Nature

10 Natural Wonders in Texas You Must Check Out

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The great state of Texas is a sprawling tribute to all the very best that nature has to offer. From the great depths of Jacob’s Well to the rising hilltops of the Guadalupe Mountains, there is no shortage of natural wonder and beauty. It is our job to preserve it and appreciate it and to protect it for future generations to enjoy.

1. Jacob’s Well

Jacobs Well, Natural wonder, dangerous, Texas Hill Country

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Larry D. Moore

Big for adventure, and even bigger on danger, Jacob’s Well is a perennial karstic spring in the Texas Hill Country stemming from Cypress Creek, located northwest of Wimberley, Texas. The 12-foot diameter mouth of the spring serves as a popular swimming spot, but divers have lost their life attempting to explore below the surface. A true natural wonder.

2. Big Thicket National Preserve

big thicket national preserve, Texas, natural wonder

Photo: Flickr/Conny242

Big Thicket National Preserve is nature at it’s finest. There is incredible bio-diversity found here, where multiple ecosystems converge (9 to be exact). A place to utterly wonder and marvel, to discover and explore all that nature has to offer.

3. Caprock Escarpment

caprock_canyon_state_park_13300945003

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/RichieB_pics

The Caprock escarpment is 15,313 acres of bluffs and steep, colorful canyons that constitute a long, narrow rocky ridge stretching as high as 1,000 feet. It forms a natural transition between the low-lying rolling Plains to the East and the high plains of the Llano Estacado to the West.

Among the bramble and brush and the red rock, the Brazos River, the Red River, and the Colorado River each meander their way through the Caprock Escarpment making it a perfect place for adventurous explorers. Caprock Canyon State park is located along the Caprock Escarpment about 100 miles southeast of Amarillo and about 100 miles northeast of Lubbock.

4. Padre Island National Seashores

sea turtles, padre island, Texas, natural wonder

Photo: National Park Foundation

Padre Island is so much more than a hot-spot for Spring Breakers. It is also the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world and offers a wide variety of plant and animal life as well as recreation. The 130,434 acres of  National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, and protects coastlines, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats. It also happens to be a vital nesting beach for the Kemp’s ridley, the most endangered sea turtle in the world.

5. Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Photo: National Park Service/Cookie Ballou

“There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone…a solitary mountain range lies surrounded by a weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom under a sublime southwestern sun and the diversity of species is the best in the country” (NPS.gov). If this isn’t a natural wonder, what is?

6. Enchanted Rock

enchanted rock, Austin, Texas Hill Country,

Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife

This Texas Hill Country favorite is a favorite for a reason. This natural wonder is an enormous piece of pink granite rock. Visitors become the ultimate explorers by rock climbing, hiking, and camping out at this one of a kind locale.

7. Krause Springs

Krause Springs, Texas Hill Country, Austin, Spicewood, Oasis

Photo: krausesprings.net

Located in Spicewood, this popular waterhole is a gem of nature. The lush landscaping and idyllic scenery make it the perfect natural wonder to explore with friends and family.

8. Gorman Falls

Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas Hill Country, Natural Wonder

Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Colorado Bend State Park’s main attraction is Gorman Falls. A 1.5-mile-long hike through rugged ranch country leads to a rocky descent down a slippery slope to the misty chill of a cascading waterfall that tumbles from a 60-foot-high limestone cliff into a moss- and fern-draped cove below. A sublime natural wonder.

9. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas Hill Country, Natural Wonder

Photo: National Park Service/Adam Butterick

This natural wonder is so completely wonderful. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the world’s “premier example of a fossil reef from the Permian Era” (nps.gov).  The park offers extensive hiking, backpacking, camping, birding, and horseback riding opportunities in one of the nation’s most pristine wilderness areas. Not to mention the stargazing possibilities.

10. Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake, Natural, Cypress, Texas Hill Country, Natural Wonders

Photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the State of Texas. Bald cypress trees hung with Span­ish moss loom over the spread of bayous, sloughs, and ponds. Canoe-ver your way through the waterways, stay in the on-site historic cabin, or enjoy the plentiful fishing.

With so much natural beauty in the area, the only question that remains is, which of these wonders will you go witness first?