Trip Report: Pedernales Falls Day 3

Trip Report: Backpacking Pedernales Falls Day 3

It’s time for the 3rd and final day of our recent trip to Pedernales Falls State Park.  If you missed out on the past fun, make sure you check out Day 1 and Day 2 of the trip. 

Breaking Camp

Once again, I was glad to be awake, having spent close to 12 hours in darkness.  BeeGee and I woke up before Jack again and I decided BeeGee should wake him up again. So, we stealthily tried to unzip Jack’s tent and before he could wake up to stop us, BeeGee bolted in to wake him up him successfully.

She is ready to continue adventuring Pedernales Falls State Park
BeeGee waiting patiently.  She is ready to continue adventuring.  

After that, we had a quick breakfast of oatmeal while breaking camp.  I was a little sore that morning from sleeping awkwardly trying to keep BeeGee warm.  Jack also mentioned he was sore from all the miles the day before.  If BeeGee was sore, she didn’t show it.  Once we broke camp, we began the 2-mile walk back to the Wolf Mountain Trailhead.  We then drove to the wildlife viewing area.

Wildlife Viewing Area

We made a quick stop at the wildlife view area to see what was out.  I’ve heard the viewing area here is a good place for birding. Birding is pretty big in south Texas and I’ve been interested in trying, so I decided it would be worth it to have a look at the birds here.  One of the first things we saw was a small sign saying no pets, so Jack and BeeGee stayed in the car while I went inside. 

Try birding at Pedernales Falls State Park
Just inside the fence of the Wildlife Viewing area.

I quietly approached the fenced in area as another sign stated.  Once inside, you see what I would describe as a garden with multiple benches and 2 small buildings.  I first entered the building on the right and there at least 3 different types of bird and a squirrel.  I exited and went to the other building, but there was only another squirrel and no birds present. 

An interesting bird I spotted.  If anyone knows the species I'd love to know
An interesting bird I spotted.  If anyone knows the species I'd love to know

Pedernales Falls Trail System

After about 15 minutes looking at the wildlife, I got back in the car and we headed for the Pedernales Falls Trail system.  This is the main attraction of the area and provides an interesting view of the rocky Pedernales River. 

Taken from the observation platform
Overlooking the Rocky portion of the Pedernales River

We parked and headed along the trail towards the river.  We first reached a brick observation area that provided an excellent view of the extremely rocky area.  We then went left (west/up river), which took us down into the rocky river area.  BeeGee loved the rocks.  She was scrambling around and jumping all over the place.  She was pumped to the point of being almost unstoppable. 

The hole is at least 10 feet above the Pedernales River
It looks like that rock was pushed into that hole.  The hole is at least 10 feet above the Pedernales River

We walked around the river and its rough terrain for close to 30 minutes and then decided to try to take the trail further up river.  While the map states there is a trail that heads that direction; the trail quickly disappeared.  Plus, we couldn't find any trail markers to help guide us along.  After 5 minutes of wandering around, we decided to head back the other direction to the down river portion of the trail. 

The water of the Pedernales River is quick flowing through all the rocks
BeeGee and I pose for a picture.  The water is quick flowing through all the rocks

The down river section of the trail quickly led us away from the river (still parallel) and on to an old 4x4 track.  Around 20 minutes of walking, and no views of the river, we reached a sign that said we were heading for the swimming area of the day use park.  This didn't sound appealing, so we decided it was time to head back to the car and finish up our trip.

Final Thoughts

Pedernales Falls State Park is a great place to visit with stunning views.  I recommend everyone make some time to check out the waterfalls and the Pedernales River.  However, true backpacking here is difficult because many of the trail systems do not connect.  Furthermore, the park is located in the hill country, but it still has a front country feel to it.  Finally, not all sections of the trail are marked well, so be prepared to backtrack and navigate yourself.

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