Austin’s Best Spots To Climb, Bike, Hike and Swim
Off the Map
Central Texas certainly doesn’t lack for outdoor experiences, but often it’s easiest to operate on autopilot, visiting the same trusted spots again and again. Time at Hamilton Pool or Enchanted Rock will always be well-spent, but this month, as we celebrate the outdoors, we asked our favorite outdoorsy folks where they like to climb, bike, hike, and swim. Consider your weekend sorted.
Austin Bouldering Project, Head setter
Her Pick: Rogers Park, Belton Lake
Along Belton Lake, about an hour outside of Austin, there is a limestone cliff band that provides some of the best bouldering in the Austin area. Unlike lots of other local climbing spots, Rogers is almost guaranteed to provide a solitary climbing experience. Not only is the rock amazing, but you get the added bonus of a lake view while climbing!
Photograph by Alex Tsway
Texas Parks and Wildlife, Director of interpretaion
His Pick: Reimers Ranch Park
This is my special place. Of course, it’s the special place for most of Austin’s rock climbers and mountain bikers, who also spend most of their bluebird Saturdays at Reimers Ranch. Everyone remembers his or her first time here — massive cypress trees, a lush spring-fed creek, and the imposing cave-like grotto.
Photograph by Anna Claire Eddington
TreeWeaver Arborculture, Co-owner/arborist
His Pick: Reveille Peak Ranch
I really like riding at Reveille in the spring. It’s the epitome of Texas mountain biking. Located just outside Burnet, the large granite formations create unique riding terrain — good elevation for fun technical descents and plenty of trails for all skill levels.
Photograph by Holly Cowart
Her Pick: Turkey Creek Trail
This lush three-mile loop near Emma Long Park, with elevation changes, running water, and tree coverage, is a peaceful escape from the city. Turkey Creek is a wonderful trail to clear your mind and enjoy the best of Austin outdoors. And don’t forget that it’s an of-leash trail for dogs.
Photograph by Weston Carls
YETI, Western fly-fishing specialist
His Pick: Land Bridge, Barton Creek Greenbelt
My go-to, post-work, cut-loose spot in town is the Land Bridge portion of the greenbelt. Tucked away in the Barton Hills neighborhood, it’s one of those spots where thousands of people live, work, and recreate near every day but few actually venture to check out. If you are feeling adventurous, do some cliff diving into the deep pools!
Photograph by Adam Kingman
Crux Climbing Center, Owner/CEO
His Pick: Gus Fruh Trail, Barton Creek Greenbelt
I love Gus Fruh because it has something for everyone. As a lifelong climber, I love that I can get some bouldering in and then jump into the creek afterward for a swim.
Photograph by Merrick Ales