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Your guide for visiting Pedernales falls state park Tx

Pedernales Falls State Park Tx is the right place to go for amazing views of the Texas Hill Country, reconnect with nature, and spend some quality time with your beloved ones, far from city pollution.

The elevation of the river drops by about 50 feet and the cascading falls that are formed at a distance of over 3000 feet create unique and beautiful scenery.

The scenery is breathtaking: crystal clear waters flowing over the limestone formations that create ponds and waterfalls, lush vegetation, and old cypress trees to hide under on a hot summer day.

Inside the park are plenty of hiking trails with different degrees of difficulty perfect for hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking offering scenic overlooks over the area.

No matter if you choose this park only for a day trip or if you plan to stay in the area for a few nights, there are plenty of things to do around.

Pedernales falls state park Tx
Pedernales falls state park Tx

Make sure you make reservations in advance as the park is extremely popular and gets really crowded, especially during the summer season.

When the park reaches its maximum capacity, it is automatically closed, and nobody is allowed inside.

For this reason, we advise you to get here quite early to secure your entrance to the park.

There are park entrance fees that you have to pay before entering the park: 6 USD per day for adults and children older than 13 years.

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Where is Pedernales falls state park

Pedernales falls reservations is located about one hour’s drive from the city of Austin, offering amazing views of the Texas Hill Country.

It is undoubtedly the most scenic and beautiful state park in Texas and extremely easy to reach, thanks to its convenient location.

Pedernales falls state park Tx hiking trail
Pedernales falls state park Tx hiking trail

Pedernales Falls State Park is located at 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636.

The state park is located about 77 miles away from San Antonio, about 1h and 20 minutes drive to this beautiful Texan city.

Why you should visit Pedernales falls state park Tx

First of all, I want you to know that the park can be visited all year round and, in each season, you’ll find something different and interesting here.

The place is ideal for a day in nature or even for a short break as there are overnight campsites in the area.

The scenery is unique and wild, and you will surely have a lot of fun if you choose to spend a whole weekend here.

Pedernales Falls Texas
Pedernales Falls Texas

The best way to explore the area is to follow the Juniper Ridge Trail, which has almost 9 miles, a pretty difficult trail that offers amazing views of the area.

There are also shorter and easier trails in the park, suitable for everybody so you don’t have to worry.

One thing is sure: you must go and see the amazing Pedernales falls Austin in the area.

If you are a sunset lover, then you are in the right place; follow one of the park’s overlook trails that give amazing views of the Pedernales River and the surrounding landscape with rock formations and a lot of vegetation.

Although the area is not famous for being one of the best fishing spots in Texas, definitely worth a chance, especially after heavy rain when the level of the river rise.

You will have really good chances to catch catfish, but carp, bass, and perch can also be found here.

Pedernales falls state park Tx
Pedernales falls state park Tx water

The park is also very well known because of its fauna and flora, and it is a good place to meet wildlife closely.

Among the animals that live here, coyotes, white-tailed deer, and rabbits are the most common to see, while skunks, raccoons, and opossums can be seen occasionally.

Visitors of Pedernales falls Austin park can be everybody who loves nature, hiking, and wildlife.

You will find here many trails, with different lengths and degrees of difficulty, suitable for each of us, no matter how active we are.

Seasonal hikers and explorers can be seen every day inside the park, regardless of the season and time of the day.

Pedernales Falls TX limestone
Pedernales Falls TX limestone

Bring your camera with you as there are a lot of beautiful areas and landforms to photograph on your hikes inside Pedernales falls state Park Tx. 

Accessibility 

Certain parts of the park are wheelchair accessible, so don’t leave behind your immobilized friends when visiting Pedernales falls park.

While the restrooms from the headquarter and the showers from the camping area are wheelchair friendly, unfortunately, most of the trails are not accessible for immobilized persons.

Pedernales falls Austin

Pedernales falls state park Tx is quite a large park, but the river can be seen only from two points:

  • the viewpoint of the falls
  • the downstream area

As the debit of the waterfall is dictated by the quantity of rain that drops, for a more impressive look, we strongly recommend you visit the Pedernales falls Austin during the rainy season, in spring and autumn.

Pedernales falls state park Tx
Pedernales falls state park Tx

Pedernales is one big waterfall with several pools and channels just upstream, and at the bottom of it, you will find a really deep pool.

Swimming, snorkeling, and any water activity in the area around the waterfall and in certain parts of the river are forbidden to protect aquatic life.

Pedernales falls State Park hike

There are plenty of trails inside the state park with different degrees of difficulty and various lengths.

