Tag Archives: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Today in Texas History – March 1

Legend states Tonkawa Indians named this popular 425-foot pink granite batholith, believing a Spanish conquistador cast a spell on it, making magical ghost fires glow at the top.

From the Annals of Granite –  In 1978, the Nature Conservancy bought Enchanted Rock for $1.3 million.  The NC saved the property from a planned development and then deeded the  natural treasure to the State six days later.  The top of the granite monolith north of Fredericksburg stands at an elevation of 1,825 feet and rises about 425 feet from the base.  Some say it takes its name from the mysterious sounds that the heating and cooling rock reportedly makes.  Another legend states that Tonkawa Indians gave it this name believing that a Spanish conquistador cast a spell on it, making magical ghost fires glow at the top.   The site reopened as Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in March 1984.  The area includes Enchanted Rock, Little Rock and Buzzard’s Roost and features over 11 miles of trails.

Today in Texas History – March 1

From the Annals of Geologic Formations –  In 1978, The Nature Conservancy bought Enchanted Rock from the Moss family for $1.3 million.   The purchase kept the property preserved for posterity.  Various plans had been floated for the site including turning it into a real estate development or quarry.  The Moss family wanted the site preserved but the state of Texas lacked the funds or the willpower to purchase the Rock. TNC deeded the property to the State six days after the purchase.  The site was closed to the public for several years and reopened as the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in March of 1984.

The granite pluton batholith near Fredericksburg rises to an elevation of 1825 feet and is formed from some of the oldest rock on the planet.  The Rock has long been a popular spot for hiking, rock climbing and camping.   The weathered dome, standing above the surrounding plain is known to geologists as a monadnock.  Archaeological evidence indicates human visitation at the rock going back at least 11,000 years. The  name “Enchanted Rock” is derived from Native American legend which attributed magical and spiritual powers to the high ground.

Red first visited the then private park in 1967 and has been back dozens of times since then.  It is a must see for all Texans.