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Backpacker Magazine – January 2014

Time-Scultpted Treks

Discover rock formations so unique you won’t even miss the mountains.

by: Kim Phillips

Photo by Laurence Parent
Photo by BP0114MW_Parent_EnchantedRock_bjk445x260.jpg
Photo by Laurence Parent

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, TX
Outer Loop to Summit Trail

It took millions of years for the magma trapped below the Earth’s surface to coalesce into this massive pink granite dome spanning 640 acres and towering 425 feet above the ground. See it in a day on this 6-mile loop. “The best months to visit are September and October when the crowds dwindle,” says Peter Fecht. Start on the Loop Trail and circumnavigate 1,740-foot, double-humped Little Rock. Roughly 3 miles in, turn right at Freshman Mountain, skirting the northern edge of Enchanted Rock. Link up with Echo Canyon Trail less than a mile later, heading south through scrub oak and cactus. Merge onto the Summit Trail for the final .4 mile to Enchanted Rock’s 1,825-foot high point.

Trailhead 30.496425, -98.824768; 97 miles northwest of Austin off N. Milam St. Info (830) 685-3636; Website




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