|Location:||West of Lampasas, southeast of San Saba. US Highways 281 and 183 intersection in Lampasas, take FM 580 west 38 km to Bend, follow the signs 7 km to the park entrance.|
All year daily 6-22 (Gate).
Closed during public hunts.
Walking Wild Cave Tour: MAY to AUG Sat, Sun 9:15, weather permitting.
Crawling Wild Cave Exploration: JUN to AUG first Sat of each month 9, min 3, max 10.
Gorman Falls Tours:
Adults USD 4, Children (0-12) free.
Walking Wild Cave Tour: Adults USD 15, Children (0-5) not allowed.
Crawling Wild Cave Exploration: Adults USD 30.
Gorman Falls Tours: Adults USD 4, Children (0-12) free.
|Classification:||Karst cave Karst Spring Tufa Deposits|
|Address:||Colorado Bend State Park, Box 118, Bend, TX 76824, Tel: +1-325-628-3240.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1984||park site purchased partly.|
|1987||the rest purchased.|
|1987||park opened to the public.|
Colorado Bend State Park is located at the former sites of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches north of Lake Buchanan. It was probably named after the location of the park headquarter, in the middle of a long left bend of the Colorado River. The park offers wild cave tours, both guided and self guided. All caves in the park are closed except for the two tours, but special permits are available. There are various hazards in the caves such as low oxygen levels and poisonous gases. So talk to the people at the Visitor Center for detailed information. Reservations are highly recommended for both cave tours due to the limited number of people which can participate.
The Walking Wild Cave Tour visits Gorman Cave, which is rather large. This cave is in a natural state and not developed, helmets are provided. Bring sturdy shoes, torch or headlamp. The tour includes a 5 km hike through the park.
Crawling Wild Cave Exploration is self-guided, a map to the cave entrance, cave survey and further information are provided. This cave is rather narrow, with tight crawl spaces, definitely not for people with claustrophobia. Bring full caving equipment: old clothes, clothes for change, sturdy boots or rubber boots, elbow and knee pads, and gloves. Long pants and long sleeves are essential.
But the park offers several additional karst features, which are less strenuous to visit. For example there is Gorman Falls, a series of rimstone pools, travertine deposits and waterfalls building their own bed of limestone. The main waterfall is some 20 m high. It is found where Gorman Creek meets the Colorado River. From the park entrance follow the main road for 500 m, then turn left to the Gorman Falls Trail Head. The trail is 2.4 km long, which means a one hour walk to the end and back.
A similar site are the dozens of rimstone pools along Spicewood Springs Creek. This is a tributary to the Colorado River and meets the colorado 1.5 km upstream from the Park Headquarters, and 1 km from the end of the road. Here is the Colorado Bend State Park Swimming Hole a naturally dammed pool only a few meters from the Colorado. It is the start of the Spicewood Springs Trail, which follows the creek. On the pleasant walk numerous rimstone pools, tufa formations, waterfalls, and deep blue or green pools can be seen. The upper half of the canyon is less interesting, and it is not part of the Park, so the trail turns north to the park road and does not reach the karst sping Sicewood Springs, despite its name.