Pedernales Falls State Park has arguably some of the most beautiful and unique scenery in the Texas Hill Country. While the river itself is reason enough to visit the park, scenic trails wind through forests, atop ridges, and along the riverside. Walk the sandy shores of the Pedernales River and climb on the river’s rock formations. You can cross its waterfalls (water levels permitting), and delve into the nooks and crannies formed by the boulders in the riverbeds and along the shoreline. The scenery at the state park is beautiful, and with several miles of trails visitors have countless ways to explore the terrain.

Things To Do at Pedernales Falls

Pedernales Falls State Park is beautiful to visit throughout the year, both for day trips and overnight camping excursions. With a range of trail distances and varying degrees of difficulty, visitors can easily make a day trip to the park or set up camp for a weekend, exploring multiple trails that crisscross the land. The scenery is wild and unusual, with rock formations and waterfalls that are unique to this section of river.

With a range of trail distances and varying degrees of difficulty, visitors can easily make a day trip to the park or set up camp for a weekend, exploring multiple trails that crisscross the land. If you’re up for a long hike, the Juniper Ridge Trail (nearly 10 miles) and the Horse Trail South (11 miles) are the two longest hikes in the park. Rated as challenging and moderate, respectively, both trails offer stunning views of the park's terrain.  If you’d prefer a shorter trek, there are plenty of trails and connecting routes throughout the park to enjoy a leisurely half mile to three mile loop. 

One thing is mandatory for everyone, though, and that’s a trip to the park’s namesake waterfall. It’s an easy walk down to the sandy beaches and a rocky riverbed lined with white cliffs. For stunning sunset views, hike one of the park’s overlook trails, which give expansive views of the curvature of the Pedernales River and wild displays of color.

A Park for Everyone

Because of the range of activities and trails at Pedernales Falls State Park, it’s safe to say that most everyone loves the park. The drive itself is scenic, with access to overlook points that require little effort along the way, and longer, technical trail routes that require a good level of fitness to complete. With every range of trail difficulty represented within the park, both seasoned hikers and casual explorers will enjoy trail options.

Photographers also love the park, with its unique landscape and darkness at night, making for incredible night photography opportunities. Stargazing, geocaching, and camping are all favorite pastimes of visitors, too. Your furry friends will also love exploring the trails and river as they are allowed most places throughout the park.

Directions, Parking & Regulations

Visitors will experience a roughly hour-long drive west through the stunning Hill Country to get to the park. Reservations for day passes and camping permits are highly encouraged and can be acquired on the park website.

Check out this interactive trail map, showing the distance of trails throughout the park. Follow any posted “no swimming” signs and observe swimming only in areas of the park where it’s permitted. As the Texas sun can be intense and not all trails are shaded, be sure to pack enough water and sunscreen. Be mindful of wildlife and cautious of rattlesnakes, which can be active, especially in the summertime.


The park offers accessible restrooms, picnic areas and a scenic overlook parking area. However, trails to the river are rough and are not wheelchair accessible. Some campsites are more wheelchair accessible than others - contact the park for more information.

The park is a great space for birding, and even features a wheelchair accessible bird blind. Follow the asphalt trail from the grassy parking area to the open-air blind, with a 35-foot glass viewing wall. Those interested in more spots to go birding in and around Austin should check out the Austin Insider Blog.