Discover Austin: Mount Bonnell - Episode 24
I'm high above Lake Austin at Mount Bonnell for this episode of Discover Austin. From here you can take in panoramic views of the city and beautiful hill country. Prefer to read? The video transcript can be found below the video. If you'd like to watch additional episodes of Discover Austin, they can be found on our YouTube page. Give us a like and click the subscribe button so you don't miss future videos.
Other Discover Austin topics mentioned in this episode: Pennybacker Bridge
Rising 775 feet above sea level, Mount Bonnell is located along Lake Austin and has been dubbed “Austin’s Best View” by the Austin Chronicle. In one direction you see the skyline of downtown then turn the other way to see the beautiful hill country and the Pennybacker bridge.
Mount Bonnell is located within Covert Park. Totaling 5.1 acres, the original land was donated by the Covert family back in 1939 and added to by the Barrow Family in 1957. Like the ground under much of the Central Texas area, Mount Bonnell is made of limestone. To access the peak, park along Mount Bonnell Road then climb about 100 stairs. From there, you can take the trail both left and right to see the gorgeous views. Mount Bonnell is often cited as the highest point in Austin, but that claim in incorrect. Mount Barker, the summit just to the north, is higher. However, Mount Bonnell is the highest point that is easily and publicly accessible.
The namesake of Mount Bonnell is not known with certainty. George Bonnell was a newspaper publisher and active in the Austin area when the first reference to Mount Bonnell was made in a book that George wrote. While George naming it after himself is the most commonly accepted explanation, some folks believe it was named after Joseph Bonnell who was a captain in the Texas Revolution. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to know for sure whether George or Joseph is the correct Bonnell.
Central Texans and tourists alike have been coming to Mount Bonnell since the 1850s. Among many famous visitors in the early days was General George Custer. He and his wife used to enjoy picnics on the summit. In hindsight, maybe he should have stayed in Texas a bit longer.
Below Mount Bonnell is some of Austin’s most exclusive real estate as waterfront homes on Lake Austin are some of the finest in Central Texas. As a reminder, I help folks with their real estate needs all across the area, including Lake Austin. And, yes, Lake Austin is the right name for it. Don’t call it the Colorado River unless you want people to confuse you with a tourist.
Because the views are incredible at sunrise, sunset, and anytime in between, you’ll probably visit Mount Bonnell more than once.