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blueBlack Lakeway Canyonlands to Rough Hollow Cove

  4.3 ( 10 ) Favorite

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6.0 mile 9.7 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 660' 201 m
Descent: -658' -201 m
High: 959' 292 m
Low: 683' 208 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 30% (16°)


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Trail shared by Donovan Acker

This fantastic hike offers gorgeous canyonland and lake views on the way to a semi-secluded swimming cove on Lake Travis!

Donovan Acker

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly My school-age kids liked this hike.

Exercise caution when hiking through the Rough Hollow Trail Connector segment of this hike! If the water level is too high or rushing too fast when you get to the underpass of the Highlands Blvd bridge, then it's best to turn back and use an alternate approach. There are a couple alternate connector trails you can use to get to the Rough Hollow sections of this hike.


The trails along this hike are steep and challenging in several locations. However, the natural features of the area are exceptional and the opportunity to enjoy a day of uncrowded lakeside access makes it well worth the hike!

Need to Know

If you are planning on making a day out of this and jumping in the lake, it's good to bring along towels, swimsuit, sunblock, and water shoes if you have them. This is a hiker's hike, so wear appropriate shoes, use your pack, and don't plan on carrying anything in by hand.

I would not recommend starting this hike in the middle of the day in warmer seasons unless you are familiar with hiking in heat and know how to pace and hydrate well.


The best time to start this hike is in the early morning just as it's getting light out so that you arrive at the lake a bit after sunrise when it's truly spectacular! You can also do it in the evening, but make sure you plan to hike fast enough to get back out before it's dark.

You'll see plenty of trail signs along this entire hike. They will all be brown with white lettering. In the Lakeway Canyonlands section of the hike, you'll notice the trail signs have the Lakeway City logo on top of the sign, which is a sailboat and sun picture cut out. In the Rough Hollow section of the hike, you'll notice the sign color and lettering look the same, but the logo at the top of the signs will be a letter "R" (in fancy font) indicating you are in the Rough Hollow Trail System.

To start the hike, make your way to the Lakeway Canyonlands Trophy Trail main trailhead. There is plenty of parking right in front of the trailhead info board on Trophy Drive, or just across the road at the local community swim center. Then set off down the Trophy Trail toward High Trail.

Make sure to use the restroom at the beginning of High Trail as necessary....there won't be any other formal restroom along the way. You can also fill up on purified water at this restroom stop.

The first part of the hike from Trophy Trail to High Trail to Rim Trail is pretty easy.

As you go along Rim Trail, pay attention to your Hiking Project mobile app as not to miss the Rough Hollow Trail Connector.

The Rough Hollow Trail Connector will take you out of the Lakeway Canyonlands area down towards the creekbed and under the Highlands Blvd bridge into Rough Hollow. The connector trail expects you to cross under the bridge to the other side of the creekbed and start up again. The trail is pretty well marked/worn. Once on the other side of the creek and bridge, you'll hike upward (short and steep) and find yourself at the top south of the bridge on Highlands Blvd at the Lakeside Greenbelt Trail trailhead sign. From this point, you are now in the Rough Hollow Trail System.

From this point on, the hike is pretty straightforward. You'll be taking the Lakeside Greenbelt Trail to the Peninsula Pass Trail. Along this section of the hike, the trails will have more deadfall and overgrowth, so be sure to pay attention to your Hiking Project mobile app. There are also a couple of 'dead spots' for cell reception in the deeper parts of the Lakeside Greenbelt Trail.

The last 50 yards of the Peninsula Pass Trail go down a steep set of mini-switchbacks leading to a rocky/grassy beach in the back of the cove right on the water. The city has put in guideline ropes on these switchbacks to help hikers.

If you are staying the day, make sure you give yourself enough time to hike back out and complete the loop back to the top of Trophy Trail.

Have fun!

Flora & Fauna

Expect lots of deer and squirrels... and the occasional owl.


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Apr 27, 2019
Addison H
Mar 31, 2019
Amanda E
Tough! Saw deer, hawk, vultures. Climbed on dock. Windy and cold, cloudy day. 6mi — 3h 30m
Jan 6, 2019
Cody M
this was a nice trail
Jan 1, 2019
Abby McIlroy
A small portion of the trail was missing from some clearing that had been done, but a stack of rocks marked the other side. 6.1mi
Jan 1, 2019
Kathryn Klumb
Jan 1, 2019
Brittaney Bartley
Dec 30, 2018
Sivaram Arabandi
Canyonlands and Rim Trail part was an easy hike. A bit slippery due to rain in the early morning. Rough Hollow connector was blocked.
Dec 16, 2018
Leo Escandon Jackson

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 10 votes


  4.3 from 10 votes
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