It’s a special time of the summer when the sun is out and Lake Travis is (almost) full.
To get your best views of the water and maybe even dip your toes in a bit, don’t forget one of the most popular of Travis County Parks, Pace Bend Park.
Take a drive west through the Hill Country along Highway 71 to Spicewood and just before crossing over the Pedernales River, head down Pace Bend Road to arrive at the park. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better glimpses of the blue waters of Lake Travis.
With ample camping spots available throughout the park, you have your choice of making it a day trip or even a weekender if you’re ready to explore the whole 1,368 acres of pristine parkland.
Follow the winding and deepening serpentine Colorado River to the south and east sides of Pace Bend. This is the beach side, perfect for camping and making a comfortable day home for you on the sand. Swimmers and those looking to cool off will find these shores to be some of the best on Lake Travis.
Boaters will enjoy the more accessible boat launches in Lake Travis — both for space on the lake and wait time to get in the water. With two open launches at Collier Cove and Tatum Cove, you won’t have to wait long before you’re jetting around lakeside.
The west side of Pace Bend Park is well-known for their stories-high sweeping views of Lake Travis and the many cliffs that tower over the water. Picnic by your favorite look out spot while you take in the beauty of this Highland lake, or make a campsite at one of the many primitive campsites throughout the coves.
Surrounded by natural vegetation and the likes of whitetail deer, dozens of species of native birds and maybe even a ringtail cat or two, you might want to bring your hiking shoes to sight see near the heart of the park, which can only be accessed by foot, bike or horseback.
A 6-mile long paved road guides you along the outer edges of the expansive property, giving you a chance to see all of the coves, beaches, shorelines and campsites available.
Pace Bend Park hiking trails are some of the most interesting in Central Texas — such as Pack Trail, Chicken Foot or Abby Road. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle and binoculars, you may be on this walk for a while as you take in the best views of Lake Travis and the Texas Hill Country.
Camping on Lake Travis
One of the major draws to Pace Bend Park is the extensive shoreline to be enjoyed — you can even camp right at the water’s edge. Tents and colorful beach towels line the 9 miles of sandy shores, begging you to take a dip when the sun gets to be too powerful overhead.
Take cover in the shade of thousands of live oak trees on a hot afternoon, and bring plenty of food to barbecue because there are grills available to use when dinnertime nears.
If you have a larger camp group or want to bring a trailer, you may find their 20 improved campsites to be what you’re looking for. Electrical hook ups are available here, along with showers and water … which always makes camping a little easier. The park charges by the car, and not the person, so you can bring the whole family and save a bit, too.
All in all, when you’re in the mood to spend the day on the lake and don’t want to have to go too far from home, Pace Bend Park makes for a great and memorable day in the sun.
Pace Bend Park (map)
2011 N. Pace Bend Rd
Day Use: Sunrise to Twilight (dark)
Open 24 hours for camping.
Great article about a beautiful gem I discovered 43 years ago when I moved to Austin. Lot’s of development on the lake’s over the years. So please, care for all these gems our lakes have to offer. Enjoy!