This is one of the highest places in Austin, and some of the most beautiful scenery. It's also a great spot for a date, a picnic, hiking, etc. Most people will go to the front entrance and climb alllll those stairs, but there's also a side entrance with no stairs at all. You can look below on the river and see all the boats, or directly below, the aereal view of houses, or across the river, more nice houses. Also you can see the skyline of Austin not too far in the distance.
~Some History~ From Citysearch -
Opened in the 1850s, this is the oldest tourist attraction in Austin. It's said that if a couple climb the 100 stairs to the top of Mount Bonnell once, they fall in love; twice, they'll become engaged; and after three times, it's inevitable they'll get married. In addition to its mysterious romantic influence, the park has picnic tables and a pavilion.
The origin of the park's name is the subject of some debate, but most accounts say that the site is named after George W. Bonnell, a man with a reputation as big as Texas. More sentimental historians recount the story of Golden Nell and her hubby, Beau. The pair jumped off the 785-foot peak to avoid capture and torture by Native Americans.
Austin's Mount Bonnell is one of Austin's oldest tourist attractions being documented as far back as 1850. It is the highest point within Austin City Limits at 785 feet, but is actually smaller than Mt. Larson directly across from Mt. Bonnell but located in West Lake Hills. A wonderful place to picnic in the sun, Mt. Bonnell contains views of Town Lake and the Pennybacker Bridge as well as wonderful vistas of downtown. The area is a short hike from the road and there is no entrance fee.
Rising 200 feet over the surrounding area, Mount Bonnell offers visitors a great view of downtown, as well as, Lake Austin (which is really part of the Colorado River). It is a bit of a hike to the top from where you park, but the view is worth it. It is open 5 AM - 10 PM.
Apparently, there is a local legend about lovers throwing themselves off the top and falling to their death. I don't advise this. You will definitely get your name in the paper, but there are better ways to doing that! At ~780 feet above sea level, the afforded those who brave the hike look like this...
At 785 feet above sea level, Mount Bonnell offers a beautiful panoramic view of downtown Austin, the Colorado River, Lake Austin and the surrounding Hill Country. There's a road that leads almost all the way to the top, and there's plenty of parking space available. All you have to do after that is climb the 99 steps to the top of Mount Bonnell. So not much of a hike, but a great place for a picnic or for watching sunset.
Yes a mountain in Texas. This place is beautiful. My husband and I are sure to make this a stop every year. We always go to Whole Foods, get some food from their deli, and head to Mt Bonnell for a picnic. There is a look out area, after you climb the never ending stairs, that is perfect to eat and relax at. There are always people there. Oh, and wear tennis shoes, you will need them. I can sit for hours and just gaze at the view from the top.
Mt. Bonnell has a great view of the river, the Austin skyline, and the gorgeous homes that line the river. At 785 feet, it is one of the highest places in the city. Although it was a busy spot, it never feels crowded. The first stop is at the stairs to the top, which most people take. We kept driving and parked near the slope, which was less crowded and had a better view. We loved the huge houses that line the river and the walk up the slope provides a great view into the yards.
The highest point in Austin, Mount Bonnell is a dedicated park with many small hiking trails and a nice view of Lake Austin. It's free, and open youear round. There is a curfew though, so you have to leave once it gets dark. There is a viewing pavillion on top, with good photo stands. It is an Austin tradition to take your date up to mount bonnell and have sex in the bushes off the trail, then you can tell all your friends "We had sex on top of mount bonnell" therefore if you are walking around and encounter some people in one of the many secluded spots you should just walk on by.
This is an excellent vantage point for simply looking out over the city. The hike to the top is moderately demanding. The phone number and website are for Austin Parks and Recreation.
Mount Bonnell overlooks a vast expanse of Austin. It is located right off the lake, so it's very serene and relaxing. The sunsets are INCREDIBLE.