Barton Creek Greenbelt and Violet Crown Trail

Zilker Park, Texas

Elevation Gain450ft
Trailhead Elevation475ft
Elevation Min/Max451/533ft
Elevation Start/End475/475ft

Barton Creek Greenbelt and Violet Crown Trail

Barton Creek Greenbelt & Violet Crown Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Austin, Texas. It is within Barton Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Park. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 475 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 450 feet. This trail connects with the following: Barton Creek Greenbelt & Violet Crowntrail.

Barton Creek Greenbelt & Violet Crown Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A moderate day hike through a surprisingly wild area within Austin. Special Attractions: Rugged, wooded Hill Country canyon, accessibility. The trail along the Barton Creek Greenbelt is one of many that follow creeks in Austin. The Barton Creek trail is the longest and least developed trail.

From the large swimming pool in Barton Creek, fed by springs, walk upstream to the trailhead just southwest of the pool area. Initially the trail passes through woods along the north side of the creek. On the cliffs above perch expensive houses. The trail is very heavily used, especially on warm weekends."

"This lengthy out-and-back hike travels up the Barton Creek canyon from Zilker Park to
Twin Falls. You will see rock bluffs overlooking a clear blue stream bordered by riparian
hardwood forests as well as drier woods of cedar. The beautiful canyon has deep swimming holes, beaches, and cascading falls. The high cliffs are popular with rock climbers."

"This greenbelt, smack in the middle of an urban area, is surprisingly wild and quiet. About the only sound along much of the route will be birds, a lot of them. The entire trail, from one end to the other, is 7.25 miles, but there are four access points, allowing hikers the chance to vary the distance."

"The hike to Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls is a magnet for nature lovers, dog walkers, waders, and mountain bikers. The trail follows Barton Creek, which splits the greenbelt and is bordered by sheer cliff walls. The creek may be dry, depending on the rainfall. Vegetation is thick, lush, and varied. This is the most popular hike in Austin.

Check the kiosk at the trailhead to become familiar with the trails. Head right (north) along the canyon rim and then down. Dog walkers, mountain bikers, and folks eager to go wading share the trail. Stay to the right and be alert to speeding bikers. Take water, a hat, and sunscreen. The dirt trail is narrow and winds its way through heavy woods of oaks and cedars. Much of the trail is flat, but some climbing and careful footwork are necessary."

"A long, forested ride along the banks of Barton Creek through the middle of Austin, the Greenbelt Trail has something for everyone. The main trail is an enjoyable trek for beginners and experts alike, and numerous side trails and extensions allow for practically endless opportunities to lengthen and enhance your ride. This is it. This is the trail at the heart of mountain biking in Texas.

Everyone has his or her own favorite trail, but this one—in the center of the capital city in the center of the state—is all things to all people, bringing pleasure to all who attempt it and endless discovery and enjoyment to any who dig a little deeper. Scoffed at by some unknowing elitists as the “Greenbahn” for the flatness of the main path and worshiped by those familiar with its very hilly outer regions, the true nature and best secrets of the trail come only with time spent exploring. Its trails provide year-round biking, running, and hiking opportunities, and when we’re lucky enough to have a creekbed full of water, the trail is the outdoor epicenter of Austin, drawing droves of swimmers to slack on its rocky banks. It is an amazing, wonderful place. Tread: Mostly singletrack, some wide path."

"This is the Big Dawg, the Granddaddy, the Numero Uno and A-Number One, of all Texas mountain bike rides. As far as I know—and I think history will bear me out on this—this is the original. An escape from the crushing throng of the city, a place to be quiet and swift in the trees, to sneak around, and forget about the world. If you’ve never been here, then you can’t die yet; you’ve still got something to see, and this is it.

This is a hard ride in places, easy in some, impossible in others. It is several pieces of single-track on each side of Barton Creek, some easier than others, and you might find a place to scrape a shin or break a collarbone. In many places the trail is a series of large outcroppings of rock, harder than any shin. There’s ledges, loose gravel, and some dirt when you think you deserve it. Some of the trail is right against the bluffs, tall weeds and deadfalls the whole way. Some of it is fast and swoopy, and all of a sudden it will go off-camber on you."

"The Gus Fruh Access to the Barton Creek Greenbelt provides great scenery and some difficult single-track hiking along Barton Creek. The greenbelt opened in 1985 and is the patriarch of all hiking trails within the city. These trails are best enjoyed if hiked in segments via one of the six access points."

Barton Creek Greenbelt & Violet Crown Trail Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon3 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
Remove this
0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars
Not regarding the trail itself but how old is this map? It doesn't show roads that have been completed for the last 10 years or more so I wonder about the accuracy of the trail info.
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
This is a great trail if you live close to UT campus or downtown. There can be many people there sometimes, but the trail is pretty good overall, and are fun to zip along with a bike.

Barton Creek Greenbelt & Violet Crown Trail Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Zilker Park
Nearby City
Barton Creek Greenbelt
512-974-6700; parks-and-recreation
Local Contacts
NCGS Topo: Oak Hill 7.5' quad
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018