Hill Country Sunset

The Lakes and Hills of the Highland Lakes, in the heart of the Central Texas Hill Country, is the ideal destination for a day, a weekend, or a lifetime.  Adventure, recreation, fun in the sun and hill country hospitality await you in every Highland Lakes community.   We invite you to come enjoy Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, the Colorado River, the Llano River, hundreds of things to do, places to shop, eat and sleep.   With over 1,800 square miles of lakes and hills, the Highland Lakes region is one of the largest playgrounds in Texas.




Colorado Bend State Park, a 5328.3-acre facility, is located west of Lampasas in San Saba and Lampasas counties. The park site was purchased partly in 1984, with the balance acquired in 1987; the park was subsequently opened in 1987.

History: The park is located at the former sites of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches above Lake Buchanan.

Activities: The park currently offers the outdoor enthusiast access to primitive camping, hiking, fishing, which at certain times is terrific, swimming, mountain biking, birding, and nature watching, and guided tours. The park has 15.8 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of mountain bike trails. When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park's boat ramp all the way to the lake, approximately 10 miles. This is a trip on slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado.

Tours: Other activities include guided tours to Gorman Falls on the weekends. The only way to view the falls, from the park, is on the guided tour. Reservations are NOT required for the Gorman Falls tours. The park also offers guided, wild cave tours, both walking and crawling. Due to various hazards in the caves such as low oxygen levels and poisonous gases and the fact that the caves are a non-renewable natural resource, ALL CAVES in the park are closed except through guided tours. Reservations are highly recommended for the cave tours due to the limited number of people which can be taken on any given tour. Contact the park (325/628-3240) to make reservations and check questionable weather conditions. Substantial footwear is recommended for all tours.

Link to park facility, camping and fee information.
Link to park facility map In PDF format

Flora/Fauna: Birders can enjoy viewing some of 155 species of birds found in the park, including specialties such as golden-cheeked warblers, black-capped vireos, and bald eagles. Gorman Falls is located on the western bank of the Colorado River, approximately 10 miles above Lake Buchanan and includes a portion of Gorman Creek which feeds Gorman Falls. Gorman Falls is an impressive, 60-foot-high waterfall. The falls' travertine formations and associated lush vegetation are very scenic. Small travertine dams have formed quiet pools of clear water which support a variety of aquatic communities. Special mention needs to be made that due to the protection of the fragile environment of the Gorman Falls, the area currently can only be visited through guided tours.

Elevation: 1025. Weather: January average is 46.2, July average is 85.9. First/last freeze: November 20 / March 11. Open: 7 days a week year-round, except for Public Hunts (which are held during the week) - call for dates. Busy Season: Spring White Bass Run.

Directions: The park is west of Lampasas, southeast of San Saba. From the intersection of US Highways 281 and 183 in Lampasas, take FM 580 west 24 miles to Bend and follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance. From San Saba, take US Highway 190 about 4 miles to FM 580 and follow the signs 13 miles to Bend; follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance (2 miles of dirt road). The headquarters and main camping are 6 miles past the entrance on the dirt road (unmarked County Road 442). (Access road subject to flooding.) Note: No Gasoline Service in Bend.

For camping reservations, call 512/389-8900. For more information or caving reservations , call the park at 325/628-3240. Current conditions including fire bans and water levels can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

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Area Attractions: Close by attractions include Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Caverns, and Fort Hood. You may want to refer to nearby  parks.

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Revised August 03, 2017
Copyright 2013 by Lakes and Hills Publications, Burnet, Texas
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