Awesome Botanizing, Terrific Views, Lots of People, Hard to Get In

Fascinating vernal pools are tiny oases
One of the many tiny vernal pools on Enchanted Rock, home to rare endemic fairy shrimp and quillworts, among other organisms
User: plectrudis - 12/29/2016

Location: Enchanted Rock

Rating: 4point5stars
Difficulty: 3point5stars  Solitude: halfstar
Miles Hiked: 1.68 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A


I did this as a birthday hike over the Christmas holidays on a weekday.  We arrived around 10:30/11 and there was a line of cars out the park and a mile or more down the road.  We were told the park was full and no new guests were being accepted, try coming back after 1.

So we went and noodled around Frederickburg and returned a little before 1.  Again we waited in a huge line, but the cutoff for who got in was about 6 cars behind us.  Phew.  Moral of the story: visit E-Rock on a weekday when there are no holidays in sight, and get there early.

When we finally got in, we only had the mojo for the single hike up to the top, but it was beautiful, and we had a terrific time spotting weird plants and looking at the tiny fairy shrimp in the vernal pools.  There were tons of people, but it was worth it.  The last section of the hike looks steeper than it is--if heights give you the collywobbles, just focus on your feet and don't look around too much till you reach the summit and you'll be fine.

Log Photos
Fascinating vernal pools are tiny oases
Massive pink granite dome
Big and small
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