Besides the many rivers in Texas where you can go river tubing, locals and foreigners can enjoy, it is also known as the home of many wonderful parks where people can spend their holidays and breaks. But, have you heard of Pedernales Falls State Park? Let’s learn about it and check if it might be the next best adventure destination.
Where is Pedernales Falls State Park?
Pedernales Falls State Park is located in Blanco County, Texas, on the banks of the Pedernales River.
One can get to the park by traveling west of Austin for 32 miles on U.S. Highway 290 and then traveling north on FM 3232 for 6 miles. Alternatively, one can get there by traveling east on FM 2766 for 9 miles from Johnson City.
2585 Park Rd. 6026
Johnson City, TX 78636
The Park HQ is located at:
The Pedernales River has a slightly over 100 miles long path and flows in the opposite direction, from west to east, across the northern portion of the Texas Hill Country.
Its name was given by Spanish conquistadors who traveled to the area and observed the flint rocks that still line the riverbed to this day. The Spanish word for flint rocks is “pedernales,” and the conquistadors called these rocks by that name. Even before it was given a name, the Pedernales River was a magnet for human habitation from the very beginning of recorded history, as is typical for rivers and other bodies of reliable fresh water worldwide.
Native Americans first inhabited this area thousands of years ago. They used the area’s resources, hunted the animals that frequented the river for water, and benefited from the fertile ranching and farming land surrounding the river. After them came immigrants from other European nations, including Spanish settlers.
The Pedernales River serves as the southern boundary of the historic LBJ Ranch, one of the region’s most famous ranches. The Circle Bar Ranch had a working cattle and horse enterprise on the acreage that eventually became the Pedernales Falls State Park. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department purchased the ranch from its original owners in 1970, and a year later, it created the park and welcomed visitors.
Take Me to the River
The Pedernales River can be tumultuous as it passes over and around massive limestone slabs. However, it is usually calm, making it an excellent spot to unwind and refresh. Only 30 miles separate us from Austin. Come over for a swim or hike in the day, or pack your bags for an overnight adventure.
Activities You Can Enjoy
Camping, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, geocaching, picnicking, and riding horses are just some of the activities that may be enjoyed in Pedernales Falls State Park. You can fish, wade, float down the river on a tube, or swim in the river. Visit the bird blind and butterfly garden to get an up-close look at the local flora and fauna.
Swimming Getting to the swimming spot requires a tough climb of at least a quarter of a mile and includes a series of steep granite stairs that do not have a handrail.
Read over our swimming safety instructions before coming here if you want to get in some laps.
We ask that you refrain from swimming or wading in the water near Pedernales Falls out of concern for your safety.
Warning: The water in the river can quickly become a raging torrent, changing from a calm stream just a few minutes before. If you are in the river area and notice the water level rising or the water becoming dirty, you should immediately leave the river area. The Hill Country of Texas frequently experiences flash flooding. Please keep an eye on the current weather forecast.
You can hike to a more basic location or select a spot that already has water and electricity.
Campsites with Electricity
Number of Sites: 69 People per Site: 8
- Picnic table
- Water hookup
- 30 amp hookup
- Lantern post
- Fire ring with grill
- Restrooms with showers nearby
Primitive Campsites (Hike-in)
People per Site: 4 Miles to Facility: 2.0 (Two-mile minimum hike to this area)
- Ground fires prohibited
- Chemical toilets
- No pets
Hiking and biking
Our picturesque paths in the Hill Country range from simple to difficult.
Take the Twin Falls Nature Trail, which is only half a mile long, and be sure to stop at the scenic overlook over the falls. You can also hike the Wolf Mountain Trail, which is around six miles long. This difficult trek goes around Tobacco and Wolf mountains and passes through the narrow canyons Mescal and Tobacco creeks carved out. Stop to soak your feet in the refreshing waters of Bee Creek while it cascades down the steps of Arrowhead Pool on the way.
On the brand-new Juniper Ridge Trail, mountain bikers looking for a little more excitement can put their talents to the test. The more experienced riders will find enough challenges on this single-track trail that is ten miles long and challenging.
Paddle down the river in a tube, canoe, or kayak. The swimming area or Trammell’s Crossing Trail are both good places to begin your journey. Put-ins and take-outs are not permitted in the region around Pedernales Falls since doing so could compromise your safety.
Take your horse on a trail that is ten kilometers long and quite difficult. The trail is fairly rocky and has some steep slopes; you must have some riding expertise before attempting it.
Shoes are essential for equines. At the beginning of the trail where you park your trailer and halfway through it, there will be water troughs for you to use. You will need to produce a current Coggins test for your horse at the office. We don’t provide horses.
We wholeheartedly recommend a day trip to Pedernales Falls State Park for anyone who enjoys the excitement and delight of being outside. Everyone in your group will find something to enjoy, from strenuous mountain biking and kayaking to strolls—or just relaxing and unwinding.
Backroads Reservations can help you find a place to stay when visiting Pedernales Falls. The park is open every day of the year from 8 AM to 5 PM, from Wednesday through Sunday.
Although they are unnecessary, reservations are advised because the park turns guests away when capacity is reached. Reservation holders will have priority entry to the park. The busiest time of year for the park is from spring to October.