Known for its beautiful displays of spring wildflowers, scenic vistas, the Hill Country is perhaps the best-loved region in Texas. But why just view it from the ground like everyone else, when there are two great ways to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Texas Hill Country? On a recent trip to the area, we climbed to the top of the ancient dome known as Enchanted Rock and soared on zip lines with Cypress Valley Canopy Tours.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
The massive pink granite dome rises 425 feet above the base elevation of the park. Its high point is 1,825 feet above sea level, and the entire dome covers 640 acres. Climbing the rock is like climbing the stairs of a 30- or 40-story building, but you can’t beat the views!
There is actually more than one dome in the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Others include Little Dome and Turkey Peak. The domes are a small and visible part of a huge underground area of granite, called a batholith. The Enchanted Rock Batholith stretches 62 square miles; most of it is underground.
You can easily spend a day (or more) at Enchanted Rock. For starters, there are nearly 11 miles of hiking trails to explore. Take a virtual tour with their Interactive Trails Map. You can also geocache, picnic, rock climb, and stargaze. And if you want to stay awhile, you can even camp.
Cypress Valley Canopy Tours
If you’re looking for a new way to experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, Cypress Valley Canopy Tours is for you! This tour consists of a series of 5 zip lines that traverse from tree to tree with 2 sky bridges added into the mix. Named for the old-growth cypress trees, some over 100 years old, Cypress Valley offers the exhilaration of flying just 30 miles west of downtown Austin, Texas.
Don’t worry if you’ve never zip-lined before, every participant is outfitted with safety gear including a harness, helmet, and gloves. After your gear is checked for fit and function, you’ll head over to ground school to learn the course rules, hand signals, and techniques. Plenty of time is spent on ensuring everyone knows how to safely stop at the end of each zip line. This was my biggest concern. I’m not afraid of heights, but I am afraid of smashing into a tree at 35 MPH! Our patient guides made sure every single one of us took a turn practicing on a small zip line just a few feet off the ground to gain confidence before beginning the course.
Zip Line Adventure
Most of Cypress Valley is a working farm and ranch owned by a family that is dedicated to conservation and natural preservation. The guides took time to share their knowledge of the local flora and fauna as we enjoyed the natural beauty of the ravine and surrounding area.
The first platform begins above a lake, and offers a short and easy flight into the valley. After that first zip, you’ll traverse the first sky bridge and experience nature as you never have before. By this time, you should feel confident enough to continue the course zipping over forty feet in the air, across lines that span up to 350 feet.
Each zip line has something to offer: the fastest, the longest, one that goes between two tall trees. The last zip even has two lines so you can race one of your friends. After about an hour and half of high flying fun, the tour concludes with a final adventure: rappelling off the last platform.
Fuel Your Fun
Don’t forget to fuel up before and after your adventures at one of our favorite restaurants in Fredericksburg.
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