Dog Friendly Enchanted Rock State Park
Dog Friendly Hiking At Enchanted Rock State Park
Enchanted Rock State Park is one of many dog friendly parks in Texas. Your well behaved dog is welcome at Enchanted Rock State Park, as long as it is kept on a leash, gets along well with other dogs, and you pick up after it. For pets that are in good physical shape, the climb to the summit of this 425 foot tall monolith is relatively easy and can be done in about half an hour. However, you should probably not take pets with any kind of health problems such as heart conditions, hip dysplasia or arthritis. Hikers often underestimate the amount of water needed for both them and their pets while hiking at Enchanted Rock. Be sure to take along enough water for both you and your dog, and a portable water dish for them to drink out of. You may be tempted to let your dog drink out of one of the streams or ponds at Enchanted Rock State Park, however this is not a good idea. Parasites such as Giardia can live in the cleanest looking water and can cause severe intestinal problems in both humans and dogs. Here are some photos that I took recently of people hiking with her dogs at Enchanted Rock State Park.
Enchanted Rock Is a Magical Place
Enchanted Rock is one of my favorite places to hike in Texas. The first time that I went there I was only ten years old. At that time it seemed to me like the tallest mountain in the world and the most amazing place I had ever seen. As an adult Enchanted Rock State Park still seems just as wonderful, though not quite as tall as I thought it once was. Enchanted Rock is referred to by geologists as a batholith, or in igneous rock formation that was formed deep below the surface of the earth, and then exposed due to erosion of the layers of rock above it. It is like a mini Ayres rock or Uluru here in the United States, though it is made of pink granite, not sandstone. The around Enchanted Rock was considered sacred to many tribes of Native Americans, who felt that the rock was the source of healing powers and a gift from the Great Spirit. Early pioneers who discovered Enchanted Rock reported that the rock made mysterious groaning noises at night. Geologists have suggested that this is probably due to expansion and contraction of the granite as it cools off after a hot day. If you visit the rock in the late evening, after the sun has gone down, and if it has been a very hot day, you may hear deep crackling sounds if you lay very quietly on the summit with your ear to the ground.
Please help keep Enchanted Rock State Park dog friendly by being a responsible dog owner. Keep control of your pet at all times and avoid bringing badly behaved dogs to the park. Just remember that all park visitors are not dog lovers and many people come to Enchanted Rock State Park for peace and quiet. The park is home to numerous species of wildlife, including whitetail deer, coyotes, bobcats, fox, squirrels and more. It is for this reason that you should always keep your dog on a leash and make sure that their vaccinations are up to date. Also, please don't leave pets unattended in campsites.
For information on more dog friendly parks, campgrounds, accommodations and beaches, a very good resource is the book by Dog Friendly.com, "The United States And Canada Dog Travel Guide".
Update: Texas Parks and Wildlife has just announced that dogs will not be permitted on the Summit Trail that climbs the big formation, only on the Loop Trail that circles the rock and in day use and campsite areas. This is truly an unfortunate consequence of a small minority of people not picking up after or leashing their pets. I sincerely hope that that officials will reconsider this new rule and allow well behaved dogs on all of the trails again soon!