Colorado Bend State Park is one of central Texas’s most popular destinations. Two hours northwest of Austin, this park offers cave tours, river recreation, and over 35 miles of hike and bike trails. Visit in the off-season and enjoy a break from the intense Texas heat or take a dip in the cool, clear waters of Spicewood Springs for a refresher on warmer days.
Texas’s tallest waterfall, Gorman Falls, is the prime attraction for visitors of Colorado Bend State Park. This 70-foot marvel can be reached from a moderate 3-mile hike where you can enjoy cool mist from the spring-fed waters upon your arrival.
There are 15 drive in campsites at Colorado Bend where you can park RVs up to 30 feet, though the rest require some extra work to reach. 28 walk-in campsites can be found in the main campground, as can two primitive group campsites near the river. Looking for even more rugged seclusion? Hike to the Backcountry Windmill area where you will find designated backcountry sites just a mile from the trailhead. Every camper will find what they need at Colorado Bend State Park.
This park has a variety of campsites available- hike in, walk in, and RV. Hike in sites are approximately a mile from parking and are primitive. The walk in sites are also primitive, but are a short walk from parking down a hill into a grassy field alongside the river. Some sites are tucked under large shade trees, which offers privacy, and some are near the river or in the open field. There is only an outdoor shower, compost toilets, and there is not phone signal at the bottom of the canyon. The area boasts several miles of trails, the park claims these are some of the best mountain biking trails in the state. Trails are rocky and mostly intermediate at best, key sites like Gorman Falls would be challenging for people prone to injuries or who are unfit. There are also springs that can be waded in and the park is very pet friendly.
I went with a buddy and we stayed in site 16 in the primitive walk-in site. It was a gorgeous site right on the Colorado river. The thing I didn't realize was that in the primitive walk-in site you are in a field, with not really any privacy from any other campers. If you are thinking that you will have some foliage separation between sites, you won't. The other thing that other Texas state parks have that Colorado Bend didn't have was showers and a plumbed bathroom. They have 1 open air shower but it is closed during the winter season. The bathroom's are simple outhouses with composing bins. The shop also doesn't take credit cards, and they don't have the firewood vending machines you can access after hours, so if you come one after the shop closes, you will need to bring your own firewood. We did the Spicewood Canyon trail that has some amazing views from the top of the ridge. We hit the last mile of the Lemon Ridge trail that then dumped us on the the river trail that created a nice 6.5 mile loop. It was a good hike that they have listed as "Challenging" but hasn't bad at all. The north end of the site has the Waterfalls and from what we were told from some people at a neighboring site, that is were a lot of the day use hikers were. Overall it was a great camping trip in a gorgeous part of Texas, there were just a few things I wish I had known going into the trip.
Cave exploring. Nothing else needs to be said. So much fun. Over came fear of daddy long legs, and little creepy crawlers.
No showers here, so be prepared. Awesome hiking trails.
Water activities were awesome due to the summer heat.
First 20 minutes at this park we had deer walking through our camp site.
Love this place.
We were really excited to visit, having heard great things about this park. We were amazed when we arrived at the configuration of campsites. In this gorgeous area, why put all the sites around a treeless field? Mountain biking and hiking was exceptional.
The walk-in campsites are beautiful. They are well spaced and quite close to the river. The have lattern post, a picnic bench and a fire ring. The hikes are so so worth getting out there, we encountered some beautiful wildlife.
I've visited Colorado Bend State Park a number times and it never disappoints. There are rivers, streams, water holes, trees, caves and plenty of hike and bike trails to explore.
This park offers drive-up, walk-in, hike-in primitive and group campsites. This park is becoming more and more popular, so it is recommended to reserve a site at least 3-4 weeks in advance or 3 to 4 months in advance for the group sites.
The park is a short distance from the town of Lampasas in the Texas Hill Country. In fact, if you need any supplies you might want to pick them up at the HEB Grocery Store in Lampasas because there are not many easy options for purchasing supplies once you enter the park - it is a long drive out of the park to the nearest store.
The drive-up, walk-in and group sites have a picnic table, fire ring with grill, lantern post, water nearby and restrooms nearby. However, there are no RV hookups.
The primitive hike-in sites offer a patch of cleared space - no water, no electricity and no restrooms. However, there is plenty of peace and quiet.
My group opted for a hike-in primitive site along the river. Previously, the park allowed campers in the primitive area to simply find a clear patch of space and camp. Recently they instituted a new reservation system which has 8 designated campsites that are reservable. We had campsite 6. I think campsite 7 or 8 would be the best. The hike to these primitive sites is a little under 1 mile, so be prepared to carry your gear. In this area of the park, the Colorado River is a short walk from each campsite; there were a variety of birds at play in the trees; and there were prints and other evidence of wildlife.
