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.
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
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
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
There are also two group camping areas:
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.
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
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.