Colorado Bend State Park
Guide

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Introduction

When you visit Colorado Bend State Park in your RV, you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful, lush nature and wildlife. The scene that you’ll be surrounded by is the kind of thing they describe in poems and write about in books. Within the park, you can find Gorman Falls, an impressive 70-foot tall waterfall -- one of the areas the park is renowned for. On the hike there, you’ll get to see the unique travertine formations, which are rocks formed by the evaporation of the nearby springs and rivers.

Visitors to this Texan park can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation, from boating and fishing to mountain biking and caving. On the southern side of the park, you’ll find the Spicewood Springs Creek running through a canyon. You’ll be able to find trails that will take you to smaller waterfalls along with swimming holes that are fed by springs. If you visit during the warmer months, these swimming holes can be a great way to cool off from the 90-degree weather. No matter what time of the year you visit, the sights are always stunning. Just be aware that the temperature can drop to the 30s in the cooler months, so dress appropriately in layers.

There is so much tranquility of nature and unlimited amounts of fun when you travel in your rig to Colorado Bend State Park. But the fun doesn't end there. When you decide to stay for a night or two, you'll get to experience primitive camping at its finest. Fifteen RV sites do not offer guests hookups of any kind, but instead, provide them with the chance to reconnect with nature in a truly special setting. So what are you waiting for? Leave city life in the dust and come experience life off the grid for a while.

RV Rentals in Colorado Bend State Park

Transportation in Colorado Bend State Park

Driving

Located in central Texas just two hours northwest of Austin, Colorado Bend State Park hugs the Colorado River and provides visitors with endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. The park's location is the definition of remote and is only accessible from the gravel County Road 446, which is the main road that will take you into and through the park.

You'll want to use caution when driving inside of the park since several of the local roads are rather winding. This is more likely to happen in the spring and summer, as these are the busiest seasons. You'll also want to check driving conditions during the rainy season as the entrance roads may flood.

Parking

There are a number of parking lots scattered around the park from the park entrance to the trailheads. Parking for big rigs is limited at the campground, as there are only 15 drive-up sites. While there may not be any size restrictions for vehicles on the roads that are within the park, there is the possibility of running out of parking space. When this happens, the park will temporarily close down in order to prevent further problems.

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Colorado Bend State Park

Campsites in Colorado Bend State Park

Reservations camping

Reservations Camping at Colorado Bend State Park

While this campground does allow first-come, first-served camping, you may find it easier to reserve a spot. This is especially recommended during the peak season when more people wish to come RV camping here. After all, there are multiple different primitive tent campgrounds in the park, but only one that allows RV camping. Even then, there are only 15 sites available for your RV, so you may want to grab them while they’re still available.

At each site, you’ll be allowed to have up to eight people in your party, and you’ll have access to potable water and a cold outdoor shower. You can also enjoy the use of a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post at your site. Some of the sites offer shade from trees while others offer a scenic view of Texan hills. You won’t have hookups or a dump station of any kind though, so you may want to dump your black water tank elsewhere before entering the park. However, you will be able to use a generator during the day. Once you have settled in here, you’ll be able to enjoy the nearby river and abundant nature. Best of all, pets are welcome.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served Camping at Colorado Bend State Park

Many of those that come to camp here simply drive up for a camping spot in their RV and have no problems. Aside from not having hookups or a dump station, these sites have just about everything else you could need. This includes water for drinking, a picnic table to eat at, and a fire ring to gather around at night. There is even a lantern holder so you can have some light outside once it gets dark. Generator use is also allowed, and pets are welcome.

During the day, the nearby river can be fun to play in and at night it makes for a calm and peaceful sound to fall asleep to. Bringing your RV here for a camping trip is a great idea for getting out in nature, and a wonderful way to experience all of Colorado Bend State Park.

Alternate camping

Off-Site Campgrounds

If you couldn't snag one of the 15 RV sites at Colorado Bend State Park, don't fret; there are a few RV friendly options in the area, some of which even offer water and electrical hookups. Options vary from private RV parks and resorts to other Texas state parks. You'll find plenty of private parks near Colorado Bend and further south around Buchanan Lake. If you prefer state parks, Inks Lake State Park is located about an hour south of the park near Buchanan Lake and offers guests over 100 RV and trailer friendly sites with water and electrical hookups along with flush toilets and hot showers.

