Upper McKinney Falls, Texas

Upper McKinney Falls in January 2011

I showed up to McKinney Falls State Park when there clearly wasn’t a whole lot of water flowing down the river. At the right time, you could see a waterfall that looks very different. With flash flooding, it could even be dangerous.

Even without all of the water flowing, Upper McKinney Falls is still pretty interesting. In this case, it’s really all about erosion. At higher flows, you probably wouldn’t notice this. At low flow, though, the water clearly chooses the paths that erosion has created. At this low flow, you can actually explore and jump over each of the different mini-rivers that are present. It also allows for fun with the camera trying to get different shots of the water plunging.


  1. I came from I-35 heading north. I believe I exited at Texas route 71 and headed to the right (east).
  2. I then took the exit for Burleson Road, taking a right onto Burleson.
  3. Keep heading down Burleson Road to McKinney Falls Parkway. At that point, there should be a sign indicating the falls. Turn right onto McKinney Falls Parkway.
  4. Head to the sign indicating the entrance to the park, and enter the park.
  5. At the entrance, pay the entry fee and then follow the signs. Upper McKinney Falls is near the visitor’s center, and there’s much less likelihood of getting “lost” when compared to Lower McKinney Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 5′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Rocks near Upper McKinney Falls

Where in the World is Upper McKinney Falls?


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