“This gorgeous hike shows you a bit of everything Lakeway Canyonlands has to offer.
— Donovan Acker
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Resist the temptation to take cut-through paths or non-marked "hack trails"....most cases of people getting confused or lost is because they took a "hack trail" or cut-through which was not marked with a trailhead sign.
Be careful on the upper canyon sections as there are some hazardous drop off sections (they are well marked, but stay aware).
This is a beautiful scenic 5.8-mile route for taking in a bit of everything the Lakeway Canyonlands has to offer. You'll find a great variety of terrain and plenty of shade if you stick to the route. This is an amazingly well-designed trail system with a lot of heart and thought put into it. The Canyon Trail
section is probably the most fun section of the whole trip, with bridged creek crossings, nice trail details, and a great waterfall to see in wet months.
Once on the Canyonlands property itself, the Rim Trail
winds back and forth to take visitors to the spectacular overlooks and vistas of the canyon. Soon the Canyon Trail
descends into the lower elevations. In winter and spring when the ponds are full, migrating ducks can be seen stopping to rest.
The Rim Trail
and its grand vistas are easily navigated with minimal physical exertion. The Canyon Trail
requires greater effort as it is narrower and presents steeper inclines. However, this trail is well graded, marked and easily conquered. The Mt. Lakeway Trail will challenge even the most experienced hikers and riders, but the views are well worth the effort.
Need to Know
When you get to the trail crossing of Canyon Trail
and Mt Lakeway Trail
take a minute to read the memorial stone about Ken Parmerter (1962 - 2014).... his tireless work made this trail system a reality for all of us who now get to enjoy it ! :)
There are 5 trail segments that make up this route:
Mt Lakeway Trail
The main starting point for all the trails and hikes in this system is the trailhead of the Trophy Trail
, located on Trophy Drive just across from the Lakeway Swim Center.
There is a large trailhead billboard with a large trail systems map visibly obvious from the street. Take the Trophy Trail
starting point just to the right of the trailhead billboard where you'll see the "Friends of Lakeway" wooden sign hanging at the start. From that point on, all trail crossings/connects are clearly marked with trail sign posts. Just follow the route here on Hiking Project and enjoy.
The route is almost entirely ascending or descending with very few 'cruise' sections. About .4 miles before the summit of Mt. Lakeway, you'll see a small path off to the right which goes out to an overlook point. This is a great photo op...and a nice place to have lunch and take in the views of the Texas hill country and Lake Travis.
There is a bathroom with a free purified water dispenser just as you start the High Trail
After a fresh rain, you may want to wait to do this hike as the lower Canyon Trail
can get a little 'cakey' in sections...but still doable.
Plan on taking a couple hours or more the first time you take on the whole loop, and get to know its terrain before you go wild with it. Trekking poles are suggested. Wear appropriate hiking/trail-running shoes.
History & Background
You can read more info about the Canyonland trails and their history at the Lakeway Canyonlands