Pedernales Falls State Park is approximately 40 miles east of Fredricksburg and about 12 miles east of Johnson City. Fredricksburg is in the heart of Texas hill country and is a quaint, charming, German town full of shops, restaurants with German cuisine, and over 50 wineries. It is definitely worth a visit and since it was on the way to the state park it was a perfect stopping off place for lunch. And not far from Fredricksburg is the famous Luckenbach (Waylon and Willie and the boys). We visited there a few years ago and loved it!
A bit further east is Johnson City, the birthplace of Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th president of the US. The town is quite small and is part of the Texas German belt region. Nearby is LBJ’s ranch which is open for touring. And we found a great price for fuel and DEF!
Pedernales Falls State Park is known for its falls. Of course, in winter the falls are not at their highest levels but it is still a great place to visit, camp, and hike. The visitor center offers a great view point of the surrounding famous Texas hill country.
Campground: Pedernales Falls State Park
Location: Johnson City, Texas
Site: 38 – back-in (a bit sloped)
Cost: $20 (with Texas State Park Pass)
Services: E/W (30AMP)
Comments: A fantastic site with lots of site privacy and a very large area. The site pavement is a bit sloped, more so than other sites at the campground but we made it work. To help with the slope we did a pull-in instead of a back-in. The site is close to the Trammel River Crossing Trail and the Twin Falls Nature Hike but requires a vehicle or bikes to get to the Pedernales Falls Trails (about 2 miles by road). There is a dump station at the park.
There are a number of hiking trails in the area. One of the longer ones requires crossing the Pedernales River and getting your feet and/or shoes a bit wet. We just plowed on in with our hiking boots. The water did not go over Norm’s boots so his feet did not get wet. Mine, on the other hand, received quite a bit of water inside of them because they are shorter. My feet and socks were soaking wet. It took a number of days to get them completely dry! But the hike was great!
We drove our car to the Pedernales Falls trailhead since the 2 mile hike on the road wasn’t very pleasant. Too bad they don’t have a hiking trail you could take there. Anyway, the falls were not in action at the time but it as a great hike and a beautiful area. We can only imagine what it looks like when the water is gushing over the rocks at full power! The signs state that it can take only a few minutes to go from dry to a full falls due to flash flooding! Watch out!
Another hike near our campsite was the Twin Falls Nature Hike. It is a nice little hike down and back up again with a stop at the falls (which weren’t happening at the time). The trail disappeared somewhere along the line so instead of a loop we turned around and went back the way we came. Obviously, part of the trail is not well traveled.
All in all, we really enjoyed our time at Pedernales and need to return when the falls are in full swing!