Mount Bonnell, overlooking Austin

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To quickly get a lay-of-the-land, I made Mount Bonnell my first stop on my way into Austin, Texas.  For more than a century and a half, Mount Bonnell has been a popular tourist attraction, since it rises up alongside the Colorado River, providing a great view up and down the river.  These days, you also get a great view of the Austin skyline.

To find Mount Bonnell, you need to find Mount Bonnell Drive, which dead-ends at Mount Bonnell Road, and the parking area.  There are dozens of parking spots at the side of the road, but expect most of them to be filled, and watch out for people obliviously walking into the road. Here is a Google Map that pinpoints the parking area.

From the parking lot, it’s a quick hike up a long set of stairs…

… to reach the picnic and viewing area at the top of Mount Bonnell.

The Colorado River (which at this point is part of Lake Austin) is almost directly below you.

There’s an open-roof structure at the top of the hill that may provide a little shade on a sunny day, but it won’t help if a storm pops up.

Take a few dozen steps south of the pavilion and you’ll find a perfect view of the Austin skyline, towards the southeast.

And the best news of all is, the walk downhill is easier than the climb!

Mount Bonnell was likely named for newspaper publisher George W. Bonnell, who moved to Texas in 1836.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive through Austin on US 183 and MoPac (Loop 1), plus the drive up Mount Bonnell:

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