Pedernales Falls State Park

Table of Contents

Key information about Pedernales Falls State Park

Contact Info

+1 830-868-7304


2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636, United States


13 years and older : $6 Daily


8:00am to 10:00pm

About Pedernales Falls State Park

The Pedernales Falls state park’s main attraction is Pedernales Falls, which can be seen from a scenic overlook at the park’s northern end.

The river’s elevation drops about 50 feet over a 3000 foot distance in this area, and the cascading falls are formed by the flow of water over the tilted, stair-step effect of layered limestone. These river limestones are part of the Llano uplift’s southwestern flank and are part of the 300-million-year-old Marble Falls formation. These limestone layers were tilted by uplift and eroded long before the 100-to-120 million-year-old Cretaceous seas covered this part of Texas and deposited sands, gravels, younger limestones, and marine fossils.

Although the Pedernales River is the park’s focal point, there are other areas of interest for hikers, nature lovers, and casual visitors. Trails wind through hills dotted with oak and juniper woodlands, providing access to more heavily wooded areas of pecan, elm, sycamore, walnut, and hackberry in the major drainages. On the riverbank terrace, ash, buttonbush, and cypress grow.

Catfish, bass, perch, and carp are the most common fish caught in the Pedernales River. The park is not well-known for its “fishing,” but catfishing is excellent after a river rise.

White-tailed deer, coyotes, rabbits, armadillos, skunks, opossums, and raccoons are among the park’s wildlife, which is typical of the Texas Hill Country. Over 150 bird species have been spotted in the park, with approximately one-third of these being permanent residents. Ravens, vultures, herons, quail, doves, owls, roadrunners, wild turkeys, and the endemic rufous-crowned sparrow and western scrub jay can all be seen throughout the year. The park is home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, which arrives in mid-March.

Best Time To Visit:

The park is open all year, but it is currently closed to day visitors on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The peak season is from spring to fall. They do, however, reach capacity even during the winter months. Make reservations as soon as possible!!

Summer will bring a large number of people looking to cool off in the river. It’s scorching!!

Hiking and camping are best done in the spring and fall. In late spring and early fall, you can enjoy both the hikes and the river.

Beautiful wildflowers bloom in the spring!

Winter is a fantastic time to visit and enjoy everything except the river.

Activities in Pedernales Falls State Park:

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Hike A Trail:

There are over 20 miles of hiking trails in the park, so there is something for everyone. They differ in terms of difficulty and length. I recommend the following trails:

Pedernales Falls Trail System – 1.8 miles – This trail leads to the main waterfall overlook. You can walk down to the river and climb around on the limestone from the overlook. Continue on the trail for even more river views.

.5 mile Twin Falls Nature Trail This is a brief walk through the woods. It’s a lovely setting, but the falls aren’t spectacular. It’s more of a trickle down the canyon. There are some large rocks near the end that are ideal for children to climb.

Wolf Mountain Trail Loop – 5.8 miles – One of the park’s best trails! There are scenic views as well as a spring-fed pool to cool off after the hike.

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Swim in the River:

This is the best way to stay cool in Texas during the summer! Make sure to only swim in designated areas. Here are their swimming safety recommendations.

Flash floods are common in the Hill Country. If the water begins to rise or become muddy, leave the river immediately!

Tube / Canoe / Kayak:

You can put in at the swimming area or Trammel’s Crossing in the park. They do not provide rentals, so you must bring your own.

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pedernales falls state park camping:

The main camp ground at Pedernales Falls State Park has 69 tent sites with electricity. The campsites cost $20 per night and can accommodate up to eight people per site. The Twin Falls Nature Trail and the designated swimming area are nearby.

Camping and Important information:
A sponsored youth group area, which may be used by any youth group with an adult sponsor; hike-in primitive campsites (2 mile minimum; no pets allowed; no groundfires; self contained fuel stoves only); picnic sites; restrooms with and without showers; a trailer dump station; 19.8 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails; 10 miles of equestrian trails; and 14 miles of backpacking trails are available. Make a point of visiting the Texas State Park Store, which is located in the park headquarters building.

