A really good source for information about Austin is Austin 360.
Enchanted Rock is about 100 miles west of Austin, 17 miles
north of the town of Fredericksburg. You can certainly visit
it from Austin on a day trip. It was hot the day
I visited. Not dry hot. Hot hot. I unfortunately didn't
have much time to spend there since I had to drive back to
catch a flight, but in a little over an hour, I drank a
liter of water, and I probably should have brought more
water. It was, however, literally 105 degress (41 degrees Celsius)
and if you're smart, you'll visit on a cooler day.
Hot as it was, if you look at the pictures you can see
that there was a running stream at the base of Enchanted
Rock, and pools of water on top as well.
From the Enchanted Rock visitors brochure:
"Enchanted Rock is a well-known geological feature of the Central
Mineral Region of Texas. The pink granite which makes up
Enchanted Rock has a measured age of one billion years and is among
the oldest exposed rock in Orth America. Through the eons,
overlying ancient rocks have been stripped away by erosion, thus
exposing an extensive igneious feature known as the Enchanted
Rock Batholith. Enchanted Rock proper is but one small part of
the Enchanted Rock Batholith, which covers about 90 square miles.
Geologists also call Enchanted Rock an "inselberg"--an island
Large areas of apparently bare rock belie the variety and abundance
of plant life at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, including a
tropical fern, Blechnum occidentale, which is found only
at Enchanted Rock and isolated areas in tropical Florida in the
The "islands" of vegetation on the bare granite summit of Enchanted
Rock are some of the most ecologically significant and severely
threatened feature of this State Natural Area. Known as soil island,
weather pits, gnammas, or vernal pools, these patches of vegetation
on bare rock develop in depressions formed by weathering over
thousands of years."
All images Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Gunn & Bich-Thuy Le. All rights reserved.