Tent and Primitive Camping

Here at the park, there are many different options for tent camping -- some places that you’ll find are much rougher than others. There are eight campsites that require you to leave your vehicle behind and do some hiking in order to reach the site. While it may seem like a lot of trouble, it’s a great way to get some exercise and experience the wild as it is. If hiking with all of your belongings isn’t really your thing, but you don’t want to or can’t bring the RV either, you can rest assured that there are other options right here in the park.

There are also 28 walk-in tent sites available, all with access to water and restrooms nearby. The walk-in sites offer beautiful rivers views with access to a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. Reservations are required for walk-in campsites. There are also three primitive group campsites available for large parties. However you choose to stay and visit Colorado Bend State Park, it’ll be a great experience for the whole family.

Seasonal activities in Colorado Bend State Park

In-Season

Wildlife Viewing

The unique landscape and lush vegetation make for some seriously special habitats for the park's local wildlife. For example, the Guadalupe bass (Texas's state fish), can be found hiding in plain site in quiet, cool pools of water created by the Gorman Falls. If birds are more your thing than fish, don't worry. More than 155 species of birds have been spotted in the park, including the golden-cheeked Warbler, black-capped Vireo, and the well-known but still enchanting Bald Eagle.

Swimming

The hot summer months may have you looking for a reprieve from the heat. Luckily, there are many fun swimming opportunities throughout the park including swimming holes, waterfalls, and rivers, so don't forget to pack your bathing suit in the Sprinter. Spicewood Springs is even known to have some of the best swimming holes in Hill Country. There is no better way to cool off in Texas than taking a dip in one (or all) of these natural bodies of water.

Caving

There's more to the Colorado Bend State Park than meets the eye. You may be surprised to hear that under much of the park lies a hidden cave system with over 400 caves! You can make reservations to go on cave tours, where you’ll climb and crawl your way through all of the underground intricacies. Be sure to bring some sturdy shoes along in the campervan and expect to walk out of the caves wet and dirty from your exciting adventure.

Backpacking

If you want to get away from the Class A and really get lost in all of the beautiful nature that Colorado Bend State Park has to offer, then backpacking is the way to go. There are primitive sites located all around the park, and you can get help planning your trip from one of the state park’s staff members. There are lots of options for trails to choose from and spots to camp at - just ask!

Mountain Biking

If you’re looking for an adventure that’s a little more fast-paced, you can go mountain biking in the park. This park is known to give some of the best mountain biking experiences in the state and there are lots of trail options to choose from. Some of them are more easy or difficult than others, giving lots of variety for people of different skill levels. The Old Gorman Road Trail is a favorite among cyclists and is an easy, half-mile trail that runs downhill.

Off-Season

Hiking Spicewood Springs

There are over 35 miles of hiking trails within Colorado Bend State Park, and one of the most popular places to hike is Spicewood Springs. Here you’ll find waterfalls and natural pools all created naturally and fed by the Spicewood Springs. You’ll also be hiking up a canyon and crossing the creek. Once you make it to the top, you'll be rewarded with amazing views and probably a sense of pride from having made it all the way up!

Hiking Gorman Falls

Gorman Falls is yet another one of the most popular trails to hike, and perhaps the favorite amongst visitors. Lace-up the hiking boots, fill up the water bottles, and expect rocky terrain and steep hills that make for a fun and challenging adventure when you choose to hike to the falls. The trail is three miles round trip. This waterfall is very impressive, so don't forget the camera in the campervan when you go.

Hiking the River Trail

If you're looking for an easier route to hike you should aim your rig towards the River Trail. This trail is actually fairly easy compared to some others, and you may even want to stop along the way to enjoy a few of the spots that allow river access. This is a great hike if you’re looking for lush dense canopies that give you plenty of shade, while also getting to enjoy the river up close.

Boating

Those looking to explore the Colorado Bend by water are in luck. A paddle down the river will lead you past much of the park's shoreline, offering unique views and a chance to see some of the park's native flora and fauna. If you’d like to kayak in the park, you have the option of bringing your own or renting one from the park. If you choose to rent, you can pick from a single or a double sit-on-top kayak. You even have the option to rent by the hour or by the day. If you’ve decided to bring your boat with you on your RV vacation, there is a boat ramp that you can use at Lake Buchanan, about an hour south of the park. On Lake Buchanan, you can travel downstream for a total of about 10 miles.

Fishing

There are lots of fishing opportunities inside Colorado Bend State Park, and you don’t even need a license. If you love to fish, you may also be happy to hear that this park is historically known for having some of the best bass fishing opportunities in all of central Texas. Other common catches include catfish and bluegill. They even have a fish cleaning station located near the river on the south end of the park for your convenience.

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