The Canyonlands

The Canyonlands is Lakeway's most extensive trail network and is comprised of a 20-acre tract at Rough Hollow Cove, a major inlet at Lake Travis.  It is named for the scenic canyon running through it.  The canyon scenery from the overlooks is breathtaking and in late fall, the foliage is spectacular with shades of yellow, gold, brown, orange and red.  Early spring brings a riot of color as the new leaves sprout out on the deciduous trees in the canyon.

Hiking and mountain biking are permitted in the Canyonlands.  Trail signs along the way include QR codes.  This technology enables hikers to use their smart phones to access information about their location on the trail.

A Gift To The City

Canyonlands Park was made possible by a generous gift to the City from the Lakeway Municipal Utilities District.  The donation of this area was one of the most important factors in Texas Parks and Wildlife's decision to award the City a $500,000 grant toward the construction of Swim Center Park in 2002.

Under the provisions of the grant, the Canyonlands must remain a natural area.  Nature trails, benches and other limited improvements are permitted, however, no major improvements in the Canyonlands tract itself are permitted.

Overview Of The Canyonlands

Friends of the Parks, a local volunteer organization, has built an access trail, a rim trail and a trail into the canyon, as well as the Mt. Lakeway Trail.  The trailhead to the Canyonlands is on the west side of Trophy Drive across from Swim Center Park.  Parking is available along Trophy Drive and at Swim Center Park, 3103 Lakeway Blvd.  Entrance to the Canyonlands is the .25 mile access trail, which crosses city property and Lakeway Municipal Utilities District property.

Once on the Canyonlands property itself, the Rim Trail winds back and forth to take the hiker to the spectacular overlooks and vistas of the canyon. Soon the Canyon Trail descends into the lower elevations.  It meets up with the Pond Trail where one will find two small ponds that are usually dry in the summer months.  In winter and spring when the ponds are full, migrating ducks can be seen stopping to rest.

Visiting the Canyonlands

During especially wet months, walk softly along the Rim Trail and listen for the tumbling water in the creek below.  As the sound of the water grows louder, you'll find a roaring waterfall beckoning you to go deeper into the canyon, below the lower pond.  Be careful in wet weather as the trail can be slick and dangerous.

The Rim Trail and its grand vistas are easily navigated with minimal physical exertion.  The Canyon Trail requires greater effort as it is narrower and presents steeper inclines.  However, this trail is well graded, marked and easily conquered.  The Mt. Lakeway Trail will challenge even the most experienced hikers and riders, but the views are well worth the effort.

No special hiking equipment is necessary on any of the trails.  You are advised to wear good hiking shoes and to take special care on the steeper sections.  In the warmer months, carrying water with you is a good idea.  Dogs are permitted and leashes are required.  Remember to take a poop bag for your pet!

Always take special care in the Canyonlands.  Do not move rocks or boulders near the trail as the rocks are positioned to control erosion.  Enjoy the views and please stay well back from cliffs and overlooks.