Quarry Canyon, Warbler Vista, Balcones Canyonlands NWR, Lago Vista, Travis County Texas.

Is it a Quarry? Or is it a Canyon? well to solve this problem it is named Quarry Canyon as it may be a bit of both. I did a piece earlier on Balcones Canyonlands, mostly the Doeskin Ranch section. This was my first hike in Texas. On this Sunday morning with rain threatening skies that’s where I was headed…but… I began to pick up mist on my windows so thought it better to go to Warbler Vista as it is closer to home. By the time I got to Warbler Vista the drizzle had stopped. And as I was going up the steep entrance road, I noticed a new parking area at the base of the ridge instead of the top. So, I checked it out and found that in the two years since I had last been here, they have added trails. YAY!

Quarry Canyon

So is it a Quarry or a canyon or is it a canyon where some rock harvesting has happened at one time. I dunno, but it was pretty neat.

Quarry Canyon.

Anyway, this was a neat trail. After it skirted the canyon, it began to climb up Post Oak Ridge the main elevation in this section of the refuge. Before this trail you drove to the top and hiked a couple miles of trails. This has doubled the miles you can hike here.

I took the Quarry Canyon Trail to the Vista Knoll Trail.

Quarry Canyon

From Vista Knoll there is a huge view over the valley of the Colorado River and Lake Travis. Vista Knoll is a high point on one spur of the ridge, not a separate hill.

20-mile Texas view

I left Vista Knoll on the Ridgeline Trail one of the longest in the park. This Trail is a loop but has a spur to the Sunset Deck. From here are even better views of the lake and valley. Looking from here you look over Pace Bend Park which I did a piece on earlier.

Pace Bend in the Colorado River/Lake Travis. The water is so low as the lake is only about 51% full. The tongue of land on the left is Pace Bend Park

After leaving the Sunset Deck I followed the Ridgeline Trail to the Cactus Rocks Trail, the absolute longest in the unit. This is a fun trail to hike and affords some more views.

a bit of sun shines on Balcones Canyonlands

About 2/3 of the way through the Cactus Rocks Loop I came to the Boulder Trail, another new one, which was my way back down. This steep trail was a bit challenging because of the grade. The trail took me back to Quarry Canyon.

View coming down the Boulder Trail

Part of the small boulder field from which this trail gets it’s name.

Near the bottom of the ridge, I finally found the boulders from which the trail got its name…. just as I was thinking how disappointed I am going to be to hike a boulder trail with no boulders. I never came here much because there wasn’t all that much difficult hiking or miles. But now Warbler Vista is good for a great, quick 5-mile hike. As I got back in the car the rain began. Just made it!

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