Hiking Gorman Falls

Here’s a shot of Gorman Falls taken at the end of another great hike in the Texas Hill Country. Colorado Bend State Park near Lampasas, Texas is one of the most pristine and primitive parks in Texas. It’s deep in the heart of the Hill Country right next to a large “bend” in the Colorado River. I could spend hours trying to describe the beauty of the falls for you but instead I’ll let this one shot and the writing of historian Jack Mathews, tell the story better than I ever could.

The following excerpt is used by permission of the author.

Gorman Falls is located in San Saba County, along the Colorado River, downstream from Bend, Texas, and above Lake Buchanan.  Since 1984, Gorman Falls has been managed, fortunately, by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. An artesian spring, ejecting about three-hundred gallons a minute, provide hand-cramping cold water for the falls. The spring is about one-quarter of a mile up from the falls. 

The sound of the waterfall is loud, a low roar, back down by the cliffs, as you walk under a canopy of sycamores, cottonwoods, and pecan trees that give shade,  plunging the ambient temperature ten degrees or more.  The temperature change is so vivid, it is like opening the refrigerator in the house after working outside in the heat.  It is no wonder that the Comanche, the working cowboys of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches, planned their day to be close to the falls when toil eased at mid-day or stopped in the evening, so that the cool air and artesian water might ease their muscles or give good medicine to the tribe.

I know of these things, maybe not the Comanche camp, by listening to my grandmother who tended the chuck wagon for her husband who managed cattle for the ranches.  My grandmother, Effie, took me to the falls many times, always pointing out on the downhill slope to Gorman Falls, “That’s where we camped and set up the wagon, built a fire right there.”  And, I would look and see bleached rocks and junipers, a clearing in the trees, and, yes, the remnants of a fire, her fire, many layers below.

I thought of the cowboys who herded cattle, sitting down and eating beans, cornbread, and beef that my grandmother cooked.  She was not that tough of a woman, of a person, to fix grub on the ranches, but she did.  She followed my grandfather because she loved him and would cook for him and his pardners, as they tended cattle in the blazing hot, anvil-hard earth, Texas sun.  Gorman Falls, with its cool, artesian water, was Beulah land, paradise, relief beyond belief, for them, for me.

Gorman Falls

Gorman Falls – Bend, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/16 for 2.5 seconds at ISO 100 with a Singh-Ray Vari-ND-Duo filter. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

View Location on Panoramio & Google Earth: Gorman Falls – Bend, Texas

7 thoughts on “Hiking Gorman Falls

  1. This really is an amazing place, I’m not really sure how it ended up in Texas is so not-Texas like. As Jeff was leading us there (right at dawn) I was wondering where the heck we’re going, and bam there it was. This is a place well worth going out of your way to see – and it is well out of the way.

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