The Most Complete Guide to Austin’s Greenbelt Access Points

The Most Complete Guide to Austin’s Greenbelt Access Points

If you’re here, you already know about the Greenbelt, so I won’t spend a lot of time selling it to you. I’m here to help you get the most out of it.

A few things to remember for all access points:

Austin is a dog city, but despite popular opinion, they are required to be on a leash at all parts of the trail.

If you want to swim be sure and check the water level at each of the points on this website.

There aren’t any restrooms, water fountains or trashcans on the trail itself, so bring water and dispose of trash (especially dog poop) at the access points.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

Loop 360 (or Lost Creek)

3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy (Map)

Loop 360 is the access point you’ll get if you Google it. That’s cause it’s the as the official access point to The Greenbelt. It’s really weird since it’s actually an office building parking lot. There’s a designated parking lot with overflow parking in the office park on weekends. You’ll be able to see the distinct Austin Parks and Recreation sign as you pull up.

Once you get to the trail, you’ll probably notice a lot more mountain bike since the terrain there is really what they are looking for.

If you head right on the trail you’ll get to the Seismic Wall and Maggy’s Wall, the prime locations for rock climbing.

If you head right, you’ll head towards the swimming including the Lost Creek. Lost Creek isn’t really “lost” anymore and is actually kind of a party spot now. The name comes from the length of the hike to get there. The first spot to Lost Creek has a huge rock in the middle where people usually set up shop and sunbathe on the flat rocks. The actual Lost Creek is about a 20 to 25-minute walk beyond this point, and the first step is to cross the creek. You’ll know you’ve reached it once you hear the sounds of music playing and beer being crushed.

The only downside to this section of the greenbelt is the noise from the highway. Depending on what you’re doing and how much this will bother you, you may have to consider another part of the belt.

Trail Head

2201 Barton Springs Road (map)

Generally thought of as the start of the Greenbelt, this access point is an easy hike for most. That also means they’ll be an above average amount of joggers and bikers if you are trying to avoid crowds. There’s plenty parking in and around Zilker Park, but it still gets busy on weekends and you do have to pay.

From here, if you head about 1.2 miles south, you’ll come to the next access point divided by a fork. You can either continue on the path or verge onto the other path to Violet Crown Trail, a still incomplete trail that will stretch in Hayes County.

Spyglass Access

1601 Spyglass Dr. (map)

More commonly known as the “Taco Deli point” since there is a one available right near the entrance, this point has pretty convenient street parking and has swimming and climbing options.

If you turn left (north), you’ll come to the popular swimming spot, Campbell’s Hole.

If you turn right (south), you’ll hit the first climbing wall, Enclave. Keep heading south and you’ll end up at Seismic Wall.

One other thing to consider, being a popular spot this area is more frequently patrolled by the police, so plan accordingly.

Barton Hills Access

2010 Homedale Dr. (map)

If you’re wanting to see Campbell’s Hole from the east side, you can find an access point at Barton Hills Elementary School. The street parking is located in a residential neighborhood, so try not to be a jerk. Again, head north to arrive at Campbell’s Hole.

There are additional hiking trails on the east side of the creek. So even if there’s no water, there’s still plenty to explore in this area.

Gus Fruh Access

2642 Barton Hills Dr. (map)

The Gus Fruh access point (sometimes known as the Rae Dell access point) has a very deep swimming hole. This means you can go off rope swings or one of the big cliff jumping points (as high as 50 ft)

If you head south you can hit the Urban Assault or Guide Wall climbing walls.

This trail has more gravel than most so you may want to think about footwear. Parking for this point is in a residential neighborhood, so again, don’t be a jerk.

Gaines/Twin Falls Access

3918 S. Mopac Expy (map)

This entrance has no parking lot so this access point can be difficult to, well, access. From Capital of Texas Highway, turn as if you’re heading south on MoPac. Remain on the frontage road, don’t take the ramp to MoPac. Just past the ramp, look for parked cars on the right side of the road, and you’ll find the entrance near the U-turn.

This access point remains popular despite this difficulty since it is great for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers because of the varied terrain. There is also great swimming at Twin Falls.

Bull Creek

7806 N Capital of Texas Hwy (map)

This is the entrance point that the Austin Sierra Club often uses. It’s located northeast of the trailhead. Parking is also available in a gravel lot across from the entrance to The Marquis at Treetops apartments.

Generally quieter than its counterparts, this entrance attracts an older crowd and is ideal for families in North Austin. While it’s a great place to beat the crowds, this low-key spot is far from boring. Bull Creek Park has volleyball nets, picnic tables, and there’s a good mix of small waterfalls and hiking on the trail.

Trails End

1710 Camp Craft Road (map)

The western entry point is technically the ‘end’ of the trail, and it can be a grueling goodbye.

This part of the trail includes the Hill of Life that is made up of loose rocks, concrete ledges, and a 300-foot change in elevation in less than half a mile. Sculpture Falls is a nice swimming hole, and the fact that this part of the trail is challenging means it is generally more secluded.


Chris Lloyd

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