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.
What a beautiful park! It’s not for the faint of heart due to the steep ascents & descents, but the falls were worth the effort. The trails provided a decent amount of shade to keep us cool enough despite it being warm in the sun. Beautiful river along which you can camp and picnic. We visited after a fair amount of rain had fallen, so the park entrance was flooded and only SUVs could safely cross the bridge. This may have worked to our advantage as it wasn’t too crowded.
- It is a long drive from the gate to the office/campground/riverfront area. So don't panic when it seems like you've been driving forever since the gate and start worrying about somehow getting onto the wrong road and being completely lost.
- This is a a very popular park, especially on warm weekends, and the office is rather small. So get there as early in the day as you can to avoid crowds. I think the limit is 10 people at a time in the office, so you may have to wait outside a bit. But don't worry. There's plenty of shade around the office. Ice was $4.00 a bag there, too. I didn't spend much time in the office, and didn't really pay much attention. Just in and out.
- No water or electrical hookups.
- Compost toilets.
- No sex-segregated wash/shower facilities. There were two community faucets and one community showerhead out in the open.
- Multiple trail types, from completely shaded and mostly flat along the river to mostly out in the open in rugged terrain. Trails very well maintained with very little trash evident.
- Some areas in the park are prone to flooding, so pay attention to weather reports. Don't get caught in the wrong place in a rainstorm.
- Forget about cell service. Curiously enough, I had WiFi because my RV spot was closest to the office. But neither my son nor I had cell service for some miles before arriving at the office area.
ok to start off, this state park should really put its main office at the entrance of the park instead of driving to end of the park, just to drive back to the entrance where the camp grounds are. Really inconvenient. The primitive campground was about 1.5 hike to our site, which wasn’t much for a view or since it’s so far from anything else. The hiking trails were great and definitely get your steps in. Grasshopper littered the floors near campgrounds and no open fires are allowed. But plenty of exploring can be done if you follow the trails.
Love going to this place, camping, the hiking is good, lots of boulders and rocks, the river to get in, and a beautiful waterfall.
The campsites were great with lots of shade and proximity to water & trails! Several of my friends were first time campers and they had a great time. Also very family friendly because there is privacy since the spaces are spread well!
Colorado Bend has something for everyone: comfortable camping for tents, campers, and large groups; fishing, swimming, and kayaking on the river; views that are second to none; a variety of hiking trails; and both a spring and a waterfall. This is one of my favorite state parks in Texas for camping in. The hike down to the falls does have a couple steep portions, but I have seen older people and small children make the trek without trouble. Wear pants, bring bug spray, and keep an eye out for scorpions (we caught two in one night, after one stung my wife - they’re not deadly, but definitely not pleasant). I recommend making sure the tent isn’t left open, and you’ll be fine.
Before I forget to mention it, there is also an excellent swimming hole fed by one of the creeks. Be sure to ask the rangers about it!
Colorado Bend State Park is a small but perfectly positioned park along a bend of the Colorado River. The park has a number of developed campsites with water, electricity and restrooms with sinks, toilets and showers. There is also plenty of open space for primitive camping along the River Trail. These primitive sites are first come, first served. The river always has running water, but the depth varies based on the amount of rainfall in the hill country. I tend to like the primitive campsites where one may place a tent in a clear area or hang a hammock amongst the trees. One of the main features of this park is the river and the easy access for fishing. During February and March there is a white bass run in which anyone with a fishing rod, reel, line and white jig can catch a fish. When wading or swimming in the river take care because the river bottom is mostly jagged limestone and difficult to walk over. If you camp near the primitive campsites, the River Trail runs along the river for about 3.5 miles. Sometimes the trail is cleared, sometimes it is overgrown. At the end of the trail is a beautiful waterfall called Gorman Falls. You can also reach Gorman Falls by driving and parking your car, then hiking about 1/4 a mile. Another feature within the park is a tinaja - a surface depressions formed in bedrock that occur below waterfalls that are carved out by spring flow or seepage. There are some great mountain biking trails in the park. It's a small park, but has some great attractions.
Surprisingly lush and watery! We enjoyed the hiking, swimming, and especially the caves.
Yay: camp right next to the water! Or you can hike a few miles into the backcountry.
Nay: make sure you have reservations.
Surprise: lovely drive. Would like to go back for more caving and with my kayak. Great stargazing.
This was my third time visiting Colorado Bend State Park.
It's a bit out of the way for me, so I don't go often, but I always enjoy it when I do.
We camped in a water only site, which is also a walk-in site. You park by the road and then walk down some stairs to the river level, which is where the campsites are. The campsites are numbered, but it is basically an open field.
The water is at the top of the stairs, which can make washing dishes and filling up water jugs challenging, but there are two spigots, which makes it a bit easier.
We decided to hike the Spicewood Springs trail. It was beautiful. There were so many waterfalls and greenery to see. We did have to cross the river a few times, so our feet got wet, but it was fine.
At the end of our hike, we swam in the spring and played in a small waterfall. It was a good way to cool off after a day of hiking.
You can buy ice and firewood at the store, but they only accept cash. To pay with credit/debit, you have to go out of the park.
All in all, a great time,
The drive on the way was very beautiful and scenic, we read good reviews about the river primitive camp sites so me and a friend went together, it was a short hike from the car to the camp sites, about a mile an half. The trail along the way was not visible, the weeds had over grown the trail so our legs were getting cut up for such a short hike. Once we get there we found an "alright " camp site near the river, we set up camp and cooked. Across from the river was a house that was occupied. Later on that night around 12am we could hear loud banging across the river and a woman yelling so loud, it sounded as if she was on our side. We went to sleep but again around 3am, we heard loud banging coming from the house across as if someone was hitting a door or wall, then what happened next scared us that we got no sleep at all, we heard loud screaming "help! Help! Help!" We stayed up the whole night, plus the way the camp site was made, no wind could get to us, the trees and brush were so thick, we slept in this humid area just listening to the wind wishing we stayed at another park instead. The morning we took off, went down the timer trail to dog canyon, still the trail was so un maintained, weeds growing over the trail and just covered in cuts. The only good thing about the park was seeing the dog canyon and gorman falls. I won't be staying here again that's for sure, we were in such a rush to leave we forgot to report to the Rangers about the screaming.