Molly Hitchings

Pedernales Falls State Park

Molly Hitchings
Pedernales Falls State Park
  • Drive from Austin: 45 miles // 1 hour drive
  • Where am I? Johnson City, TX - west of Austin
  • Sites we recommend: We heard through the grapevine that site numbers 11-21 are the best spots. We snagged #15 and I highly recommend it. It was private, large, great trees for hammocks and shade, but also room for sun. There is also a trail directly from site #15 down to the falls overlook. 
  • Things to do: Great hiking spots, see the multiple waterfalls, swim in the watering holes. We brought the kayak out for it's first run, and unfortunately it's not a great place to kayak. Not many places to get in or out of the water, and the river was moving pretty fast.
  • Book in advance! When we checked in, they told us they are completely booked out until July.

We've done plenty of day hikes and trips to Pedernales, but finally got the chance to snag a campsite and enjoy an overnight. 

The weather had been so nice all week, and of course, when the weekend came the sun started hiding and the temperatures dropped. Regardless, Saturday was super beautiful, and we set up camp and had a full sunny day to explore. Although you can park in the camping area to explore the trailheads in that area, we've never taken the time to see them. It was the perfect opportunity to explore a new part of Pedernales. Since we landed site #15, there was the Nature Trail that led directly down to a falls overlook. We headed down there immediately and were very pleasantly surprised by the watering hole and falls. 

We then checked out Trammell's Crossing down at the Pedernales River. You walk for about half a mile along the river and then have to cross the water to continue the trail on. Due to high water conditions, we weren't able to get across, but will definitely remember to check on that next time.

Chris bought a kayak a few days before we went camping, so he was excited to try it out. Unfortunately, with how quickly the river was flowing, and the lack of access points, it was hard to get a good kayak spot. I ended up dropping him off at the Youth Camping area where he could get in the water and kayak down to the Trammell Crossing beach area. Short trip, with a few small rapids, but he enjoyed the time on the water. 

Overall, Pedernales was great. It was quiet, our spot was perfect, and the weather cooperated. I hope we can go back soon -- just have to remember to keep our eye on the reservations. They book up months in advance!