I just spent some time adding some new locations to the Scouting Guide!
One of the new locations, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas, is just one of those perfect spots for a fun, family outing that could be enjoyed by the whole family, both photography enthusiasts and non-photography folks alike.
Last summer, brother Jonathan and I had the opportunity to scout it out and take some nice sunset pictures there. If you’re ever traveling through the area, it’s worth stopping by!
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And here are my photography field notes from the visit:
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, TX
GPS coordinates: General location is at 30.505738, -98.818409
Description: Enchanted Rock is a unique geologic feature: a large, bald rock protruding from the bushy, Texas hill country landscape. Great landscape photography is possible from just about anywhere in the park, but the views are vast and uninterrupted from the top, 425 feet from the surrounding plain. I have only really taken pictures from up on top of the rock.
Accessibility: Moderate. Drive in at the park entrance (30.495216, -98.819983), and from any of the parking areas, the hike up to or around Enchanted Rock are marked. I was here in July and there weren’t too many people around on a cloudy, Sunday afternoon, though I hear it can get very congested. It can’t be much more than a one mile hike to the top. The trail is all uphill and relatively rough as it meanders through the rocks at the foot of the hill and eventually disappears as you start climbing the rock itself. There is no one real trail that takes you to the top; just walk “up”.
Surroundings: Interesting rock formations worth photographing are all over the place on the way up. Once you’re up on the rock, there are random pools of water that I found very shapely and interesting to photograph. Grass and plants grow around these pools. Random bunches of prickly pear grow all over the place, but otherwise, it’s barren rock. Views stretch out in all directions, though a complete 360 view is difficult to get because the rock is so large and there’s no real apex. The horizon in the distance is relatively flat so there’s nothing much to photograph out there other than “vastness”.
Time of Day: Golden hour is amazing. Nothing obstructs the light. Park opens late in the day so sunrise may not be possible unless you’re camping. Park closes at dusk so sunset here is great.
Time of Year: I would assume this place looks pretty much the same year round. Not cold enough for regular snow. No showy fall foliage. However, wildflower season should be great. Late February through mid April. Last weekend of March? Come May and June, the prickly pear should be blooming.
Pros: While there are lots of interesting geologic features in Texas hill country, this is a location you can freely explore without having to worry about private property. A playground for adults. Lots of room for exploration. Unique rock formations. Nice views from the top of the rock. The rock itself is interesting to photograph too, from below from the north, I’ve heard.
Cons: I’ve heard can be very busy during spring break.
Restrictions: Opens after sunrise. Extremely expensive entrance fee ($7/person when I was there) and camping fees.
Other Notes: View website for details: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock/
Scouted By: James and Jonathan Staddon
You can now submit your favorite shooting locations a www.lenspiration.com/submit-a-location! Please be as detailed and descriptive as possible. Throw in a lot of pictures too! Your submissions will be reviewed before being added to the Scouting Guide.
Looking forward to seeing your favorite places to take pictures!