HomeTravelGet Outdoors in Texas, Where There’s an Adventure for Everyone

Get Outdoors in Texas, Where There’s an Adventure for Everyone

Texas has 10 climatic regions in a landscape that includes prairie, coastal area, forest and deserts.

The Lone Star State is the second-largest state in the U.S. and larger than many European powerhouse countries. For many foreigners, Texas got its legendary status through western movies. At the same time, the state has a strong economy that would be in the world’s Top 10 if Texas was an independent state. In its 26,820 square miles, Texas has 10 climatic regions and a large variety in a landscape that includes prairie of the Great Plains, coastal area, vast pine-hardwood forest and deserts.

The climate is suitable for outdoor activities throughout the year, and Texans act accordingly.

Best Swimming Holes

Barton Springs by Kelly the Deluded from Flickr Creative Commons

If you exclude coastal Texas, another popular way to cool off from the hot summer heat is by visiting a swimming hole. Although it is partly human-made, Barton Springs Pool is a 1,000-foot-long swimming hole in Austin’s Zilker Park. Since its water comes from a natural spring, it is quite refreshing and perfect for cooling off.

Hamilton Pool Preserve is in Travis County Parks. The natural swimming hole is open all year, but the swimming part depends on the bacteria level in the pond. You will have to take a 30-minutes hike to get there and because of the limited space, all visitors need a reservation.

About 30 miles west of Austin, you can swim in Krause Springs, a swimming hole with waterfalls above and plenty of natural and human-made springs around it.

Devil’s Waterhole is a famous swimming spot in Inks Lake State Park. If you visit while Valley Spring Creek has water, besides swimming, you can experience waterfalls.

Variety of Adventures

Palo Duro by Greg Mazu from Flickr Creative Commons

Texas is vast, and every county has something for seasoned travelers. If you visit Amarillo, go back in time and experience cowgirls and cowboys in the west riding in Palo Duro Canyon.

Although the ocean is not the first thing that comes to in mind with Texas, you can go to South Padre Island Dolphin Research and go swimming with dolphins. Big Bend National Park, with its exciting landscape, will remind you of the western movies. Explore trails in the Chisos Mountains or go to Santa Elena Canyon with 1,500-foot cliffs hovering over the path.

Another great outdoor adventure is a visit to Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Cave Exploration

Inner Space Cavern by Juliette Melton from Flickr Creative Commons

Georgetown, near Austin, is home to Inner Space Cavern—probably the best-preserved cave system in the state with a couple of spots with prehistoric remains. The Adventure Tour leads along a well-lit path, while the Hidden Passages tour explores other parts that are not so well arranged.

Longhorn Cavern is another spot close to the state capital of Austin. Along with incredible cave tours, there are concerts in some of the larger rooms on selected nights. One of the main attractions is the Crystal City, a place where calcite crystals sparkle from walls.

The most significant commercial cave spot in the Lone Star State is Natural Bridge Caverns. Here, the most famous sights are The Castle of the White Giants and the Hall of the Mountain King.

Camping Near Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Park by Diann Bayes from Flickr Creative Commons

Enchanted Rock is located near Fredericksburg and attracts thousands of hikers. The pink granite mountain rises only 425 feet above the terrain, but it is famous for being the largest pink granite monadnock in the country.

There are numerous campgrounds in the area. Moss Lake Primitive Campground does not offer any amenities. A similar spot is in Walnut Springs, where you can also raise your tent. The same principle is behind Sponsored Youth Group Campground, while Walk-in Campsites provides group stay. There are picnic tables, grills, water and restrooms. This is also only for tents. Outside of the natural area, there are Dos Rios Camping, At the Ranch and Beach Camp on Llano River.

Rock Climbing

Hueco Tanks State Park by Diann Bayes from Flickr Creative Commons

Enchanted Rock State Park offers many rock-climbing opportunities. The Motorboat Rock and the Lunch Rock area are for beginners, but climbing to Enchanted Rock without a rope is a challenge for intermediate and professional climbers.

Hueco Tanks State Park has an 860-acre area of rocks and basins in the desert. It is the most popular and one of the main hubs for rock climbing. The Franklin Mountains in the west part of the state is another destination popular among climbers. There are particular areas for rock climbing in McKelligon Canyon and Tom Mays Unit. Limestone cliffs along the Pedernales River offer many climbing spots in Reimar’s Ranch Park.

Outdoor sports enthusiasts who want to visit Texas will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy various activities. Before embarking on a cross-continent journey, you should apply for the US Visa ESTA procedure. If you need a tourist or business stay in the U.S. for 90 days or less and you come from a visa waiver-eligible country, you can start filling out an ESTA form.

After you check your data, you will need to pay a small fee. The administration will determine whether you are eligible for ESTA approval, and the permit is valid for two years.

No matter where you’re coming from, caves, swimming holes and rock climbing are just the tip of the iceberg for numerous outdoor sporting opportunities in Texas.

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