We decided to take the Summit Trail (0.6 miles) to the top of the mound. (See the tiny people at the top? That’s where we were headed)
The trail starts out fairly easy, with rocks forming natural steps.
The rocks laying around had broken off the mound at one time, but I read that it’s been stable for a very long time and that they was virtually no risk of loose boulders. They made nice resting spots, too!
We eventually reached an area where the trail became a smooth arched surface, more difficult on knees and ankles.
Luckily it was dry, and not too slippery, but the wind was picking up, making the climb more difficult. We could begin to see the campsites around the loop trail, and the Visitor Center where we entered the park.
I didn’t feel too stable on my ankle, so I decided to wait here for the guys to finish the climb to the top. Nicolas took my camera so that he could get some pictures from the top.
They made their way around and up,
and eventually reached the summit.
Even in his flip flops, Bryce made it to the top!
Nicolas took a bunch of pictures from the top:
Little Rock and Sandy Creek
Freshman Mountain and Buzzard Roost
The steep slope down the back of the dome
On the top of the dome there are depressions in the rock which provide spaces for rain to gather and vegetation to grow.
The “islands” of vegetation on the bare granite summit of Enchanted
Rock are some of the most ecologically significant and severely threatened features of this state natural area.
Known as soil islands, weather pits, gammas or vernal pools, these patches of vegetation on bare rock develop in depressions formed by weathering over thousands of years.
After exploring the dome and enjoying the view, they carefully made their way back down,
to where I was waiting for them.
There were a few ledges to climb down,
as they zig-zagged their way down.
Nicolas continued to take pictures,
as Bryce and I carefully made our way down the remainder of the trail.
With our hike completed, we made our way back to downtown Fredericksburg and walked through some of the shops. This was Nicolas’ favorite – lots of samples!
By the time they finished sampling, it was 5:30 and all the shops were closing up. We had debated whether or not to make the drive the the Alamo Springs Café (since it was practically back to Boerne), but Nicolas and Tom were in the mood for a good burger, so we did.
Those were some really good burgers! None of us (not even Nick!) were up for the “Jefe Challenge” – 6 half-pound hamburger patties with 6 slices of cheese, and a large order of fries – FREE, if you can finish it in 30 minutes, but we did enjoy our regular burgers!
Tom felt like somebody was watching him eat!
We kindof wondered if these guys got all the leftovers . . .
It was a lot of driving, but a nice adventure and a delicious dinner – so it was worth it!