The Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
Although many people in the City of Austin know about Mount Bonnell, not everyone realizes that there is a second peak to explore just a mile away. The Covert Park at Mount Bonnell offers hikers and bikers alike the chance to get an amazing view of Downtown Austin from one of its best vantage points.
The Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is a part of the larger Balcones Canyonland Preserve. The mountain, which was named for William Barton who used it as his lookout during the 1835-1836 Texas Revolution against Mexico, has many different trails and paths that lead to its summit. It takes about an hour and a half to hike up, but it is worth it.
Just like Mount Bonnell, the Covert Park at Mount Bonnell also offers some spectacular views of the city of Austin and Lady Bird Lake. The 360-degree view makes for amazing pictures so be sure to snap a few before heading back down!
How to hike the trails?
The first part of the hike is a steep but short downhill on a gravel trail. At the bottom, you will find yourself at an old gate that separates the private property from public land. Past this point, there are no facilities or signs to guide you which means it’s easy to get lost if you pay attention only to your phone GPS.
Continue downhill to the right. You will soon reach a trailhead with several signs that point out different trails in various directions. The hike up Mount Bonnell is easy enough – you can see where you’re going and it’s not very steep, but if you go off-trail, there are many opportunities for getting lost even when following a map.
Just remember: to get back, you must take the trail up and not down (it’s steep and rocky). Also, be sure to double-check your phone GPS before heading out as we noticed it makes mistakes sometimes.
When you reach the first open area with a view of the lake, keep going up. You will see metal bars that signal your arrival at the top!
At this point, it’s easy to get distracted by taking pictures and enjoying views if you’re not careful. We recommend bringing snacks or lunch since there are no facilities or places to sit anywhere on the trail.
When you’re ready, head back down from where you came from and follow your footprints so as not to get lost again.
The Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is located at 3800 Mount Bonnell Road, Austin, Texas. The park is open from sunrise to sunset and requires no entry fee or parking permit.