Brian Greenstone

The Greenstone Guide to Austin & The Hil Country



Lost Maples State Park is the Yosemite of Texas, and at the right time of year it would get a 6 flag rating instead of 5. The scenery is unlike that which you would find anywhere else in the Hill Country. Instead of the usual rolling hills covered with Live Oaks, these are huge hills with awesome sheer cliffs and are covered with Maples.

If you want to camp here anytime in the fall to watch the incredible display of fall color you will need to book your reservations many months in advance - and I do mean many, like the day they start taking reservations which is 11 months in advance. Sites in November book up almost immediately. The only problem with making reservations at this park is that there is no way to know exactly when the trees will turn colors, so it is a bit of a gamble. The TPWD has a "Lost Maples Foliage Color Change Report" which is updated weekly in October and November so you can get a good idea of what the current status is.

There are also many miles of hiking trails in Lost Maples, and every foot of them is worth the effort. You'll really need to stay 2 days to hike all of it unless you're hard-core and can do 11 miles of rough hiking. Actually, you need to stay a few days regardless because it is too far of a drive to go all the way down there and back in 1 day from Austin.

If camping at Lost Maples is full you can also try Garner State Park which is very close by. The car camping at Garner is much better than Lost Maples anyway, so I'd recommend staying there and then driving to Lost Maples early in the morning - try to get there by 9:30am before the crowds.


You've got to drive half way across the state, but it's worth it! Take a map since there are lots of turns, but basically you're going to go thru Fredericksburg, Kerrville, and then lots of tiny towns.


Most of the pictures you'll find for Lost Maples are taken during peak foliage color and are only of the trees. So, here are some photos which show the rest of Lost Maples. This is what it looks like in early November after a good rain and when there really hasn't been much fall color:

©2001-2011 Brian Greenstone