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The flood-prone Pedernales River winds its way through 5,212-acre Pedernales Falls State Park for 6 miles, including a vast limestone gorge filled with deep pools, small rapids, shell and gravel "beaches" and seasonal waterfalls. From the river overlook, visitors can appreciate the awesome power of water and, if they choose, venture down into the gorge to sit by the water's edge or explore. Swimming, wading and tubing are not permitted in this area due to strong currents and extremely slick rock; several miles of river frontage, accessible from the camping areas, are open to water recreation.
Panorama of Pedernales Falls at low water flow (View Full-size) Credit: Dk69
Featuring more trail mileage than most Texas State Parks, Pedernales 19.8 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, 10 miles of equestrian trails and another 14 miles trails open to only to hiking and backpacking. Among the park's trails is the 7.5 mile Wolf Mountain Trail, a favorite among hikers, backpackers and mountain bikers. Other activities in the park include camping, picnicking, fishing, birding and nature study. Developed (RV) and primitive tent campsites are available; access to the primitive campsites requires a 2 to 3 mile hike. Numerous springs, intermittent streams and waterfalls are located throughout the park, nurturing ferns and other plant life.
Over 150 bird species have been observed at the park, including osprey, bald eagle and numerous songbirds, such as the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. To enjoy the park's avian diversity, visit the bird viewing station, a handicapped-accessible 15-person observation area featuring birdfeeders and a bird bath with dripper. The feeders are stocked with food from November through March and the bath is maintained year-round. Other wildlife includes
white-tail deer, armadillo and raccoon
Explanation of Symbols Campsites/Overnight Facilities 2 star Leashed Pets Permitted? YES Picnic Areas/Playgrounds 2 star Solitude 2 star Trail System 4 star Water Recreation 2 star Wildlife 4 star Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).
Wild Texas NotebookJustin and I have extensively explored the falls area, as well as hiked the 1/4 mile Nature Trail and half of the Wolf Mountain Trail. The first half of Wolf Mountain Trail follows an old gravel road, providing hikers with little shade. A couple miles further, the trail narrows and provides adequate cover from the summer sun. The Nature Trail is a good, leisurely day hike which reveals steep canyons, limestone outcrops, and the vibrant green Twin Falls. There is also an observation deck above Twin Falls, allowing visitors to appreciate the area.
Waterfalls on the Pedernales River Copyright © Justin W. Moore
For more information, read our trip reports:
Pedernales Falls for Three
The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, San Antonio
Check for restricted park access before any trip.
Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.
Visit parks often? Learn about the $70 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts the passholder, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.
Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at
|Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Road 6026
Johnson City, TX 78636
TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112