12 Best Waterfall Hikes in Texas

When it comes to exploring the natural beauty of Texas, few experiences can match the enchantment of waterfall hikes. From the lush forests to the rugged terrains, Texas boasts an array of breathtaking waterfalls that will leave any nature enthusiast in awe. Whether you are an avid hiker or just looking for a refreshing escape, these 12 best waterfall hikes in Texas offer a fantastic adventure for all.

Read Also: 12 Natural Waterfalls in Texas

12 Best Waterfall Hikes in Texas

1. Hamilton Pool Preserve – Austin

Located just outside Austin, Hamilton Pool Preserve is a must-visit destination for hikers and nature lovers alike. The striking jade-green pool formed by the 50-foot waterfall creates a mesmerizing sight that makes the hike worth every step. The rocky surroundings and the lush greenery add to the allure of this unique natural wonder.

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2. Gorman Falls – Bend

Deep in Colorado Bend State Park lies the captivating Gorman Falls, a hidden gem of Texas. The 70-foot travertine waterfall gracefully cascades down moss-covered rocks, creating a picturesque setting. The moderate hike to reach Gorman Falls rewards hikers with an unforgettable experience amidst a pristine wilderness.

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3. Lost Maples State Natural Area – Vanderpool

Known for its vibrant fall foliage, Lost Maples State Natural Area also offers a captivating waterfall hike. The East Trail leads to the picturesque Monkey Rock Falls, a tranquil spot surrounded by maple and oak trees. The hike is especially charming during the fall season when the foliage paints the landscape with warm hues.

4. Pedernales Falls State Park – Johnson City

For a unique waterfall experience, Pedernales Falls State Park is the place to be. The park boasts the Pedernales River’s scenic beauty, where the water gently cascades over limestone ledges, creating a series of captivating waterfalls. The park offers various hiking trails, providing opportunities for exploration and adventure.

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5. McKinney Falls State Park – Austin

Close to the bustling city of Austin, McKinney Falls State Park offers an oasis of tranquility. The park features two main waterfalls – Upper Falls and Lower Falls – both formed by Onion Creek. The serene surroundings and the soothing sound of water make it a perfect spot for a relaxing hike.

6. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – Fredericksburg

The massive pink granite dome of Enchanted Rock attracts hikers from all around, but it also hides a hidden gem. Just a short hike from the main dome lies the stunning Moss Lake, which boasts a lovely waterfall. The peaceful ambiance and scenic beauty make this hike a true delight.

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7. Pace Bend Park – Spicewood

Pace Bend Park is a paradise for adventure seekers, and its beauty extends to the hidden waterfalls within its borders. A moderate hike through the park leads to a series of cascading waterfalls, where visitors can take a refreshing dip or simply bask in the serenity of the surroundings.

8. Colorado Bend State Park – Bend

Apart from Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park offers another gem – Spicewood Springs. This delightful spot features a charming waterfall that flows into a serene pool. The hike to Spicewood Springs is a rewarding journey through the rugged wilderness.

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9. Westcave Preserve – Round Mountain

Nature lovers looking for a guided adventure should head to Westcave Preserve. The preserve offers guided tours to the stunning Westcave Waterfall, a hidden gem nestled within lush greenery. The knowledgeable guides provide valuable insights into the area’s ecology, making the hike both educational and enjoyable.

10. Cypress Falls – Wimberley

Cypress Falls in Wimberley is a picturesque destination that offers a delightful hike through the woods. The trail leads to a mesmerizing waterfall that drops into a stunning blue pool, inviting hikers to take a refreshing dip. It’s a perfect spot to escape the Texas heat and enjoy the beauty of nature.

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11. Jacob’s Well Natural Area – Wimberley

Jacob’s Well is famous for its incredible underwater cave system, but it also boasts a beautiful waterfall. The hike to reach this natural wonder is an adventure in itself. Visitors can take a dip in the clear waters while appreciating the captivating scenery.

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12. Palmetto State Park – Gonzales

Palmetto State Park is home to the picturesque Ottine Swamp, where the Palmetto Falls gracefully flow. The hike through this lush park is a fantastic way to connect with nature and explore the beauty of a lesser-known waterfall.

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Are the waterfall hikes in Texas suitable for all ages?

Yes, most of the mentioned waterfall hikes offer trails suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. However, it’s essential to check the specific trail difficulty before planning your visit.

What is the best time to explore these waterfalls?

The best time to visit these waterfalls is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the water flow is at its best.

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Is swimming allowed in all the waterfall pools?

While some waterfall pools allow swimming, others might have restrictions due to safety concerns. Always follow the park’s rules and guidelines for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Do I need a guide for waterfall hikes in Texas?

While many trails are well-marked and easily accessible, hiring a guide for certain hikes, like those in Westcave Preserve, can provide valuable information and enhance your experience.

What should I bring for a waterfall hike?

It’s essential to carry plenty of water, comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen, bug repellent, and a camera to capture the stunning beauty of the waterfalls and surrounding landscapes.


Exploring the 12 best waterfall hikes in Texas allows you to discover the state’s natural wonders and create lasting memories. Whether you prefer the seclusion of hidden waterfalls or the grandeur of popular destinations, Texas offers something magical for every nature enthusiast. So, grab your hiking gear, embark on these adventures, and immerse yourself in the beauty of these enchanting waterfalls.

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