Enchanting Mount Bonnell along Lake Austin

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Watching sunset on a clear sky evening is a bliss – be it on a beach, a coffee shop overlooking a lake or a hill top. A couple of weekends back, I had a chance to see the sunset from Mt. Bonnell.

Mount Bonnell is the highest peak of Austin. And, predictably, is a popular and free hangout for Austinites and tourists alike.  I found it a perfect place to spend couple of hours just sitting atop the rocks, overlooking Lake Austin and the Downtown. Also, this is one of the most romantic places you can find in Austin. Beat this – a couple sitting on a rock atop a hill overlooking a lake watching sunset, and without spending a penny!

About: There’s a short trail of .3 mile and 190 ft high (yeah, really short but enjoyable nevertheless). The place felt more like a tourist spot than a hiker’s paradise.  The trail begins at the stairs that leadup to the summit, and is marked by the waypoint “Trailhead” on the topo map. In early 1830s, a woman named Antonette jumped from this peak when Indians killed her fiance. In her memory, the place was called Antonette’s Leap then. Later, it got its current name from George W. Bonnell. Address – 3800 Mt. Bonnell Drive, Austin, TX 78731. Locate it on Google Maps.

There are 3 parts of Mt. Bonnell each with a distinct charming view:

Meandering Lake Austin

Meandering Lake Austin

At the first spot, you can see Lake Austin and houses built on each side. Boats wheezing along the Lake’s length, leaving a trail behind, is a worthy sight. The lakeside houses look pretty similar. Their backdoor opens up to the Lake. Just imagine – wake up in the morning, grab a cup of tea or cofee and sit on the porsche viewing the lake.

Sunset from Mt. Bonnell

Sunset from Mt. Bonnell

From the second spot you can see the sunset. Beyond the lake and over the horizon.  You can also see a Bridge and several towers (probably telecom ones) in a distance.

Lake side Dwellings

Lake side Dwellings

There’s a pavillon on the third spot, standing atop which you can have amazing view of the Austin Downtown. The pavilion, though, may be crowded at times – after all, who doesn’t want to see the sckyscrapers from such a far distance that they are even difficult to spot. However, there is a house just nearby on the hill that blocks off a part of the view. It is an eyesore for the visitors. But I’m sure the people in that hoise must be having an amazing view of Austin. Lucky folks!

In short, a must see place in the evening while you are in Austin.


Websites: AustinExplorer, Austin City Guide,


10 Responses to “Enchanting Mount Bonnell along Lake Austin”

  1. natashalatiff Says:

    wow, i love this!!

  2. Celine Says:

    I dream of a backpacking tour in autumn in certain parts of USA..someday, hope it happens! *sigh*

    • Kalyan Banerjee Says:

      Sounds fantastic Celine. My backpacking dream tour is for Greece, Italy, France and UK. Also a much shorter and much cheaper version back home – east and west coast of India. Since I’m a ‘weekend traveller’, I’ve absolutely no clue as to when it may happen.

  3. poushali Says:

    nice writing……… overview pics r good….. alluring me to give a visit to mt.bonnell……. definately along with lake austin……… 🙂

  4. Sudeshna Says:

    The write up made me really jealous, that I’m not there sitting and looking at the sunset……..

  5. Wendy-Escape NY Says:

    I’ve never been to Austin but would like to one day.

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