9 Natural Wonders In Texas With Breathtaking Scenery To Put On Your Bucket List

The Lone Star state is so beautiful!

Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve in Texas. Right: Jacob's Well in Texas. ​

Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve in Texas. Right: Jacob's Well in Texas.

If you're looking for natural wonders in Texas, you'll want to check out these gorgeous hiking spots and state parks that are home to some amazing scenery.

There are so many incredible spectacular natural wonders in the Lone Star State offering stunning views and hiking opportunities that are just waiting to be explored.

From surreal landscapes in state parks to the state's very own "Grand Canyon," here are nine must-visit natural wonders in Texas that you'll want to add to your bucket list.

Big Bend National Park

Price: $30 per vehicle

Address: Big Bend National Park, TX

Why You Need To Go: Nestled along the meandering Rio Grande River, a natural wonder in its own right, Big Bend National Park is a land of untamed beauty with towering cliffs, dramatic canyons, and vast desert expanses.

The park is a paradise for hikers, with over 150 miles of desert and mountain trails to explore. Santa Elena Canyon, one of the park's most scenic spots, can be reached on an easy 1.4-mile round-trip hike.

Nature lovers will be happy to know that there are tons of opportunities for wildlife viewing here, with the park home to more types of birds, bats, butterflies, ants, scorpions, and cacti than any other national park in the United States.

The park is also a spectacular place for stargazing, with skies that are "dark as coal."

Accessibility: Some accessible services.

Big Bend National Park website

Palo Duro Canyon

Price: $8 per adult

Address: 11450 Park Rd. 5, Canyon, TX

Why You Need To Go: Often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Texas," Palo Duro Canyon is a magnificent natural wonder in the Lone Star State.

The second largest canyon in the country and carved over millions of years by the Red River, the sprawling canyon stretches for over 120 miles in vivid red and orange hues.

You can embark on an array of outdoor adventures here, including hiking the rugged terrain, horseback riding and camping.

Accessibility: All-terrain wheelchair available for use.

Palo Duro Canyon website

Caddo Lake

Price: $4 per adult

Address: 245 Park Rd. 2, Karnack, TX

Why You Need To Go: Featuring meandering waterways, lush wetlands and Spanish moss-draped cypress trees, Caddo Lake is a stunning site found in the bayous of eastern Texas.

Here, you can paddle along the water and see tons of wildlife, including many species of birds, paddlefish, aka the oldest surviving animal species in North America, and alligators.

While the lake is undoubtedly the jewel of the park, Caddo Lake State Park also offers camping, picnic sites, fishing and hiking, with 2.5 miles of trails.

Accessibility: Some accessible services and facilities.

Caddo Lake State Park website

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Price: $8 per adult

Address: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg, TX

Why You Need To Go: In Fredricksburg, about an hour and a half from San Antonio and Austin, you'll find Enchanted Rock Natural State Area, a state park said to be one of the most popular in Texas.

The park offers camping, picnicking, nearly 11 miles of hiking trails, interpretive exhibits, rock climbing, and wildlife-watching opportunities, but its centerpiece is the huge pink granite dome that's drawn visitors for thousands of years.

According to The Nature Conservancy, the rock represents a geological phenomenon known as a “batholith” and was created 1.1 billion years ago when molten magma cooled and crystallized into granite far beneath the Earth's surface.

It's been called "enchanted" since the 1800s based on various legends, and some even believe it to be haunted.

Accessibility: Some accessible services and facilities.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area website

Pedernales Falls State Park

Price: $6 per adult

Address: 2585 Park Rd. 6026, Johnson City, TX

Why You Need To Go: Pedernales Falls State Park is described as "tranquil" and is said to be a great place to relax and recharge.

The centerpiece of this breathtaking park is the Pedernales River, which cascades over ancient limestone formations, creating a mesmerizing series of waterfalls and pools.

Visitors can hike, bike, or horseback ride along scenic trails that lead to panoramic overlooks, or they can cool off with a refreshing swim in the tranquil pools.

Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts will find a haven here, with lots of opportunities to spot a diverse range of species.

Pedernales Falls State Park website

Natural Bridge Caverns

Price: $27.25+ per adult

Address: 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd., San Antonio, TX

Why You Need To Go: The Natural Bridge Caverns in San Antonio are a breathtaking display of massive, ancient formations sculpted by nature over millions of years.

You can take a guided tour and admire huge stalactites and stalagmites here, some towering over 60 feet, that form an ethereal underground landscape.

Above ground, adventure continues with ziplines and a treetop canopy tour.

Accessibility: Caverns and cavern tours are not wheelchair or stroller accessible.

Natural Bridge Caverns website

Devils River State Natural Area

Price: $5 per person

Address: 21715 Dolan Creek Rd., Del Rio, TX

Why You Need To Go: Devil's River State Natural Area is an untouched paradise boasting brilliant blue waters that wind through rugged canyons, providing a haven for nature lovers.

Here, you can kayak, paddle or swim in the turquoise waters, or hike to explore the challenging trails in the park that lead to breathtaking overlooks.

The river and surrounding wilderness sup­ports a variety of plants and an­i­mals, making for tons of wildlife viewing opportunities.

Devil's River State Natural Area website

Jacob's Well

Price: Free entrance

Address: 1699 Mt. Sharp Rd., Wimberley, TX

Why You Need To Go: In Texas Hill Country, Jacob's Well is the second-largest fully submerged cave in Texas.

The well itself is 140-feet deep at its deepest part, and makes for a mesmerizing display.

While you currently can't swim in the well due to low water conditions, the area is open for hiking and is free to enter.

The well is located right by Wimberley, one of Texas’s most charming small towns that makes for a great day trip from Austin or San Antonio, or a weekend getaway spot for those coming from Dallas.

Jacob's Well website

Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

Price: $12 per vehicle

Address: 24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Springs, TX

Why You Need To Go: In the heart of Texas Hill Country, this hidden gem boasts a stunning emerald-green pool framed by dramatic limestone cliffs and a picturesque 50-foot waterfall.

Visitors can take a leisurely hike through the lush surrounding forest, spot unique wildlife, make their way to a beach where they can survey the waterfall, and even go for a dip.

The preserve is located just under an hour from Austin and about 1 and a half hours from San Antonio, making for an easy day trip for those coming from the cities.

Hamilton Pool Preserve website

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Katherine Caspersz
Katherine Caspersz is a Creator for Narcity Media focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.