Mount Bonnell Austin Visit (Bonnell Hill Top)
Is it worth the Trip ?
Mount Bonell also known as Covert Park, is alongside the Lake Austin, which is again connected with Colorado River. Very popular tourist destination in Austin for it's scenic views and hiking trail.
Is it FAR from the CITY Austin?
You can literally take UBER there and get there at sunset. It is beautiful. It has nice views over the river but also of Austin! Nice for a break of the city!
It is not even real hike to be honest. It is just a few steps up!
Trick is to get there at the right time to find parking.
FACTS About Mount Bonnell
It is the highest point in AUSTIN at 775 feet. All of this is FREE.
You can also bring your DOG!
The mountain was occupied by OLD NATIVE INDIAN tribes.
General Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas actually visited the mountain.
Plenty of Parking.
Few Picnic Tables which are available for FREE
Bring BUGS SPRAY in SEPTEMBER
The Austin skyline is to the left (when you get to the top) but by far the best views come when taking the trail back down.
Very LOW-LEVEL Easy HIKE to the TOP
Yes, it is apparently a popular spot, as there were many cars in the parking area and several people in the park. It's a very nice area donated by a family which gives access of views over the river. Lots of steps provide access.
LEGEND and MYTH
You know, legend has it that you will be destined to marry the person you hike Mt. Bonnell with.
So be Careful! HAHA
There are several spots where you can take beautiful scenic pics. On top of Mount Bonnell there is a shade type patio where people can sit and do picnic even. Some people would walk on trail a little further and you can see few more beautiful scenic spots. There is a fence which marks the boundaries of where you can and cannot go. One of the picture taken above is actually a good spot to take picture and a good view of Lake Austin and Colorado River with beautiful houses in the background with boat view.
Some NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
NOT a hike for OLD PEOPLE. After climbing and climbing, some people get to the summit only to find the views blocked by overgrown vegetation (At certain time of the year). Plus, the space at the summit is quite small and, the day we were there, quite crowded. YES, it does get crowded at certain hours of the day.
Some tourists found safety issues. Why?
The park itself is a very old park, that was opened before modern safety standards applied:
- There is almost no fall prevention, railings, etc. to keep people from slipping down the mountain. Some people have seen Star-flight rescue helicopters perform rescues on about a monthly basis for people who slipped over the edge while taking photos, or just not paying attention.
- There is also little to no lighting for when it gets dark (and most people are there to see the sunset). This contributes to the frequency of falls near the "view-side" of the park. But there is also very little lighting in the parking area, raising concerns about car break-ins and other potential crime. Some people seen a lot of folks after dark lurking about the parking lots, drinking, etc.
Safety issues GETTING to the park:
- Some people were actually hit by a car in a hit and run accident in 2016 along this route.
- The parking "lot" is actually a major street with parking spaces along the edges. The crowds way over-run the available parking. The spots are tiny, so large cars & trucks hang out into the street. As a result the street in is blocked with cars, and people are parking in unapproved areas which get in the way of traffic.
- Folks NOT going to the park are trying to drive through at 30mph+ to get to the surrounding neighborhoods. I see small kids walking in the street thinking they're in a nice safe "park" and almost get hit.
- There are no sidewalks whatsoever leading up to the park or from the parking area to the scenic overlooks. As a result pedestrians must walk IN THE STREET.
- Apparently many people choose to walk all the way up Mount Bonnell Rd to the park from 35th or Laguna Gloria. Again - there are no sidewalks. As a result pedestrians are walking in the road where cars are moving up and down a very steep hill. The street is so narrow in places, it's not even possible to walk along the edge of the road.