Among the most popular trails are:

  • The Wolf Mountain Trail has 7.5 miles and is located in the southern section of the park, away from the river and crossing two hills
  • The Juniper Ridge Trail, which has almost 9 miles and it is quite challenging but equally beautiful
  • Madrone Trails which name comes from the madrone trees that can be found along the trail and it has a moderate level of difficulty
  • 5.5. Mile loop trail that goes on that part of the park where most visitors don’t go and includes s river crossing, so prepare to get wet.
  • Twin Falls Nature Trail is a 5 miles trail with a scenic view of the Twin Falls.
Pedernales falls state park Tx limestone
Pedernales falls state park Tx limestone

Things to do inside the park

The list of activities available at Pedernales falls state Park Tx varies depending on when you choose to visit the area.

Generally, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are available all year round, considering the temperature, on certain parts of the river.

Another activity available all year round is hiking on different trails available inside the park; it is a good way to observe nature, admire its beauty, and relax.

Pedernales falls state park Tx pool
Pedernales falls state park Tx pool

There are also two specially designated trails for horseback riding, the North Loop Equestrian Trail and South Loop Equestrian Trail, which are accessible all year round, depending on the weather conditions.

Camping in Pedernales falls state park

Inside the state park, there are 69 sites for camping with water and electricity, and some of them offer primitive conditions.

In order to reach the campsites with primitive conditions, you need to hike for about 2 miles.

No matter what type of camp you choose, make sure you book your place in advance as the place becomes very crowded, especially during the summer season.

Pedernales Falls TX
Pedernales Falls TX

You can use the Pedernales falls reservations system and the online reservation system and book in advance your overnight stay in one of the camping sites available.

Group Camp, for example, is open to any youth group accompanied by an adult.

There are picnic tables, outdoor grills, chemical toilets, and lantern posts perfect for a day in nature.

Pedernales Falls State Park hotels

The closest town to Pedernales falls state park Texas is Johnson City, a beautiful town that offers some very interesting places for your overnight stay.

You can choose to stay at a beautiful winery and combine outdoor activities with wine tasting at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa, or spend a few nights in a unique scenery in the middle of Hill Country in a luxury tent located close to town at Tentrr Signature Site – Agave.

The hills around the state park are full of incredible cottages, glamping, and amazing vacation homes.

Deer Trail Ranch-Blue Cottage is one of the coziest and most beautiful cottages in the area that can accommodate up to 2 families in 2 bedrooms. The cottage comes with a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom, bed linens, and towels.

Tips for visiting

Being such a popular state park from Texas, reservations for camping or just for a simple day out are highly recommended, especially during the high season and weekends.

You can book your ticket online, and you’d better do it in advance, especially on weekends.

If you are a nature lover and plan to visit more state parks and attractions in Texas in a single year, then you should consider buying the Texas State Parks Pass, which includes free entrance to almost 90 state parks spread across the territory.

Pedernales Falls TX limestone
Pedernales Falls TX limestone

The park is quite large, and there are plenty of activities and hiking trails to follow; to maximize your time spent inside the park, plan your day ahead and get a park map to help you orient inside the protected area.

Don’t ignore the signs telling you that swimming is forbidden, and search for the places where you are allowed to swim.

Conclusion

Pedernales falls state park Tx is undoubtedly among the wildest and most beautiful attractions in the state.

It is conveniently located close to Austin and offers a wide range of outdoor activities to have a lot of fun with your friends and family.

The waterfall is located in a protected area, so you will need special permission to get close to it, and you are not allowed to swim in the pools from the bottom of the falls.

Still, there are plenty of other interesting activities to try in the area, and the scenery is incredibly beautiful.

Pedernales falls state park Tx wildlife
Pedernales falls state park Tx wildlife

Book at least a weekend to explore the whole area, or consider spending a short holiday in the park as you won’t get bored.

FAQ

What is there to do at Pedernales Falls State Park?

The list of outdoor activities you can do inside the Pedernales Falls reservation is quite long; among the most popular activities, I would like to mention camping, hiking, mountain biking, geocaching, picnic, bird watching, and horse riding.

You can also swim, go kayaking, or tubing on certain parts of the river marked accordingly.

How much is a day pass at Pedernales Falls State Park?

The price for an entrance ticket to Pedernales falls park is 6 USD per adult, while kids up to 13 years old can enter for free.

Can you swim in Pedernales Falls?

No, you are not allowed to swim at Pedernales Falls as the waterfall is located in a protected area full of incredible water creatures and fauna.

In the vicinity of the waterfalls, just outside the protected area there are designated places for swimming, tubing, and kayaking, where you can bathe, so take your swimsuit with you when exploring the state park.

What city is Pedernales Falls State Park in?

The closest city to Pedernales falls is Johnson City, a small but charming town where you can find a few restaurants and accommodation options for your overnight stay outside the state park.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation

We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance

We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money, plus COVID coverage.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.