Most of us in the Lake Travis area are familiar with Austin’s Mount Bonnell, well-known for the spectacular view from the top, but there are plenty of locals who have never actually made the short hike to see it for themselves. If you’re in that category, put it on your springtime bucket list!
It’s a shorter hike than you might think, and is easily accessible via a scenic drive on Mt. Bonnell Road (map). There’s no cost, the parking is free, it’s not commercialized and doesn’t take long at all. You can pop by for a brisk 20-minute walk or bring a picnic and stay for hours. If you can, plan to catch the sunset from the top. Breathtaking. Just bring a flashlight for the trip down.
Once you park, there are two ways to make your way to the top. You can climb the long, steep staircase or opt for the path on the right side. I prefer the path because you get to enjoy the lake views on the way up. Either way, it’s a surprisingly quick walk and easily doable with young kids (just make sure you stay on the path and don’t let them get too close to the edge!).