Easy Overnight Camping Trip to McKinney Falls

@tx_travis, Explore Texas -

Easy Overnight Camping Trip to McKinney Falls

Off on a whim in the truck camper we had what was the most spectacular two-day adventure yet.  McKinney Falls State Park in Austin is one of Texas' many natural treasures.  Super easy to get to from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas or anywhere in between.  At the park you will find two sets of waterfalls with plenty of room to swim, Old Baldy the giant cypress tree, an ancient rock shelter, and plenty of hiking, biking, fishing.

After a lazy breakfast we loaded our 3 year old up in the truck and left Houston at about 9:00 am and getting to park at noon to check in.  Our spot was ready when we got there so we wasted no time getting camp set up and headed straight to the Upper Falls.

The water was a little deeper at the actual falls so we hiked down stream and found the perfect spot a toddler could explore and cool off in the creek.  

Here we got to explore a little drop with water only a few inches deep and then were visited by a pretty good size red-eared turtle my daughter spotted.

Being the first 90 degree weekend this year we tired out pretty quickly and decided it was time to go back and set up camp.  Setting up camp is pretty easy when it's in the back of the truck so it allotted us some time on the bikes and even me a chance to show off my cub-scout level fire making abilities.  

That pretty much wrapped up the first day, but when we awoke the next morning we set off on what felt like a non-stop adventure.  First on the list was some play time around the campsite until everything heated up, then a short bike ride to the Lower Falls.

At the Lower falls we stashed our bikes in the shade and again made it down stream just a bit to find a good, toddler appropriate, swimming hole. 

This spot was pretty amazing because if you looked one direction it was what you would expect from a summer time swimming hole and then the other way was just an open and vacant creek-bed.

After getting our second day swimming fill we had to head back we went backed to camp, cleaned up and set off on the Old Baldy and Rock Shelter trail hike.  This is less than a mile and easy to do with the whole family.

* Old Baldy the giant cypress tree

Once finishing up the hike we then finally decided it was time to start making our way back.  But, being practically inside of Austin, we couldn't resist a quick trip to south Austin to explore the city parks and grab a burger and queso (couldn't think of a more Texas way to finish off the trip).

This was a super easy and super exciting trip I hope everybody tries at least once.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask, and remember to always be a steward to our water ways. Check out our Public Water Owner decals if you haven't already seen them.


Travis Power - Lone Star Guide - Instagram @lonestarguide 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published