Barton Creek Greenway- Hill of Life

EASY 4 reviews
#4 of 4 trails in

Barton Creek Greenway- Hill of Life is a 1.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Austin, Texas that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
206 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

no shade

hiking
7 days ago

trail running
1 month ago

This is the Western trailhead to the Barton Creek Greenbelt, and I dare say, besides possibly the falls (Scultpure falls, Twin falls), this is the most popular spot of the greenbelt. Easy parking on Scottish Woods Trail, and the trailhead on Camp Craft road is very easy to spot. But then the "easy" ends.

This is a workout spot. A challenge spot. Though the few times I've been there, I've not seen anyone on bikes (I recall a kid on a bike, actually), I've read and heard that this place is very popular for working on your mountain biking skills. Lots of trail, runners and hikers do repeats on this hill.

Starting off, the hill rapidly looses elevation. And it continues, for about a half mile. And it is rocky. r-o-c-k-y ROCKY! Crushed rocks ranging from the size of grapes to watermelons. And there are, well, not ledges, that implies cliffs- but there are lots of spots on the hill where asphalt has been laid down, I guess to slow erosion, but due to erosion the asphalt now has turned into two to three foot drops. Warning: ankle twisting, knee skinning, tumbling head over hills is inevitable if you try and run down too quickly. And oh, did I mention there's almost zero shade? It's a very wide trail, but you could try and do the entire trail right by the treeline and get some shade.

But when you get about two thirds or so the way down, the rocks do start to get thinner, the terrain gets smoother, and finally you get to the bottom. But now comes the fun part: you have to go back up. The first time you'll swear it never ends. A half mile's not that long, but a half mile of steep tumbling rocks and two to three foot step ups and, again, almost no shade... it's a beast! This is why it's so popular.

Don't let my review scare you. Lots of people hike this a day, they just get tired in the process. Last time I ran this, I made it to the top only stopping to take a brief walk twice. Then I found out I had locked my keys in my car, and had to wait 45 minutes until my wife got there. To pass the time, I walked back down and up again. It wasn't too bad, you'll enjoy it.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
Sunday, January 17, 2016