Friday, April 26, 2013

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Park

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.

Getting ready to climb Enchanted Rock!

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.

From the base of the mound

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)

Starting up the summit trail

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!

Taking a break


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.


Mom waited for us here

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.

Continuing up

They made their way around and up,

The final ascent

and eventually reached the summit.

2 cool dudes

Nicolas at the top of Enchanted Rock

Even in his flip flops, Bryce made it to the top!

He made it in flip flops!

Nicolas took a bunch of pictures from the top:

Looking back down

Little Rock and Sandy Creek


Moss Lake


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.

Mom's waiting on that rock!

There were a few ledges to climb down,

Climbing down the ledge


as they zig-zagged their way down.


Nicolas continued to take pictures,

Tree growing out of a rock

as Bryce and I carefully made our way down the remainder of the trail.

Mom and Bryce on the way back down

It wasn’t until we reached the bottom that Bryce noticed this sign.


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.


Alamo Springs Cafe

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!

Our dinner companion

We kindof wondered if these guys got all the leftovers . . .

Another dinner companion

Our other dinner companion

It was a lot of driving, but a nice adventure and a delicious dinner – so it was worth it!

Waiting for our dinner

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading! We'd love to hear your comments!