Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg, Texas


Where to Go: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area near Fredericksburg, Texas (16710 Ranch Rd. 965
Fredericksburg, TX 78624)

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Why I Love to Visit This Destination With My Dog: Enchanted Rock has been one of our longtime favorite destinations in Texas. It’s very dog-friendly and offers a full day of fun whether or not you and your four-legged buddy scale Enchanted Rock or not.

Located 18 miles north of Fredericksburg on RR 965, this park features the largest stone formation in the west, a 640-acre granite outcropping second nationally to Georgia’s Stone Mountain. According to Native American legend, the rock is haunted. Sometimes as the rock cools at night, it makes a creaking sound, which probably accounts for the story.

People and pups of all ages in reasonably good physical condition can enjoy a climb up Enchanted Rock. The walk takes about an hour, and hikers are rewarded with a magnificent view of the Hill Country. In warm weather (from April through October), start your ascent early in the morning before the relentless sun turns the rock into a griddle. Be sure to carry water for your dog whenever you do visit. There are small pools on the rock but dogs are prohibited from drinking from them because they are protected.

On many days, you’ll see experienced climbers scaling the smaller formations adjacent to the main dome, ones that require special climbing equipment.

Picnic facilities and a campground at the base of the rocks round out the offerings. You’ll also find a trail around the base of Enchanted Rock with a small lake on the back side.

Best Time of Year to Visit: anytime but summer when it’s too hot to enjoy a hike up the rock (where there’s very little shade and the rock is hot enough to burn your dog’s paw pads). During the spring and fall months (and especially on weekends), the park can get full and you may not get in; admission is limited.

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