Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock

name = Enchanted Rock
native_name =
other_name = Crying Rock
category =
etymology =

image_caption = Enchanted Rock, as seen from the trail leading to its summit on a busy hiking day.
country = United States | country_

state = Texas
region = Texas Hill Country
district =
municipality =
range =
location =
elevation = 556.3
prominence =
lat_d = 30 | lat_m = 30 | lat_s = 23.0394 | lat_NS = N
long_d = 98 | long_m = 49 | long_s = 7.3200 | long_EW = W
coordinates_type = type:landmark_region:US
geology = granite
orogeny =
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plant =
animal =
public = Open to the public during park hours
access =
ascent = | ascent_date =
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free = | free_type =

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website = http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/
commons =
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Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite pluton located in the Llano Uplift approximately convert|15|mi|km|0 north of Fredericksburg, Texas, USA and convert|15|mi|km|0 south of Llano, Texas. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which includes Enchanted Rock and surrounding land, spans the border between Gillespie County and Llano County, south of the Llano River. Enchanted Rock covers approximately convert|640|acre|km2|1 and rises approximately convert|425|ft|m|0 above the surrounding terrain to elevation of convert|1825|ft|m|1 above sea level. It is the second largest such granite monadnock in the United States after Stone Mountain in Georgia. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a part of the Texas state park system, includes convert|1644|acre|km2|1.


The prominent granite dome is visible for many miles in the surrounding basin of the Llano Uplift. Its gentle dome gives the appearance of being the edge of a pebble of leviathan proportions extruding from the earth, in the same manner as the larger Uluru in Australia. The rock is actually part of a segmented ridge, the surface expression of a large igneous batholith of middle Precambrian material that intruded into earlier metamorphic schists and gneiss. The intrusive granite of the pluton was exposed by extensive erosion of the surrounding sedimentary rock (which is primarily limestone).


Archaeological evidence indicates human visitation at the rock going back at least 11,000 years. Folklore of local Native American tribes ascribes magical and spiritual powers to the rock (hence the name 'Enchanted Rock'). While attempting to hide from Anglo settlers in the area, the Natives would hide on the top two tiers of the rock and, since they were unable to be seen from the ground below, they believed the rock made them invisible. The first European to visit the area was probably Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1536. The Tonkawa, who inhabited the area in the 16th century, believed that ghost fires flickered at the top of the dome. In particular they heard unexplained creaking and groaning, which geologists attribute to the rock's night-time contraction after being heated by the sun during the day. The name "Enchanted Rock" derives from Spanish and Anglo-Texan interpretations of such legends and related folklore; the name "Crying Rock" has also been given to the formation.

The rock has been the subject of numerous geological surveys and paintings. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1970. The rock was in private hands until 1978, when it was purchased by the Nature Conservancy at the behest of Lady Bird Johnson, who wanted to save the area from development. The State of Texas acquired it in 1979 and opened it as a state park in 1984 after adding facilities. That same year it was also added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is currently one of the most popular destinations for hiking and camping in central Texas. Climbing footpaths to the top of the dome is a popular activity. Technical rock climbing is very popular there as well.


External links

* [http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/ Enchanted Rock State Natural Area]
*Handbook of Texas|id=EE/rje13|name=Enchanted Rock
* [http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rmr/E-rock/E-rock.html E-Rock: Virtual Trip to Enchanted Rock]
* [http://www.erockonline.com Technical rock climbing at Enchanted Rock]

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