Technicolor Sunrises- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area -Fredericksburg, Gillespie County, Texas- The First Trip

Enchanted Rock

We moved to Texas to be near the Grandkids. My step-daughter who has the kids, knowing I was an avid hiker bought me a book; Sixty Hikes within Sixty Miles of Austin. I have by the way, done many of those hikes. But one that fascinated me was Enchanted Rock. Well over his sixty mile limit, the author included it for it’s uniqueness. Many of my new Texas friends also mentioned Enchanted Rock.

Enchanted Rock is an 1825Ft Monadnock rising 450 feet above it’s surroundings. It is the largest pink Monadnock in the U.S. I was a little disappointed in the color as I didn’t really see pink all that much. It’s more grey to me. Anyway I’ll give it a go.

Enchanted Rock from Little Rock (1740Ft) across Echo Canyon

When I got there this first time there was already a steady stream of individuals heading up the trail to the summit of Enchanted Rock. So I headed for Little Rock (1740FT) to see if I could get up from that direction.

Little Rock

Little Rock was pretty fascinating. It had huge granite blocks at it’s summit or maybe as it’s summit.

Huge Granite blocks on Little Rock

As I headed for Enchanted Rock across the granite of Little Rock I was soon stopped in my tracks. There is the rather deep Echo Canyon between them. Although I got into Echo Canyon after crossing a small creek, there was no way up Enchanted Rock without climbing gear, you know like ropes and stuff. I don’t do that so I turned left on the Echo Canyon Trail and headed for the Loop Trail. The Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile excursion around the perimeter of the State Natural Area and to me one of the more scenic trails.

Looking across Echo Canyon
Along the Echo Canyon Trail

Echo Canyon took me to Moss Lake and one of the parks primitive campgrounds. It appeared to be very nice and very primitive.

Moss Lake
Enchanted Rock (right) and Little Rock from the Loop Trail

At the trail junction I turned right on the Loop Trail. This is a wide crushed granite trail. When I say crushed granite I mean like almost sand and it has a pinkish hue. I took this trail to the Turkey Pass Trail between Enchanted Rock and Freshman Mountain. I wanted to do more of the loop but it was closed due to heavy recent rains that I understand flood that section.

Turkey Peak (1640FT)

Turkey Pass was the toughest trail of the day. It was extremely rocky and was up to this point the greatest elevation gain. At the end of the trail I had to wade across Sandy Creek to the campgrounds as it had flooded the trail in that area also. I walked through the campground and up the Frontside Trail to the main trailhead and started my ascent of Enchanted Rock. Now the ascent is only 450 feet but next time I will do it first. It wasn’t much fun being on tired legs after hiking 5 or 6 miles. The views were outstanding.

bottom right side is Moss Lake

Next time I am coming earlier to catch a sunrise……………

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