Hike of the Week: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, TX
Enchanted Rock is the second-largest granite batholith in the country. Don’t know what a batholith is? Find out by hiking up one.
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- Distance: 3 miles
- Time: 2 hours
- Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Rising 425 feet above the plains of central Texas, Enchanted Rock’s pink granite dome certainly enchanted Ladybird Johnson, who personally urged the president of the Nature Conservancy to hike up with her. You’ll be thankful the former first lady’s work led to the area’s preservation in 1978 when you walk among its massive granite formations and through its rocky valleys.
From the parking lot next to Sandy Creek (30.4983, -98.8190), start your hike by summiting the exposed rock face, passing “soil islands” where plants manage to grow atop the granite. Once you’ve taken in the views of the neighboring domes and hills, start to head back down, then veer right onto the Echo Canyon Trail, taking it north between two granite domes to the Base Trail. Continue hiking east around the rock, then take another right onto the Turkey Pass Trail to come back to the south side of the park. To complete the loop, take a final right onto the Frontside Trail back to the parking lot.
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