Easy, relaxing hike with beautiful scenery

Hills in the distance
As seen from the Indian Grass Trail
User: heatharcadia - 12/30/2015

Location: Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Doeskin Ranch

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 2point5stars  Solitude: 4stars
Miles Hiked: 6.00 Miles  Elapsed Time: 3 hours, 6 minutes


This is a good place to go hike if you just want to wander around, take in the scenery, and think. I stopped many time to admire the hill country views or inspect plants, rocks, and fossils (there was one portion of the Indian Grass Trail where the ground is just covered with marine fossils, a reminder that this area once was a shallow sea).

I managed to walk all of the marked trails, though this involved doubling back on some portions. The total trail mileage is less than 6, but you can make it a longer hike by doing what I did. Also, walking both directions on certain parts of the trail gives you different views. My favorite views were had from the Indian Grass Trail.

The parking lot was pretty full but I did not encounter as many people as I thought I would on the trail. There were a couple of families I passed, but other than that it was pretty quiet aside from the highway sounds.

The terrain was easy for me. The most difficult part was ascending/descending Rimrock Trail from/to the main trail head, but that wasn't bad at all. If you hike a lot you should be fine.

Be sure to bring you own water; there is not a place to fill up here.

Log Photos
Hills in the distance
Evidence this was once a sea
Area around Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Doeskin Ranch
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Recommended Item Audubon Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges: Southwest: Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas (Audubon Guides to the National Wildlife Refuges)
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The southwestern United States--in this case, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas--harbors several dozen federally administered wildlife refuges, 31 of them open to the public and profiled in this guidebook. Some of the refuges, such as New Mexico's heavily visited Bosque del Apache, are stopovers for great numbers of birds (in this instance, more than 17,000 sandhill cranes alone) and residences for diverse plants and animals. Others, such as Texas's 3,500-acre Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, are devoted (but, of course, not limited) to a single endangered species. Natural-history writer Daniel Gibson gives a thorough description of the region's wildlife refuges and of the wildlife they shelter, providing a guide that nature-minded visitors will want to have on hand when visiting the desert country. --Gregory McNamee