West of the western end of Willow City Loop, north of Fredericksburg, and located in Llano County, I believe, is Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Enchanted Rock is the second largest granite dome in the U.S., rising 425 feet above the surrounding area. Hiking to the summit of Enchanted Rock is challenging, but I saw elementary school-aged kids (I would check with the park rangers there, in advance, for info regarding a safe age for kids to hike this) and folks older than me hiking it, so as long as you are in fairly good physical condition, you probably can, too.
Here is another dash-cam video of Enchanted Rock from the approach road:
Standing at the bottom, hikers at the top literally look like ants, and visa versa. I haven’t done this steep and long a hike in a long time, and I really had to take my time, stopping a lot to regain my breath and find gradual switchback-style routes, versus hiking nearly straight up, as I saw a lot of hikers doing.
But, the rewards of the expansive Hill Country views from the summit, were well-worth any difficulty or trepidation.
As with Pedernales Fallls, there are no signs other than the trail head, itself, to guide you up the bare rock face of the dome to the summit. It’s up to you to find and choose your own route, as you go, which in itself is challenging. It’s very steep if you head straight up, or straight down. So steep, that particularly on the way down, you get to places where your view of the face of the dome below you vanishes, as if you are about to step off into the void. It can get pretty unnerving, so you do have to watch every step you take and remain focused on where you want to head next.
Most folks were hiking in sneakers and seemed to be doing fine. I wore good hiking shoes that really gripped the rock face, so I felt pretty secure in my footing.
Hiking Enchanted Rock was one of the most challenging, fun and rewarding activities that I did in the Hill Country, which is saying a lot, because I am not a particularly athletic person, and I don’t particularly enjoy physical challenges. I am not an adrenaline junkie. I am much closer to a couch potato who enjoys health walks and social partner dancing.
So, if you have the opportunity, and are in decent shape, you might want to try this hike. There are also other hikes in this park.