Bring out the pumpkin spice and the cozy sweaters, because our favorite season is on its way! The transition from summer to fall brings about some of the most beautiful natural colors in the environment. While Texas may not be as well known as New England for its fall foliage, several of our state’s parks are just as vibrant. Here are six Texas parks you should visit this fall.
6. Monahans Sandhills State Park
This unique park might not seem like a fall designation spot, but it’s actually the perfect time to go. The wind-sculpted living sand dunes are great to visit year-round, but the scorching summers in West Texas are difficult to bear. Monahans Sandhills State Park doesn’t have beautiful fall foliage; however, the fall temperatures make this the perfect location. The most amazing thing about this park is that it will never be the same as the last time you went. Wind and rain are constantly changing the and shaping the dunes. The locals love to boogie board down the dunes, and water balloon fights are a must. Camping is permitted and it’s the perfect location to stargaze. The west Texas sky is an unbelievable sight, unlike in any other area. This is definitely one of Texas parks you should visit in the fall.
5. Big Bend National Park
One of the more well-known parks in Texas, Big Bend National Park is located in the Southwest region and is well known for its view of night sky. Campers will find hundreds of bird species in the mountain range and various cacti around the area, so watch your step! Big Bend is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Texas thanks to its scenic hiking trails and historic sites. There are several different camping areas, for both RVs and tents, and they also offer a lodge, the Chisos Mountains Lodge.
4. Enchanted Rock
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area offers beautiful fall colors along its scenic paths. This desolate area is also well known for its view of the stars but is most popular for rock climbers. The giant granite dome leads people to amazing views and has drawn people for many years. Visitors love to backpack around the area, hike the trails and geocache. Unfortunately, this park does not allow swimming nor biking on the trails, but the area is still definitely worth a visit, just for the views alone. You’ll see Texas in a whole new light.
3. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Another Texas park you should visit in the fall is the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, best known for its bright-white Salt Basin Dunes and it’s colorful fall foliage. Located in the park is the state’s highest summit. If you take Guadalupe Peak Trail up through the forest, you’ll see breathtaking views of El Capitan peak. If you want to the vibrant hues of fall, the best trail to take is The McKittrick Canyon Trail. Interestingly enough, this park is also home to a fossil reef from the Permian Era.
2. Palo Duro Canyon
If you really want to get a feel for the desert life in the fall, Palo Duro Canyon should be your destination spot. The canyon walls are painted various shades of red, like much of the desert surrounding them. This park offers equestrian trails, making it feel that much more uninhibited. This park offers guided horseback riding through the trails with Old West Stables and also hosts an outdoor musical drama, “Texas.” The show is family-friendly and details the stories and struggles of early settlers, but adds a little show-biz flair with singing, dancing and fireworks.
1. Lost Maples State Natural Area
In Vanderpool, Texas, sits Lost Maples State Natural Area. Just two hours north of San Antonio and known locally for its fall foliage, visitors to this park can see wildflowers and will stumble upon the scenic Sabinal River. You’ll want to stop for Instagram pictures at almost every turn. This park is a hiker’s dream and visitors love to hunt for geocaches and cast their lines in Cane Creek. The area is full of a special strand of Uvalde bigtooth maples, which Lost Maples protects. There are around 30 campsites in the area that offer water and electricity and six that offer primitive tent-camping.