A Hike to Gorman Falls

Sunday afternoon I hiked the river trail at Colorado Bend State Park and then on to Gorman Falls. From the parking lot in the main camping area this hike is about 3.8 miles to Gorman Falls, for a total of 7.6 miles round-trip hike. Below is the trails map from the state park on which I have added green highlighting showing the trail that I hiked. I parked my car and started my hike in the lower right part of the map with Gorman Falls being up at the other end. I did not see a big rattlesnake as shown on the map.

CBSP-Highlighted-Hiking-MapI have hiked this trail before and come back because it is a peaceful hike and I am usually alone on the hike for long periods of time along the trails, though when I do meet people they are friendly. Most of the River Trail hike is shaded by tree cover and over mostly even ground, though there are a few places where you have to climb along some rocky ledges, though there is a cable to hold on to. Below is a photo showing the trail winding into the woods.

River Trail at Colorado Bend State Park
River Trail at Colorado Bend State Park

Eventually the trail winds along the bottom of a cliff where there are a few caves. This part of the trail is not difficult; you just have to watch your step in a few places. Below is a photo of the trail near one of the cliffs (the river is to the left).

Cliffs on River Trail at Colorado Bend State Park
Cliffs on River Trail at Colorado Bend State Park

It is not uncommon to see armadillos roaming around in the park. I see them nearly every time I come out to Colorado Bend. The armadillos seem to be mostly oblivious to the presence of people. I don’t know if it is because they don’t notice us or if they are not worried about us. I was walking along, heard some rustling in the grass, turned to look, and found that I was a few feet away from this armadillo and it didn’t seem to notice that I was there. He just continued to root around in the grass. Another hiker eventually disturbed it enough such that it stood up and looked around. See the photos below.

Armadillo at Colorado Bend State Park Texas
Armadillo at Colorado Bend State Park Texas
Armadillo at Colorado Bend State Park Texas
Armadillo at Colorado Bend State Park Texas

In the second photo above, the river is in the background. I saw another armadillo later, but it wasn’t as photogenic as the first one.

Eventually the River Trail gets to the Gorman Falls trail. This trail involves quite a bit of climbing up and down a rocky area to get to the bottom of the falls. On the steeper parts, there is a cable system to hold onto to keep from slipping.

Trail to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park
Trail to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park
Climb down to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park
Climb down to Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park

Eventually you get to a well shaded area with an observation platform that is not far from the river bank. There is a lot of vegetation around the falls and it can be a bit difficult to see in places. Getting too close to the falls is prohibited to preserve nature. The below photo shows the left side of the falls in between tree branches. It is very difficult to capture the entire falls in a picture from top to bottom.

Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park Texas
Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park Texas

On the right side of the falls there is a rocky area you can climb upon to get a view of that side of the falls. I set up my tripod in this area to shoot a few long exposures. The photo below is from these rocks, looking down a bit toward the bottom of the falls.

Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park in HDR
Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park in HDR

There is a bit of flare from the sunlight in the upper right corner of the image. Many of the tree branches are blurry from blowing in the breeze.

I found that there was so much dynamic range of light in this scene that I decided that I would do an HDR merge to get detail in the darker areas without blowing out the highlights. The above photo and the one that follows are HDR merges of 6s, 12s, and 25s exposures using a 10-stop ND filter.

Behind the water there are some green moss-covered rocks that I have always found interesting, with the shapes giving sort of a creepy vibe to the rocks. Below is a close-up of those rocks and is also an HDR merge to preserve shadow detail.

Mossy rocks at Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park
Mossy rocks at Gorman Falls in Colorado Bend State Park

The sunlight through the trees and cliffs also created a striped pattern across the falling water that showed up in the long exposure.

I stayed here for a while shooting photos, then packed up my gear and climbed back up the rocks to hike back to my car. It was a fantastic afternoon with the weather being cool and breezy. Colorado Bend State Park is a long way from any town and the environment is mostly free of man-made sounds aside from the occasional airplane. And as an added bonus, I don’t get any cellular service in this park. So, I had the nice peaceful hike that I really needed. This continues to be one of my favorite parks to go to hike and unwind even though it is about an hour drive from my house. There are many other trails here and I highly recommend the park for day hiking.

River-Colorado-Bend-State-Park
The Colorado River at Colorado Bend State Park Texas

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below if you like.

 

13 thoughts on “A Hike to Gorman Falls

    1. Thanks.
      All you have to do is fly to Austin and drive out west a bit.
      Armadillos have some serious digging claws and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that. They do like to get out on the highway and get hit by cars. I hit one in a Civic once and it scared the something out of me.

      You probably have lots of nice hikes out your way in Las Vegas.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a lot of other hiking trails in this park that I need to go check out. I’ve been up the Spicewood springs trail and that is scenic with lots of small waterfalls. Haven’t really been on the others. I have been out there late at night to shoot stars a few times as well. Every time I have tried to get a camping reservation out there is has been full. though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a nice hike. Might be my favorite place to hike. It just takes an hour for me to drive there.

      Armadillos are quite famous around here for being hit by cars as they often wander out on the highway. You often see their carcasses on the side of the road. Doesn’t seem to affect their numbers though and this probably makes the vultures happy. They may not like colder climates, though I don’t know that much about them. They are funny looking animals and harmless, I think.

      I have read that in prehistoric times there were giant armadillos. I don’t know why they went away.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful photos. You seem to be a wizard with your camera. Great country, too. I briefly lived on the shores of Buchanan Dam, back in the 70s. I saw plenty of armadillos, but most of them were dead by the side of the road.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to bigguyhiking Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.