Living in the Texas hill country has its perks, such as witnessing the wildflower displays in the spring, avoiding traffic jams and smog, and being less than an hour away from Enchanted Rock. Regarding the latter, John and I have talked and talked about hiking up Enchanted Rock over the past two years, but we kept picking somewhere else to go when it came time for a hike. Leave it to us to finally make it there when I am six months pregnant! This meant, of course, that we avoided the famous Summit Trail and took to the 4-mile Loop Trail instead. What initially felt like a consolation prize, however, turned out to be one of our favorite hikes in Texas.
It was cool and sunny when we embarked upon the trail on a recent Saturday morning. It would warm up considerably as the morning turned to afternoon, and the Loop Trail offers little shade for much of its length. The posted warnings to carry enough water with you were well founded. John had left his sunglasses at home, so he borrowed mine. They made him look especially manly for the hike.
We hiked clockwise around the loop, and the trail quickly took us up an incline as we began our trek around Little and Enchanted Rocks.
I loved the wildflowers we encountered along the trail, especially as they acted as a delicate contrast to the rough and tough granite outcroppings nearby.
All of the cool rock formations had me thinking about my geologist dad.
At the one-mile mark, there was a short diversion to a scenic overlook, and we had our first clear view of both Little and Enchanted Rocks.
After another 0.6 miles, we took a second diversion, this time to Moss Lake. We were pleasantly surprised by the prettiness of the lake as it reflected Enchanted Rock behind it.
Back on the Loop Trail, we enjoyed more signs of spring.
The views of the surrounding countryside were lovely, as well.
The Loop Trail is the best way to get a 360° view of Enchanted Rock (as compared to a 360° view from it).
After passing between Freshman Mountain and Buzzard’s Roost, the trail borders Sandy Creek for the last mile of hiking back to the trailhead. Many of our fellow hikers had stopped to wade and splash in the creek, but we were too tired, warm, and hungry to follow suit.
The hike was fairly easy, with only moderate inclines to tackle. I am not sure I would want to make this hike in the full heat of a Texas summer, but it was very doable on a beautiful, sunny spring morning. I can’t wait to hike it again someday soon with Baby Boy Pierce in tow!