Where to Shoot at Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is more than just a granite dome in the northeast portion of the Texas Hill Country. Several other small peaks flank the more famous rock, including Turkey Peak and Little Rock. While most folks make the short trek up to the broad dome of Enchanted Rock, I find more value and intrigue in the two less famous neighbors.

Turkey Peak sits to the southeast of Enchanted Rock. From the parking area, the Frontside Trail connects to Turkey Pass Trail. After a short distance along the latter, you follow one of the unnamed footpaths up. Some folks choose to embark in some climbing - probably Class 3 scrambling by mountain standards - and wrap around the right side (south side) of the peak. I'm usually packing camera equipment, so I take the path to the left that offers a more gradual incline.

Turkey Peak is a good place to catch the sunset over Enchanted Rock or a sunrise to the east as the sun breaks the horizon. In the early summer, the prickly pear are showing off their yellow, orange, and pink blooms. If you are wanting to have the blooms in your photograph, remember they close up at night. In the morning, it takes a little time for them to open up, so I've found it best to shoot the prickly pear blooms in the late afternoon until a little past sunset.

Hill Country Prickly Pear Blooms May 2

From Turkey Peak, views of Freshman Mountain and Buzzard’s Roost as well as the distant hill country come into view. With prickly pear in the foreground, this is one of my favorite places in the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

Hopping over to the other lesser known summit, you'll find Little Rock. This is actually my favorite of the three. From the parking area, take the Summit Trail until it branches off to the left on the Echo Canyon Trail. From there, you'll have to decide when you want to break away and conquer the granite face on your left that leads up to the top of Little Rock. There is no technical climbing involved, only a steep but sure footed rock face. After a slog to the top, you'll have great views of both Enchanted Rock,Turkey Peak, and the rolling hills of the Hill Country to the west. Again, the early summer is my favorite time to photograph this area, especially at sunset, because of the prickly pear blooms and other wildflowers that appear on this otherwise desolate rock.

Enchanted Rock and Texas Wildflowers 2

Golden wildflowers add color to the rugged terrain of Little Rock, a small granite dome not far from Enchanted Rock (seen in the distance). Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a gem in the Texas Parks system, and the beauty of this area is ripe for exploring.

I've spent hours up here searching for the best angle in which to photograph the flowers and the lines in the rocks.

Enchanted Rock Prickly Pear Sunset 1

A prickly pear cactus blooms on Little Rock, a rise of granite just west of Enchanted Rock in the Texas Hill Country. This sunset photograph was captured in late May. A glaze of moisture on the granite captured the colors of the sky and seemed to illuminate the rock as the sun fell below the western horizon.

And at night, the Milky Way is so bright you'll feel you can reach up and touch the stars.

If anyone is looking for ideas on photographing Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, I hope this information spurs a few more options. I do love this area.

Happy Travels, my friends.

~ Rob


In the Enchanted Rock State Natuaral Area, this is one of my favorite views of the surrounding hill country. Taken on a warm...

Texas Hill Country Sunset 428-1

In the Enchanted Rock State Natuaral Area, this is one of my favorite views of the surrounding hill country. Taken on a warm, late April evening, the prickly pear were blooming as the sun faded in the western sky.