Sunset against cliffs
Rising less than 1,000 feet above sea level, Mount Bonnell is no fearsome alpine beast, but it is a central Texas classic. This cliffy limestone peak hovers over Lake Austin (actually a dammed section of the Colorado River, plugged up to run deep and slow) and provides grand views of the ever-changing downtown skyline of the Capitol of Texas along with high-end riverfront properties and West Lake neighborhoods.
Mount Bonnell Road does most of the work for the visitor to carry them to the summit. The result is a short, casual stroll up limestone steps (natural and gravelly or chopped into neat blocks, depending on your approach) to some fantastic, open views and a little breezy relief from the Travis county heat and humidity. No place for high adventure, Mount Bonnell is a place for families to take in some scenery from a limestone perch, couples to hold hands watching the sun go down, or visitors to Austin to get a taste for the gentle beauty of the Texas Hill Country.
At the summit is a large viewing pavilion and the remnants of a stone sign announcing your arrival at the top. To the south of the summit ridge are fantastic, open views of downtown Austin. North of the summit are numerous limestone rock outcrops all offering a slightly different view of Lake Austin and the hills of the western suburbs. Arrive early enough and you can locate a private little overlook to enjoy the sunset in semi-solitude, but be aware that a visit to Mount Bonnell will be an urban, social experience and not private, wilderness experience.
Rank & Prominence Info Source: Lists of John
The ever-changing skyline of Austin, TX
Getting ThereHINT: Plug 3800 Mt. Bonnell Dr. into your vehicle navigation GSP!
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Flame pink blossoms
From Loop 1 / MoPac Expressway
• Exit 35th Street and head west
• Keep your eyes open for signs to Mount Bonnell!
• Trend left at a fork to follow Old Bull Creek Road (you may not even notice this street transition)
• Turn right on Mt. Bonnell Road.
• Park near the crest of the hill of the road in a rough parking pull-out on the west-side of Mt. Bonnell Road.
South from limestone outcrop North from limestone outcrop
Mount Bonnell sits within an Austin City Park and there is no admission fee. Visit the Austin Parks Department
for more information. The park is open daily from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM and vehicles parked during hours of closure will be towed.
Southern end of summit ridge Cedar clinging to Mount Bonnell
Covert Park is an urban park and there is no camping near Mount Bonnell. Most visitors to Mount Bonnell either live in or are visiting the Austin area. The lodging options in Austin are nearly limitless, and Mount Bonnell is not far from the central business district and a plethora of hotel rooms.
Weather & Seasons
North along Lake Austin North toward Loop 360 bridge
Summers in Austin are dreadfully hot and humid and the heat in this part of the country does not let up after sundown. It is recommended that a visit to Mount Bonnell happens early in the morning or later in the evening. Fall, Winter and Spring would bring cooler temperatures and lower humidity.