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  • Lisa Parsons

The Highest Hill in Southern Texas

I say that with tongue in cheek but to be honest I think that Rocky Hill Ranch may have the highest hill in Southern Texas or at least between Austin and Houston.

Rustic welcome area. A few friendly cows and steer stare at you from the otherside of the fence. The barn style front desk has restrooms, showers, a fire place, a party area, and a information kiosk complete with Texas style warnings about trespassing and not paying for your ride. It also has a bike (or dog) washing station our near the pond. You can also camp at a primitive camping area up the hill or camp with an RV hookup with prior contact with the owner.

Rocky Hill Ranch claims to be the mountain biking and outdoor events capital of Texas. We did see Xterra signs from a recent event and they host a variety of events from mt. bike races to the Spartan and Terra Firma Adventure Races.

Halfway up the hill

There are 25 miles of trail making up various loops and there are options to do a 6, 9 mile, 12, 16, or 21 mile loop. There are lots of trails to ride with names Fat Chuck's Demise, Black Trac, Coyote Run, Bottle in Front of Me, Frontal Labotomy, Leapen Lizardz, and On the Lip. We met one of the trail builders. He lives outside of Sedona in the summer and comes down and works on trails in Texas in the winter. So I can a test that these appear to be mt. biker built trails.

Karaway trail and access road to the top of the hill

So when I say the highest hill in Texas the total cumulative elevation on our 8 mile ride was 300 feet. Not even what we, north westerners, would qualify as a hill. Here in Texas, well lets just say we could see for miles and miles from the top. The terrain was a nice mix of twisty single track, short climbs, short descents, and a few back and forth creek crossings. If your up for some Texas challenges try riding on slick red mud that sticks to your tires, gums up your deraillier, and paints the underbelly of your trail dog red.

Creek Crossing. Taz, our dog, cleaning the red mud off his belly

We lucked out with warmer weather and the absence of rain for our ride. A nice 8 mile loop ramped down our stir crazy pups and set us up for a few more hours of driving with a sense of adventure and accomplishment of mt. biking in Texas.

A few inspirational signs along the trails. The Congratulations you made it sign was apparently congratulations for climbing the highest hill in Texas.

Just so you know

Next stop Les's RV Park just east of Houston. A place where cowboys still rule and the night sounds of the south greeted us. I thought I'd throw this in here. We drove into the night to an RV park. It was time for a shower after a humid mt. bike ride. We arrived at Les's in the dark. The description said friendly RV park with a bar and grill on site with live music. It was Friday night. I asked for a RV spot away from the bar. An older woman, who answered the door of the trailer with sparkly Christmas motion lights outside, pointed in the direction back toward the road.

Finally the air was warm and humid and the sound of cicadas lulled us to sleep. Maybe we'd left the cold rainy weather behind us. Other than an occasional motor bike or pickup truck coming in, it was very quiet. We slept until 9am the next morning which surprised us as we'd been waking up at dawn. Upon further inspection it looked like there were many full timers. possibly workers at the local refinery. All in all the place was fine and if we'd wanted a meal they served food at the bar and grill.

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