Sunrise from Enchanted Rock

I have heard from several people lately that Enchanted Rock is worth the trip to see.  In the early morning hours last Sunday, I decided I needed to go see it for myself.  I was in Austin after shooting some locations in the area and about midnight I started looking for a hotel.  Unfortunately for me, Saturday was game day for UT and everybody showed up, which caused there to be no open rooms at any hotels in the vicinity.  So, after a thorough hotel search, a questionable decision to just sleep in my truck (ending with a nice visit from an Austin Police Officer), I made the decision to make the journey to Enchanted Rock and be there for sunrise.  I didn’t realize that this was 2 hours west of Austin.

I arrived around 5am and made my way to the trailhead and parked there, hoping to get a quick nap.  If I did sleep at all, it was maybe 5 minutes.  Once I started seeing light in the sky, I started the hike up the dome.

Enchanted rock is a huge pink granite dome shaped rock that raises 425 feet above the surrounding area.  It covers a space of 640 acres.  This thing is massive! All of the photos I have seen of it do not do it justice as to its size, and I don’t think any photos I made of it do either.  It’s just huge!

The Summit Trail is the fastest way to the top as it goes straight up the side of the dome.  At this point I was running a little late and was concerned about the sun rising before I was in position, so I moved at a fast pace.  The Summit Trail is only .6 miles to the top, but it rises 425 feet in that short distance, so it is like climbing up a very steep set of stairs over a half mile! And every step is angled at a very steep angle.  It is a bit difficult, especially at a high rate of speed.  Lots of panting and rest stops to allow the heartrate to get somewhere below redline, then more fast climbing.  I finally made it to a height where I liked the view, and the sun was just popping out through a little opening between the heavy clouds and the horizon.

At the point where I made this photo, the sun was just going behind the thick cloud cover and it was throwing some interesting yellow-orange early morning light on the terrain in the distance. This gave a layered effect to the hills in the background .  You can really see here why they call this area of Texas the “Hill Country”.  This one needs to be seen large!

Hope you like it!!!

Picture of the Hill Country bathed in different levels of orange early morning light as seen from Enchanted Rock

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