If your’re looking for the most unique hike in Texas, you’ll find it in the Hill Country at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, home of the other-worldy Enchanted Rock. What is Enchanted Rock? It’ a visible portion of a massive underground area of granite, known as a batholith. This Batholith stretches mostly underground for 62 square miles.

The dome that we can see and explore was magma that has since pushed its way into the rock above it. Over millions of years, it hardened and turned into granite. Since then, the surface gas eroded to form the dome.

People have been coming to explore Enchanted Rock for many years. You can hike up it, hike the trails that wrap around it, and more. And at the summit, there are even caves to explore! It’s also home to some very interesting ecosystems, which you can learn about here.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is about 1.5 hours from downtown San Antonio, just outside downtown Fredericksburg, Texas.┬áIt’s a 1,823-foot climb to the top of Enchanted Rock. To put this into perspective, that’s the equivalent of climbing stairs in a 35-or-so story building… but this is way cooler.

Currently, you must make reservations online in advance. You can do that here. Tickets are $8 for ages 13 and up.

Looking to camp overnight? Enchanted Rock holds gold status as an International Dark Sky Park, meaning here you can see a TON of stars. So while trails close at night, it’s a wonderful place to camp and stare at the sky.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area does allow onsite camping. However, it’s worth noting that only tent camping is allowed. So if you’re planning on renting an RV, you’ll have to stay offsite.

And if you’re looking to bring your pooch, here’s what you need to know. Pets are in fact allowed, but only in certain areas. These include: day-use picnic areas, campgrounds, and the Loop Trail below the rock.

Lynn Miller