October 30, 2014

Wild Texas Parks: Colorado Bend State Park - Bend, TX

Colorado Bend State Park
Bend, Texas (San Saba County)


Get Campsite & Facility Reservations   Download a Park Map from TPWD

About the State Park

Bluffs on the Colorado River
Bluffs on the Colorado River (25k JPEG)
Copyright © Justin W. Moore
Located along 6 miles of Colorado River frontage, 5,328-acre Colorado Bend State Park boasts a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, including: primitive camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and wildlife observation. Hikers and backpackers enjoy the park's 25.5 miles of trails, most of which are open to mountain bikers as well.

One of the park's gems is 60-foot high Gorman Falls, now accessible to the public for day use activities via a 3-mile round trip hike. Approximately 150 wild caves are located on the park property, some of which are accessible via guided tour.

Available Tours:
Gorman Falls Tour: 1.5-mile round trip hike to the Falls
$5 per person, offered each Saturday at 2 PM
Gorman Cave Walking Tour: reservations recommended
$15 per person, offered each Saturday & Sunday
Gorman Cave Crawling Tour: reservations required
$30 per person, offered the first Saturday of each month

When water levels permit, boaters and paddlers can access 23,060-acre Lake Buchanan from the park's boat ramp on the Colorado River. Wildlife includes white-tail deer, Guadalupe bass, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, numerous song birds, armadillos, and squirrels.

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities* 1 star
Leashed Pets Permitted?Animated Running Dog YES
Picnic Areas/Playgrounds* 1 star
Solitude*** 3 star
Trail System*** 3 star
Water Recreation**** 4 star
Wildlife*** 3 star
Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).

Wild Texas Notebook

The unimproved road to the park is rough, consisting mainly of a washboard surface; however, standard passenger vehicles can navigate the road except during periods of flooding. Since some sections of the road pass through unfenced range land, visitors may occasionally encounter cattle ambling along the roadside. Justin and I have hiked along the Colorado River and a portion of the 2.7 mile Spicewood Springs Trail, a route which affords beautiful views of the river, steep bluffs, and sparkling streams. We hiked in mid-March and the park was literally crawling with armadillos.

For more information, read our trip reports:

  • Weekend at Colorado Bend
  • Location

    Colorado Bend State Park is located approximately ten miles north of Lake Buchanan. The park is reachable by traveling from U.S. Highway 281 east to F.M. 580 for 13 miles to Bend, Texas. The entrance road to the park is a 4 mile unimproved road which may require travel via four-wheel-drive vehicle in wet weather. The entrance road passes through some unfenced private land, including some that is used for cattle grazing, so maintain a reasonable speed.

    The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, San Antonio

    Maps for Colorado Bend State Park

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    Coordinates for GPS Users:

    31.0648084° Latitude    -98.5041475° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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    Hours

    Open 7 days a week year-round from 8 AM to 10 PM for day use activities. A maximum of 300 vehicles are permitted in the park.

    Check for restricted park access before any trip. When controlled public hunts are in progress, general access is not permitted.

    Fees

    A park entrance fee is charged per day -- $4 per person for adults 13 years of age and older. (Texas residents age 65 or older pay only $2 per person.) The Gorman Falls Tour fee is $4 per person for adults 13 years of age and older, and $2 per person for children 6 to 12 years of age; children under the age of 6 are free. NOTE: Listed fees may not be accurate year-round due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

    Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

    Note: Learn about the $60 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts passholders, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

    Reservations

    Reserve Now for campsites or other park facilities.

    Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at (512)389-8900 from 9 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to noon on Saturdays.

    Bend, Texas Weather

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    Volunteer Opportunities

    Contact the Friends of Colorado Bend State Park, the officially recognized non-profit support group of Colorado Bend State Park, at P.O. Box 118, Bend, TX 76824.

    Official Contact Information

    The State Park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

    Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Colorado Bend State Park
    P.O. Box 118
    Bend, TX 76824

    Telephone: (325)628-3240
    TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112

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