Lost Maples West Trail Loop is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Vanderpool, Texas and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Can Creek, dam & ponds, steep climb to caprock, rocky deep Dry Can Creek canyon The route begins by a walk back to picnic ground entrance, crossing Can Creek where it flows into the Sabinal River, then going up Can Creek to the dam and "The Pond", cross at another pond, continue to the sign at the optional loop. Take a side canyon and creek. Then a steep climb with one switch-back to the top of the caprock. A dogleg along a somewhat grassy but mostly treeless caprock leads to a more gradual but rock-strewn descent to mostly rock-bottomed Dry Can Creek. Cliffs, boulders, water-scoured holes. Finally a ledge trail above the steep, deep ravine that Dry Can becomes, descending back to Can Creek. Cross Can & backtrack to picnic area. This park is beloved for its red and yellow fall foliage, owed mainly to its "lost" biota of Uvalde bigtooth maples, & for its birding, featuring the black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler, but it can be crowded in the fall and access may even become limited. Site of annual volksmarch and daily YRE walk.
Good trail, though not as great as the East loop, it appears that there are far fewer people though, worth the hike. Also there's a beautiful spring that you pass that I was even tempted to drink from.
Finally, a Texas trail that was somewhat challenging with some elevation gain and loss. This, together with the East Trail Loop make for a challenging and tiring day.
One of the best hikes in Texas. Just enough difficulty, beautiful country, perfectly maintained. Great primitive camping near the end of the loop between canyons with a canoe spot if you can tote it all in.
Verp good work out and very scenic. Favorite hike so far in Hill Country.
Hiked this trail and the East loop last weekend with my daughter. Maples were changing colors. It was our first "long distance" hike. It was so worth the drive to get there!
This trail provides access to a beautiful and unique natural resource in the hill country of Texas. Not far from I-10, San Antonio or Kerrville, it makes for an easy weekend getaway. Depending upon how you enjoy populated trails, the trails easy accessibility could be good or bad. I prefer the solitude of the back country, so though I highly enjoyed the scenery and the physical challenges that the West Loop afforded, in the future I will take great care to either not travel on the weekend, or to travel in the opposite direction so that I do not find myself at the crowded "ponds" primitive camping area, come nightfall. Wild pigs, loud partiers, ranger headlights in my tent for an hour and a half and two men stalking my daughter and myself (we moved our campsite 3 times), put a damper on an otherwise picture perfect hike. I would rate this trail 5 stars, were it not for the "human element" which greatly deteriorated the experience. My recommendation to back country purists would be, either day hike it or make sure your plans leave you in one of the less accessible, high ground primitive camping sites toward the west end of the loop, come nighttime.
This is a really enjoyable hike. I only had time to do the West Trail and West Trail Loop, but enjoyed all of it. Definitely the best trail I have been on in the San Antonio area. Like all good hikes, it is a bit out of the way, but very easy to get to. I arrived early in the morning so I could get on the trail before too many other hikers and campers. I lucked out an only saw two others as they were hiking out from their camp spot at the West Trail loop.
Since I took my hike in early March, I didn't get to see all the fall colors, but I did enjoy the solitude. Right near the junction of West Trail and West Trail Loop, I came upon a Feral Hog...wasn't expecting that!
The northern side of the West Trail has a lot more water, but the whole trail is very interesting. The trail is very rocky and has a two incline sections that could be difficult in the hot summer weather.
Great in the Fall, nice trail system and decent ascent to the top (campsite E). If you're lucky enough to grab a site at the top of the West Trail, do so. Especially on a clear night as the stars are amazing. Campsite C is by the pond and usually packed with campers who wheel in coolers and large tents, usually group camping area. If you're looking for solitude I would definitely try to hit site E, but this is a local favorite and very busy so solitude may be tough to come by.