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Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is one of my favorite state parks in Texas. Every time I have family visit, I always plan a little morning trip out to Pedernales Falls State Park. It’s such a fun little adventure!! I love the fact that every time I visit, it seems like a different park based on the water flow and rock formations. I never get bored at Pedernales Falls State Park!!
Hiking at Pedernales Falls
There are several great hiking trails at Pedernales Falls State Park, but there’s one hike I do every single time I visit. I like to start my day at the Pedernales Falls Overlook and take the stairs down to the river from there. After you’ve enjoyed the river for a bit, I recommend hiking back up to the Overlook and taking the Pedernales Falls Trail System to the West. Hike along this trail for about half a mile and then cut back over to the river. I love to “boulder hop” on this section of the river but it can be tricky to get too (the All Trails app helps). I typically try to do this hike in the mornings because the rocks get really hot in the afternoon and you aren’t allowed to swim in this part of the river. Be sure to put on sun screen and pack plenty of water for this hike.
Another great hike at Pedernales Falls is Twin Falls Nature Trail. Twin Falls Nature Trail is a short half-mile loop that is mostly in the shade. At the end of the little trail is an overlook to a small waterfall. It’s nothing like the waterfalls at Colorado Bend State Park but it’s worth checking out.
If you’re up for a longer hike, then I recommend checking out Wolf Mountain Trail. It’s about 5.5 miles round trip and it’s mostly in the sun (be sure to pack water, snacks, and sunscreen). I recommend just following the purple highlighted section in the photo below, no need to do the exterior loop unless you’re wanting to do some extra hiking.
Also as your hiking along Wolf Mountain Trail, there is a hidden spring close to Bee Creek. I’m not going to give you the exact coordinates because then it wouldn’t be a secret! Half of the adventure is just in trying to finding this little oasis.
Camping at Pedernales Falls
I’m always searching for the best campsites at each state park we visit. As you know, a campsite can make or break a trip. I look for campsites with a good location, plenty of shade to escape that Texas heat, and privacy. The best campsites at Pedernales Falls State Park are 3, 4, 9, 11, 13, 36, and 39. It’s really hard to find camp sites at Pedernales Falls State Park, so be sure to book them really far in advance. If you’re new to camping be sure to check out my tips for beginning campers, my recommended camping essentials, and my free camping checklist.
I love swimming in the river at Pedernales Falls State Park. We squeeze ourselves in between some rocks and just enjoy the current flowing over us. It is so refreshing on a hot summer day in Texas. It is a little bit of a hike down to the river (about 1/4 mile) from the parking lot. And when I say down to the river, I literally mean down. It’s semi-steep with some stairs along the way so I’d recommend some decent shoes (don’t go barefoot).
I don’t do much fishing myself, but my husband fishes on occasion. Every time I visit Pedernales Falls State Park, I see people fishing along the river and at Cypress Pool. You’re most likely to catch catfish, bass, sunfish and carp. So if fishing is your thing, then be sure to pack some gear!
Best Time to Visit
I visit Pedernales Fall State Park year round because it’s only 45 minutes from my house. In the cooler months, I tend to do more hiking and in the warmer months I tend to do more swimming. Every time I go I boulder hop but the heat does play a factor in the amount of time I’m out on the rocks. Early summer would probably be the best time to visit but honestly it’s a fun park year round.
Pedernales Falls is about an hour from Austin, about 80 minutes from San Antonio, and 3.5 hours from Dallas/Fort Worth area. I love to stop in Dripping Springs (30 minutes north of Pedernales Falls) for a coffee break at Mazama Coffee Co. Y’all know I love local coffee shops! Also on your return from Pedernales Falls, you could always stop by the infamous Jester King Brewery in Dripping Springs. Enjoy some of their firestone pizza and extensive beer selection after a long day of hiking.
I hope you enjoy your trip out to Pedernales Fall State Park, be sure to check out some of our other Texas Adventures in the area.