There’s no understating the natural beauty of the Lone Star State. This season, head the call to adventure and venture out to the state’s most gorgeous waterfalls and the hiking trails that take you there.
1. West Cave Preserve
The West Cave Outdoor Discovery is a 76-acre nature preserve located in Southwest Travis County. Beyond its geological formations, uplands, and flourishing population of birds, the preserve is home to an enchanting grotto and 40-foot waterfall.
To experience this majestic pocket of natural beauty, visitors must make a reservation through the preserve’s website. The guided tour makes for one of the best hikes in Texas. Here, visitors traverse a limestone crevice down a staircase into a sheltered canyon to the canyon’s head, a lush space where a waterfall pours onto limestone deposits into the grotto pool.
2. Pedernales Falls
The Texas Hill Country park is gorgeous territory where visitors can hike, camp, swim, raft, float, fish, and more, with a view. While the river is susceptible to a little turbulence, and the waterfalls don’t possess the magnitude of higher falls, it’s positively serene. Pedernales Falls is also proximate to Hamilton Pool, if you should desire to make a road trip out of it!
3. Kraus Springs, Spicewood
With both a man-made swimming pool and a natural spring-fed swimming hole, Krause Springs in Texas Hill Country features year-long access to its 30+ emerald springs on the property. Located 30 miles west of Austin in Spicewood, Texas, the popular camping site and swimming hole also features a cascading waterfall and a butterfly gardens.
4. Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park
Find the highest concentration of public waterfalls in Colorado Bend State Park in Lampasas, Texas. Here, you can take a 3-mile, round-trip hike up the Gorman Trail through Gorman Falls, which leads to a 70-foot, spring-fed waterfall.
5. Cattails Falls
For something off the map, Cattails Falls in Big Bend is literally that. On the western slope of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend park, a lush, unmarked trail leads to a spectacular 80-foot waterfall that plummets down to the base of the Cattail Canyon. Ask a local park ranger on how to precisely locate the falls.
6. Hamilton Pool
Hamilton Pool was formed thousands of years ago after the collapse of an underground river, resulting in a sunken cave underneath a cascading waterfall. Unfortunately swimming is still off limits, although visitors can still access the surrounding trails and beach of the breathtaking oasis. Please note that reservations are required before entry, so be sure to books yours before trekking off to this wonderful Texas gem!
7. Devil’s Waterhole
Don’t let the name fool you, this West of Burnet watering hole is something heavenly. Tucked inside Inks Lake State Park, the lake is an idyllic setting to kayak, boat, water ski, fish, and/or swim. When the creeks are running, visitors can see the waterfalls upstream. The lake is open year round with camping and cabin options.
8. Madrid Falls, Big Bend
As the largest expanse of roadless public lands in the state, Big Bend is the mecca for Texas wanderlust. The National Park is home to over 150 miles of canyons, dessert, and scenic mountain trails. Among the epic scenery, is Madrid Falls – the largest publicly accessible waterfall in Texas. Visitors can choose to take on an challenging hike, or opt for a four-wheel excursion.
9. Capote Falls, Marfa
Capote Falls is the single highest waterfall topping out at 175 high. Running from the Rio Grande Rift and the Sierra Vieja, Capote flows all year long. The only drawback is that the waterfall is located on private property. As such, visitors must get permission to view the falls. Alternately, visitors can also take a helicopter ride over the space to get a bird’s eye view at the phenomena.
10. Mckinney Falls, Austin
Located just 15 minutes outside of Austin where Onion Creek and Williamson Creek meet, McKinney Falls is filled with a tumbling bunch of limestone falls amid hiking trails, cypress trees, and gorgeous scenery. Before visiting, be sure to book a reservation beforehand.