Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is Austin’s highest point and an excellent spot to witness breathtaking sunsets. Visitors can find plenty of free parking on the streets. When they get to the “Covert Park” sign, they will see a flight of stairs. Don’t worry; it is only 106 steps. Refer to This Page
Once visitors reach the top, they can look for a great spot to wait and see the sunset. While waiting, they can take a look at the beautiful houses across the Colorado River. Overall, it takes a short hike or walk to see stunning views and breathtaking panoramas of Austin.
Covert Park at Mount Bonnell is undoubtedly one of Austin’s most significant landmarks and most visited sites. The mount’s limestone height is 775 feet above sea level, making it the highest point within the city limits.
The park has been a famous sightseeing spot since the mid-19th century. Today, it continues to attract locals, tourists, and hikers of different skill levels.
A Brief History
Do not get confused between Covert Park and Mount Bonnell.
Covert Park is Mount Bonnell’s official name after Frank Covert donated the land in 1939. But locals still call it that name. This 5.1-acre historic linear park has a rich history that dates back to the 1830s.
The mount’s name is believed to have come from soldier George W. Bonnell. Besides fighting for Texas’ independence, he became Indian Affairs’ commissioner for the Republic of Texas. In 1838, he visited the site and talked about it in his journal.
Locals also referred to Mount Bonnell as Antoinette’s leap. According to a legend, a young woman leaped from mount peak to hide from Native Americans who killed her fiancé. Check this out
There are other stories of Mount Bonnell, like frontiersman W.A.A. Wallace who crossed a narrow ledge 50 feet above the river to face a Native American. After he killed the Native American, he hid in a cave to recover from flux. Wallace described the mount as one of the country’s best places to hunt bears.
How to Get to Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
Visitors who prefer driving from downtown areas can take 15th Street west to the Mopac Highway. Then, keep driving north until they reach the 335th Street exit. Next, they have to turn left on that street and continue for around 1 mile. Finally, turn right on Mount Road. They will see the free parking in the left corner.
Alternatively, they can take public transportation to reach the park. But lines 19, 335, and 337 have routes passing near Covert Park at Mount Bonnell. The nearest bus stations close to the park are Exposition/Warren and 3313 Hancock/Balcones.
Please note this town area is not well-served by the bus system of the city. Therefore, getting there by car can be the easiest and most convenient option.
What to Bring When Visiting Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
Locals and tourists are advised to bring plenty of water. They should not forget to pack sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat when hiking to Mount Bonnell.
While visitors can enjoy shaded areas on the viewing platform, Texas Hill Country’s best views are usually in direct sunlight. As with the terrain, it can be largely rocky. This requires hikers to wear sturdy shoes.
Some areas are perfect for eating lunch or snacks. They can also find picnic tables at the side. But they should remember whatever they bring to their hike, they have to carry it up the 100-plus steps.
Dogs are also welcome in Covert Park at Mount Bonnell, but they should always be on leashes. Pet owners should bring plenty of water for their four-legged babies. They should also be cautious of the limestones that might hurt their paws.
Nature on Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
Many visitors appreciate the stunning views from Mount Bonnell. The area is also a perfect destination who love plants and flowers. Many species grow on the hillside, like mountain laurel, which has blue flowers during spring.
The hillside is also where you can find bracted twist-flower, persimmon, Ash Juniper trees, and sprawling oak. The twist flower might soon be considered an endangered species. This is the reason exploring beyond the designated areas is not allowed.
Visitors seeking wildlife should keep their eyes on occasional armadillos and spiny lizards. Of course, they should not forget about the sunset. Waiting for sunset is a favorite activity on top of the hill.
However, those who do not like crowded places can wait for the sunrise instead. Some people also go to the top of the hill after dark to enjoy star gazing. But please remember that the park opens at 5:00 AM and closes at 10:00 PM.
Important Information About Covert Park at Mount Bonnell
- Address: 3800 Mt Bonnel Rd, Austin, TX
- Website: austintexas.gov
- Park Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM