Covert Park AT Mount Bonnell
The highest spot in Austin, Mount Bonnell
This hilltop park is the highest point in the city at 106 steps up and 785 ft tall and thus the greatest place to capture Austin city’s skyline and witness the stunning and luxury Westbank houses in the foliage right next to the Colorado River from the mini trail at the top. You can spot the 360 bridge from here as well. Be sure to stop at the great sign explaining the historic significance of this place.
Mt Bonnell has been one of Austin’s oldest and most famous traveling spots since the 1830s for visitors and tourists alike. Trips and picnics are most popular at this rural site in Austin of Texas for bikers, hikers, families, and couples alike.
Your Experience and What to Expect
Nowadays, thousands of visitors climb the 106 limestone stairs to the summit to experience the breathtaking views of the lake, the western Hill Country of Austin, and its downtown skyline to the east. The scenic panoramic view is certainly worth the climb, especially for those of you who are more into adventurous dates. Don’t forget to bring your cameras to capture that beautiful sunset. It is, by all accounts, the best vantage point for a spectacular view of the city.
Austin enjoys the sunlight for about 300 days of the year, but this also means that you have to wear sunblock, bring plenty of water, snacks, and your dog to eat them all for you. Why yes, you can bring your dog. Someone has to go through your food supply for you. Who else can best pose for the camera against the backdrop of this gorgeous hilltop, surrounded by the rural green?
It’s certainly a steep climb but not that long, so it is perfect for local trail runners to get a speedy and intense workout. Your entire visit might take half an hour unless if you’re planning for a picnic and settling for the view a while longer. There are a couple of seats and picnic tables ready for use, and the environment is very clean, according to many reports. The “mount” in Mt Bonnell can be very misleading, though, as some may describe it as a disappointingly short hike but are nonetheless happy with the view at the top.
The park itself is not that big, nor is it too difficult to climb, and there is space to park along the street. However, there are no restrooms, so double-check with the kids before going. And you’ll probably have to carry your toddler, as the climb is not baby stroller friendly, nor is it wheelchair accessible.
Now, I know I already sold some of you on the idea of a sunset view, but it can get very crowded by tourists and visitors especially at that hour, so you might want to go during the week or better yet, get up early for a morning workout here instead. That way you can forgo the sunscreen and sunglasses.
Also, if you park about 300 yards ahead of the stairs most people take, you will come across a gate and a dirt road that can serve as an alternative, more scenic, yet rougher route with a more gradual incline to your destination. You should mind your step around there, as well. That doesn’t cover all the paths, though. Time to spark your sense of adventure and see if you can find the less-traveled paths and trails that might lead you closer to the cliff-side. See if you can find them. Here’s a word of warning, though. As with generally all less traveled paths, you might find yourself in some potentially dangerous situations, so take care and get some good hiking shoes for the job. The payoff is worth it, in my opinion. You get a lot less foot traffic and get to enjoy different views the typical tourist might experience.
Where can you go from there?
You may also catch sight of a boat cruise going along the lake and subsequently plan to hitch a ride with them one the same day. Alternatively, you can check out the peacocks at the nearby Mayfield park to complete a great family outing.
1212 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78701
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