A covered bird viewing station with feeders and a drip bath is available at the park. Food is available all year. The station can hold about 15 people. Other than standard park entrance fees, there is no cost to use the viewing station. This facility is wheelchair accessible.

Hours: Open year-round, 7 days a week, except when wildlife management activities necessitate the closure of all or part of the park.

There are also primitive camping areas in the park that require a 2-mile hike in. These sites cost $10 per night and can accommodate up to four people.

Cycling in the Mountains:

The majority of the hiking trails in the park are multi-use, so there are several options. The Juniper Ridge Trail is intended for more daring cyclists. It’s a ten-mile advanced trail with numerous obstacles.

Horse Riding:

Ride your horse on a 10-mile rocky trail. The trail is very rocky, with some steep slopes, and riding experience is required.

Horses must wear shoes. Water troughs can be found at the trailer parking area and at the trail’s midpoint. You must show your horse’s current Coggins certificate at the office. We do not supply horses.

Please keep in mind that we occasionally close the trails due to inclement weather; please call ahead of time.

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Head to Pedernales Falls State Park for the ideal fishing spot, which is also great for camping. Many anglers visit this location to catch carp, catfish, and bass. The scenery is breathtaking, with cascading waters and beautiful limestone exposed by the fast-moving river. Floods are a common occurrence here, so be prepared.


The wildlife in this area is typical of the Texas Hill Country. The park is home to white-tailed deer, coyotes, rabbits, armadillos, skunks, opossums, and raccoons.


Catfish, bass, sunfish, and carp are the most common species caught by anglers in the Pedernales River. Catfishing is excellent following a river rise.


It’s safe to say that everyone enjoys Pedernales Falls State Park because of its variety of activities and trails. The drive itself is scenic, with easy access to overlook points along the way and longer, technical trail routes that require a good level of fitness to complete. With trails ranging in difficulty, both seasoned hikers and casual explorers will find something to their liking. Photographers love the park as well, because of its unique landscape and darkness at night, which makes for incredible night photography opportunities. Visitors enjoy stargazing, geocaching, and camping, among other activities.

Hikes and Trails to Try:

The park offers numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, with hiking trails ranging from a half-mile to nearly ten miles in length (while other routes are specifically for mountain bikers and horses). The following are the best trails to visit:

 A scenic overlook of the Twin Falls can be found on this easy 5-mile trail.

Madrone Trail: This moderate hike is named after the many madrone trees that can be found along the way.

Cross the river at Trammell’s Crossing (be prepared to get your feet wet) to access a part of the park that most visitors never see.

Learn about this 8.7-kilometer loop trail near Johnson City, Texas. It takes an average of 2 hours and 5 minutes to complete this moderately difficult route. Although this is a popular backpacking, hiking, and mountain biking trail, you can still find solitude during quieter times of day. The trail is open all year and is a beautiful place to visit at any time. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash.

 is popular with both mountain bikers and long-distance hikers if you’re looking for a longer, semi-strenuous hike.

Visitor Advice:

Reservations are strongly advised for both camping and day use at Pedernales Falls, as the (extremely popular) park frequently fills up. To ensure entry, reserve your passes online in advance.

If you intend to visit several Texas state parks in a single year, you should consider purchasing a Texas State Parks Pass, which is valid for one year and includes unlimited free admission to 89 state parks for you and your guests.

Before you go, use a trail map to orient yourself and plan your hikes. Pay close attention to any "no swimming" signs and swim only in areas of the park where it is permitted.

Plan to spend (at least) a couple of hours at Jester King Brewery after a day of exploring Pedernales, enjoying delicious pizza and farmhouse ales in a picturesque setting

Pedernales and Jester King together form one of the best Hill Country day trip itineraries.

Live weather update of Pedernales Falls State Park

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Pedernales Falls State Park map:

Pedernales Falls State Park can be found at 2585 Park Road 6026 in Johnson City, Texas. Take TX-1 Loop S (also known as Mopac) out of Austin and follow it to US-290 W. Drive for about 30 miles on 290-W until you reach Ranch Rd 3232 N. It's a short drive to Park Road 6026 and the park entrance from there.