Austin "Crack Of Dawn" Hiking Meetup Group Message Board › Best and most challenging area hike(s) for an Austin visitor

Best and most challenging area hike(s) for an Austin visitor

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A former member
Post #: 86
Hello,

I am visiting Austin in a couple of months and have one full day to hike. I want to experience as much of the area's best and most challenging hikes as possible. I am staying downtown, so my only limitation is that I have to return to the hotel by 6:00 PM for dinner. (I plan to start as early as is possible in the morning without needing a headlamp). I am driving my own car and am willing to drive a considerable distance (such as Pedernales Falls, perhaps more) if the hike(s) are worth it.

I haven't been able to decide from web searches. Are all sections of the Barton Creek Greenway connected so that they can be hiked in a loop, or round-trip? I'm fine with a morning hike and then driving somewhere else for an afternoon hike. I would like to put in at least 15 miles total. 20 or so would probably be all that I could fit in within the time frame, though.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Philip Russell
user 11339989
Austin, TX
Post #: 1
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Hi Mark,
Here's my suggestions:
start off by driving to Zilker Park, which is close to downtown. Park near swimming pool. At the opposite end of the parking lot from swimming pool is trailhead for Barton Creek Greenbelt. It's an out-and-back/round trip. You can go as far as 7.5 miles upstream. (There's mile markers indicating distance from trailhead.) Walk in one quarter of the way you'd like to hike that day. Turn around and return to your car. Voilá, you half way done.
Record the time. Drive to Cedar Breaks trailhead at Lake Georgetown (a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park.)
Here's directions:
Go north on IH 35 to exit #261, go west on Hwy 29 for 1.1 miles, take a right at traffic light on D.B. Wood Dr. (just past First Baptist Church on left), continue north on D.B Wood for 1.9 miles. Turn left on Cedar Breaks Road and continue to stop sign, take a left and continue to guard station. Just past guard station, turn left into parking area at trailhead. (Tell guard you are hiking to avoid paying fee.)
Hike in at least as far as Crockett Gardens (roughly 3 miles). Continue hiking till you're either tired or you've used up half the time between when you started recording time and 6 PM. Pedernales Falls is also nice, but further away, so you'd spend a lot of time driving rather than hiking.
Philip
A former member
Post #: 87
Thanks for the info! As for driving, 60 or 90 minutes away isn't too bad for me, because I'll just leave that much earlier to hit the trailhead at 7:00 AM, then if I finished at 4:30, I could get back for dinner. As for Barton Creek Greenbelt, is there a parking lot at both ends? Or within a mile or so of each end, at least? If so, maybe I could park at one end, get a taxi to the other, and hike back to my car, so I could see the whole Greenbelt without having to use up my entire day.

Mark
Lisa
user 8971687
Austin, TX
Post #: 20
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Hi Mark,

If you are willing to do a small drive past the airport, I recommend hiking at McKinney Roughs. There are lots of hiking trails to choose from that take you through different regions and even along the Colorado River and there is a bit of elevation. For me, this is as 'challenging' as Austin gets.

http://www.lcra.org/p...­
http://www.lcra.org/p...­

You can do a nice loop by taking Riverside trail to Pine Ridge to Cyrus, then back on Riverside to Bluff Trail Loop to Woodland. It will take you no more than half a day.

Hope you have a nice visit!
Lisa
Philip Russell
user 11339989
Austin, TX
Post #: 2
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Great idea to hike entire 7.5 miles, if you're willing to spring for a taxi. Less traveling would be involved if you left car at Zilker Park and then called taxi from other end. At roughly 7 miles from Zilker Park there will be a major trail off to the right, take that and go up the side of the valley for about half a mile. If you need to ask passersby if you've taken correct trail out of stream valley, ask for either Hill of Life (the uphill out of the valley) or Scottish Woods Trailhead (the point from which you can call the taxi.) If the taxi company is unable to identify Scottish Woods trailhead, tell them to meet you at the intersection of Scottish Woods Trail and Campcraft Road (visible from the trailhead).
Happy trails,
Philip
A former member
Post #: 88
A McKinney Roughs 1/2 day and a Greenbelt 1/2 day sounds like a plan. I'll start working on my logistics :) Thanks to you both!
A former member
Post #: 89
Hi Mark,

If you are willing to do a small drive past the airport, I recommend hiking at McKinney Roughs. There are lots of hiking trails to choose from that take you through different regions and even along the Colorado River and there is a bit of elevation. For me, this is as 'challenging' as Austin gets.

http://www.lcra.org/p...­
http://www.lcra.org/p...­

You can do a nice loop by taking Riverside trail to Pine Ridge to Cyrus, then back on Riverside to Bluff Trail Loop to Woodland. It will take you no more than half a day.

Hope you have a nice visit!
Lisa


Nashville doesn't have too much elevation change either. Perhaps 300 or 400 feet to about 1200 feet at the highest point in the county, but lots of little variations so it's still interesting. At least the Smoky Mountains are only about a 4 hour drive :)
A former member
Post #: 5
Its a two hour drive but Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg is awesome. Lunch afterwards in Fredericksburg is pretty good
Michele
user 38899092
Austin, TX
Post #: 1
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Well, I'd say a thorough hike of the Barton Creek Greenbelt is a must. You really haven't hike in Austin till you've done that. What day of the week will you be hiking?
Philip Russell
user 11339989
Austin, TX
Post #: 3
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Hi,
Our group regularly hikes on Sunday. Yesterday we discussed your question. Any chance you'll be hiking on a Sunday? Several people said that they would like to do the Barton Creek Greenbelt hike with you (assuming you'd like some company). Let us know if Sunday works for you, and we'll try to schedule our hike when you'll be here.
Philip
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