Lost Maples East Trail Loop

MODERATE 125 reviews

Lost Maples East Trail Loop is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Vanderpool, Texas that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.4 miles Elevation Gain: 561 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly


nature trips

road biking

trail running

bird watching





wild flowers




The route begins on the "Maples Trail" on the Sabinal River. There is a short stint through boulders below a cliff. Then a wide meandering primitive road that crosses and recrosses this mostly dry or very shallow river, often below a canopy of maples. Elaborately carved cliffs, including "The Grotto" with its fern-festooned drip springs, are attractions. A steep, rock-covered ascent to the caprock provides some "rock 'n roll". On top, an overlook of the central valley entry of the Park. Another overlook down a sheer cliff into the Can Creek canyon and the campground at "The Pond" and its dam. Next a steep rock-'n-rolly road descending to The Pond. The route crosses the dam and bypasses some small waterfalls below the dam. Then a couple of foot-stone crossings of Can Creek and a view of a hawk's nest on the cliffs as you return on a primitive road back to the start point at the picnic grounds on the Sabinal River. Site of annual volksmarch and daily YRE walk.

1 month ago

We visited in December when the weather was mild. The maples had already lost their leaves but the oaks, laurels, and junipers were still very green. The park is full of springs and the shallow Sabinal river is great to rinse the dust off your feet. When the sign says "steep" they are not exaggerating. The overlook of the valley is definitely worth the climb. We overnighted at one of the primitive camp sites. It was clean, and each area has several niches to camp in so it feels private. There are privies spread through out the park- not many but there are some. The day use area and main entrance have standard restrooms with running water.

1 month ago

Probably the most beautiful trail in this park. They're all amazing, but this one... just wow. The climb is a bit enduring, but it's well worth it with its scenic overlooks. We'll definitely be back for fall

3 months ago

Beautiful trail...moderate level.

4 months ago

Great trail!!! Lots of scenic adventure! The only challenge was the steep hillside but totally worth it!

5 months ago

I backpacked the East and West loops with two of my college-age kids last weekend (Thursday through Saturday.) We arrived at Lost Maples around 3pm, paid our fees, and headed to the West Loop trail head -- took the clockwise direction. It took less than an hour to get to primitive area F, where we stayed the night. We had a lazy morning on Friday and continued the West Loop over to "The Ponds", where the loops join. From there we picked up the West Loop trail and got into primitive area A in time to cook dinner and pitch camp. The trails were very well maintained and surprisingly litter-free. The climbs were very steep, but doable -- I really appreciated having my hiking poles. Note that the lower elevation sections are along creek beds -- lots of stream crossings plus seeps and springs mean your shoes will get at least a little wet. Primitive area A is a lovely camping spot, but "popular." We were there with 2 scout troops plus 2 smaller groups on a Friday night -- not quite the solitude you expect when backpacking, but still much better than "car camping." The composting toilet is a huge plus. Don't miss Monkey Rock -- it lives up to its name!

6 months ago

Perfect fall hike. Don’t miss seeing Monkey Rock

6 months ago

Great hike. Lots of loose rocks though.

6 months ago

great trail. challenging for a little bit, but overall not too difficult. weather in November was beautiful. we did the east trail for 4.5 miles. very very rocky so good shoes/boots are needed. feet get wet at times. good overlook views in two spots. ranger people were all very friendly. get their early for parking space.

7 months ago

4 mile hike. was steep in some areas. has to stop and rest. had to cross a few creeks. one climb was tough and the decent was steep. definitely worth it. the view was beautiful

7 months ago

Great trail with stunning views and plenty of contour. Three caveats: 1. You will get your feet wet crossing the stream in several places. 2. There are long stretches with no shade, so it can get brutally hot. We baked here in early November. And 3: it is crowded here in the fall, even during the week. That said, we really enjoyed this hike. Took us 3 hours.

7 months ago

We did this hike at a very leisurely pace and stopped to play in the streams and fall foliage so it took us about 3 hours to complete. The leaves had started turning (first weekend of November) and it was pretty but probably in two weeks time more reds will start coming out. It was a good distance and fun walking through streams with some uphill parts which made it slightly more challenging. Try to go early in the morning (I think park opens at 8?) to ensure you’ll get in. We went around noon and the park was completely full so we spent some time at the winery down the road which was also beautiful. On the way back we tried our luck to get in and were lucky enough to get in but if you’re only there for a day I wouldn’t risk it. I would also suggest hiking it in water shoes or teva/Chaco type sandals. A friend of ours went in tennies but another friend and I got to walk through all the streams with our tevas which made for a very refreshing trip. A nice little gem in the Texas hill country!