Many people visit this park to boat or fish the Colorado River. A Texas fishing license is not required if you fish within the park boundaries. Check with the Park Ranger for which fish are biting.
Our group was visiting primarily to hike and explore some of the unique features of the park such as Gorman's Cave, Gorman's Falls and the Spicewood Springs trail and water holes.
Overall I believe that our group had a great time and I had the opportunity to explore and discover some new areas of the park.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, from time to time I get products to test. For this trip I was testing the RovR RollR 60 cooler.
The RovR RollR 60 cooler is a rotomolded cooler with wheels, a pull handle and some cleaver attachments. The RollR 60 model holds 60 quarts of content. The company also sells 45 and 80 quart models. Like other rotomolded coolers the walls are thick, insulated and offer great cold storage capability. RovR says that their coolers can hold ice for up to 10 days. We were just camping for a couple of days and it certainly kept our items nice and cold.
What really separates this cooler from other coolers are some of the unique features. First, the cooler has rugged wheels and a pull handle. For this trip I knew that we had to hike to our campsite for a little under a mile. Under no circumstances would I ever carry a cooler into a backcountry site. However, the RovR RollR worked out perfectly and we were able to haul the cooler with our food and drinks over some pretty rough terrain. The wheels were large enough to roll over rocks, roots and uneven surfaces. The pull handle extends to a convenient hight which allows a person to pull it comfortably without bending over. The pull handle also has grips on each side which allows one person to pull the cooler solo or two people to pull the cooler in tandem. This feature was key and we used two people to pull our cooler over some hills and through some muck.
Inside the cooler there is a special bin that can hold items that may not need to be chilled like bread, towels or utensils. This feature is so important to keep items separate and dry when moisture develops or the ice starts to melt. The bin itself has an internal divider which further aids with organization. I put my spices and condiments on one side and cooking and cleaning utensils on the other side. I then place my bread on top. The bin is shaped perfectly to hold a full loaf of bread across the bin where it will not get squished. The floor of the cooler is gradually sloped so that when ice does start to melt the resulting water will easily run out of the drain hole. I was so impressed with the overall design of the cooler and the thought that must have gone into the design. I can tell that the designer was a user of coolers with all of the thoughtful touches.
On the outside of the cooler there are a few really unique design features. The cooler comes with a folding tote container which is attached to the top with velcro straps. When not in use the tote folds completely flat, lays on the top and can serve as a cushion for sitting. When needed, the tote can be unfolded and it becomes an additional container which can hold extra gear like a stove, pots and pans, camp chair or paper towels. Brilliant! In addition, the tote can be removed entirely from the top and placed to the side or moved to a picnic table. This is great feature - it is like having two carrying containers in one. There are additional fixtures on the cooler which are designed to attached auxiliary items like a cutting board or drink holders. There is even a fixture which allows one to attach an extension that can be attached to a bicycle. Thus, one can pull the cooler behind a bicycle like a trailer. Ingenious!
I think that these are just some of the unique features and functions of the RovR RollR cooler. I’m sure that after additional use I will discover other cleaver features that the designers incorporated into this cooler.
I will say that I accidentally and unintentionally abused this cooler on this trip more than I anticipated. We pulled it over rough terrain, up a hill, through muddy water, and let it sit outside all day. After I got home I washed and cleaned it and to my amazement it did clean up easily. The only thing that I did notice was that the tote on top is a light colored silver. Since I dragged the cooler through the mud, some dirt stains showed up easily on the tote. I would probably recommend choosing one of the other tote designs with a darker color to avoid this issue. However, I use my coolers for their functionality and I’m not too concerned that it might look well used. I see myself getting many uses and many years out of this awesome little cooler. I'm thinking about buying the bicycle attachment arm to increase my options even more.
For more info you can visit the company website at: https://rovrproducts.com
The hiking in this park is awesome. We hiked to the falls which is challenging but worth it. The campsites are nice, many were closed when we were there due to flooding. The facilities are very basic, no running water and a small walk from the campsites. It was super cold when we were there, our tent had ice on it! Ps there is no service in most areas of the park.
We stayed at the group site at the far end. The shower was a bit of a long hike away. It is an outdoor shower (elevated spigot) next to a parking lot. There is a lot of caliche or fine white dirt that will stick to you on the way back to the campsite. Unfortunately the Colorado River was extremely low too. We hiked Gorman Falls in the day and a mountain biker told us he was just chased by a cougar. Not one of my favorite parks.
We really liked this park but the location we were at had very low water flow. There is tent, drive up and primitive campsites available.
The area is pretty quiet and has a river to fish and kayak. Hiking trails lead to some really pretty water falls that not many people know exist. You will need to bring most supplies with you as options are limited at the park.