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Colorado Bend State Park

Welcome

Colorado Bend State Park is a 5,328.3-acre Texas state park in the Hill Country region.  It was purchased in 1984 and opened to public in 1987. It is representative of the karst features typically seen in the Hill Country, with many sinkholes, caves, and springs.


Box 118
Bend, TX 76824

Phone: 325/628-3240

Elevation: 1,025 feet


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History:
Colorado Bend State Park, a 5328.3-acre facility, is located west of Lampasas in San Saba and Lampasas counties. The park site was purchased partly in 1984, with the balance acquired in 1987; the park was subsequently opened in 1987.

The park is located on the Colorado River at the former sites of the Gorman and Lemons Ranches above Lake Buchanan.

Activities:
The park currently offers the outdoor enthusiast access to primitive camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, paddling, birding and wildlife viewing, and guided tours of caves and waterfalls. The park has 26 miles of multi-use trails (hiking and mountain biking) and 4 miles of trail designated as hiking only. When river levels are normal (call for current conditions) paddlers can travel upstream as well as down to explore or access the park by river.

When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park's boat ramp all the way to the lake, approximately 10 miles. In this area the river is characterized by slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado, hazards include frequent low water levels and seasonal flood debris.

Area Attractions: Close by attractions include Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Fort Hood, and Lower Colorado River Authority parks.

Campsites & Other Facilities:
The main camping area offers drive-up sites (with picnic tables, fire rings with cooking grills, a lantern post, potable water in the area); riverbank tent sites (with picnic tables, fire rings with cooking grills, a lantern post, and potable water in the area); composting toilets, a fish-cleaning table, and a boat ramp.

There are also 2 back pack areas where you must carry everything you need and pack out absolutely all equipment and trash. No ground fires are allowed in backpacking areas (Bring containerized fuel to cook; nearest gas station is 35 miles away). The River Back Pack Area is about 1 mile from a compost toilet and 1.3 miles from a water faucet. The Windmill Back Pack Area is about 6 miles from a compost toilet and water faucet. Ground fires are also prohibited everywhere in the park except in designated fire rings in the main camping area.

There are also two group camping areas:

  • Live Oak Group Area (up to 24 people) where you can drive to the site with picnic tables, a lantern holder, a large fire ring, and water & compost toilet in area.

  • River Group Area (up to 48 people) where you can drive within 75 yards of the site with picnic tables, a lantern holder, a large fire ring, and water & composting toilet within 1/4 mile.

Natural Features:
Birders can enjoy viewing some of 155 species of birds found in the park, including specialties such as golden-cheeked warblers, black-capped vireos, and bald eagles. Gorman Falls is an impressive, 60-foot-high waterfall located on the western bank of the Colorado River on the northern end of the park. The Gorman Falls Area includes a portion of Gorman Creek and Gorman Spring which feeds Gorman Falls. The falls' travertine formations and associated lush vegetation are very scenic. Small travertine dams have formed quiet pools of clear water which support a variety of aquatic communities including one of the purest strains of our state fish, the Guadalupe Bass. The formations and habitat are very fragile so no swimming, wading, climbing or fishing is allowed on/in Gorman Falls, Creek, or Spring. Spicewood Springs Creek flows through a deep canyon on the southern end of the park providing spring fed swimming holes and small waterfall along its course.

Directions:
The park is west of Lampasas, southeast of San Saba. From the intersection of US Highways 281 and 183 in Lampasas, take FM 580 west 24 miles to Bend and follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance. From San Saba, take US Highway 190 about 4 miles to FM 580 and follow the signs 13 miles to Bend; follow the signs 4 miles to the park entrance (2 miles of dirt road). The headquarters and main camping are 6 miles past the entrance on the dirt road (unmarked County Road 442). (Access road subject to flooding.) Note: No Gasoline Service in Bend.

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