7 months ago

Amazing scenery and wonderful hiking trails. The trees (early November) were already starting to be yellow, orange, and even some red. Well worth the trip from Austin for our 9.41 miles! (This trail + part of West trail to the spring, then down the East-West trail)

8 months ago

East trail loop was exponentially better than the west, in my opinion. Great place to stay if Garner is booked up. It usually is.

We covered about 8 miles. The sun was a beast in some areas. I thought it was more than a moderate trial.

10 months ago

A great, challenging hike. There’s a solid half mile of uneven terrain with a 25% grade. Leave the pups at home and bring your trekking poles! The large steps can be really hard on the knees.

11 months ago

Deceptively challenging for a short hike, at least in June when temps are reaching upper 90's. The East trail to me is an easier hike than the West trail, but both are stacked to some degree with loose, jagged rock, so watching your step is crucial. There are a few nice little lookouts, but I mostly enjoyed the wildlife that abounds here. I saw armadillos, squirrels, many types of small lizards, garter and water snakes, Guadeloupe bass, sunfish, butterflies, painted bunting, flycatchers, warblers, Ravens and a red tailed hawk. There are many beautiful dripping springs from limestone cliffs in the area. There are high, hot hilltops covered in prairie scrub brushes and cactus as well as deeper, cooler and densely green areas near the creek beds. The best part... it isn't crowded! Enjoyed it.

nature trips
Friday, May 25, 2018

It was my first time there. It was a nice hike. We took our dog and he loved it. It was nice walking through the water since it was a hot day!

Monday, May 21, 2018

We had a great time! It was beautiful and our kids loved it! We did the east trail, my husband with our 2 yr old on his back and I with a 5 month old on mine, while our 2 boys followed and they all were able to handle to steep incline as we made our way up the hill! When we got to the top it was breath taking! We will be returning to explore more

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Great trail, loved swimming in the river for a cool down after a very hot hike! Make sure to bring enough water, the scramble up isn't horrible but it will cause a great leg workout!

Sunday, May 06, 2018

We only did the westernmost nook of the trail that leads up the hill (MOUNTAIN) from Campsite C. And holy moly, is it a tough nut to crack—little coverage from the sun, lots of loose and/or slick rock underfoot, and over a quarter mile of steep uphill battle. But! The overlook was lovely and we were glad we made the effort. Heard the rest of the trail was very popular so we stuck to the higher and more isolated high grounds near Campsite E on the West Loop trail.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

I went to the day use area on the east side of the park. From there, we went down the river and up the east side of the gorge. The hike up was steep. Once on top, you crest and remain there for 30 mins of hiking. You then hike down, and there are lots of loose rocks. When you get to the opposite side gorge where the river is deeper (camping area C), it’s gorgeous. I recommend you do the east loop trail, and then take a hard right and conquer the west loop. You will need 6-8 hours of daylight. The gorges are beautiful and well shaded by the maple trees.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Awesome hike! Definitely gets a little intense and steep. The whole way is pretty rocky but overall it’s a pretty moderate. I really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Great hike especially in the spring with the flowers blooming.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

was just there yesterday... beautiful. kind of strayed off the path a bit and discovered some really beautiful areas

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Beautiful trail,

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Loved it definitely planning a trip again soon!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

We went today and the trail was good! But it's a lot tougher than I imagined and some parts were very steep. It was also rainy and cold so that didn't help much. But other than that, the hike went well and the park wasn't very crowded on a Wednesday morning! :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Not very crowded on a Monday morning during peak fall season. Lots of color starting to show. The trail was nicely maintained and generally easy to hike. A couple sections of steep rocky terrain, but not too challenging. Brought our two dogs who had a blast. A very nice hike in general.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Beautiful trail. It's a bit tougher than I expected but we hiked this one after completing the west loop and the 2 mile loop off that one. Pretty busy, too! And a few primitive camping spots along the way. According to my Fitbit : 13.5 miles and 101 floors climbed for the entire trail system. *whew!*

Saturday, October 21, 2017

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