Texas may not be known for its crisp Autumn weather, but the Hill Country makes up for it generously with a vast array of Fall colors. Located in the very heart of our beloved state, this region’s unique topography, sweeping landscape, and rich plant life burst into a fiery panorama of oranges, yellows, and reds come late October.
But just where are the prime viewing spots for this gorgeous natural spectacle? Whether you’re interested in an Autumn hike, a scenic drive, or some Instagram-worthy backdrops, here are five spots we recommend for maximum Fall scenery.
1. Lost Maples State Natural Area
A total Hill Country classic, Lost Maples State Natural Area is located in the northwest corner of the region, a two-hour scenic drive from the heart of San Antonio. The park’s famous Fall colors are courtesy of the park’s rare Uvalde Bigtooth Maples, whose wide leaves turn into vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows in the latter part of the season (check fall foliage reports before you go!). Stay at Lost Maple Cabins, pack a picnic, or explore one of the many trails. We recommend the East Trail for seeing the colors up close and the West Trail for panoramic views. Watch out for wildlife!
2. Guadalupe River State Park
As one of Texas’ most-visited state parks, Guadalupe River State Park does not disappoint when it comes to Fall colors. From the bright red Sumacs and the bright yellow Cottonwoods to the vibrant orange Cypress trees, this natural paradise offers over 13 miles of hiking and biking trails on which to enjoy the scenery. One local favorite trail is the scenic Barred Owl Trail.
3. Garner State Park
In the western part of the Hill Country, Garner State Park comes to life in the Fall (in fact, many have labeled the scenic drive from Camp Wood to Leakey as the “most beautiful” drive in Texas!). Garner’s foliage repertoire boasts gorgeous cypress, oak, mesquite, and persimmon trees. Wander through the park’s 11 miles of trails and get lost in a mini Autumn wonderland!
4. Enchanted Rock
A geological anomaly of the region, Enchanted Rock’s gorgeous scenery lives up to its magical-sounding name. Less than 20 miles North of Fredericksburg, Enchanted Rock offers panoramic views (from the top of the granite dome), while surrounding trails offer up-close views of the Fall colors. Our recommendation? Take in the bursts of Autumn color during an equally vibrant Texas sunset!
5. Pedernales Falls
Just 20 minutes east of Johnson City, Pedernales Falls is a rugged paradise for Hill Country hikers, bikers, and Autumn color-hunters! The meandering Pedernales River is complemented by rocky slopes, beautiful canyons, and (of courses) plenty of Fall foliage. Depending on your skill level, trails range from easy to challenging. Those seeking a short hike might try the Twin Falls Nature Trail, while outdoor enthusiasts may venture the longer Wolf Mountain Trail or the Juniper Ridge Trail. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or riding a horse, you’re sure to catch the Hill Country in full Autumn bloom.