1710 Camp Craft Rd, Austin, TX 78746

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that “Hill of Life” might be a little bit of a misnomer. One: because you start at the TOP of said hill at the trailhead. Two: because I was 30% sure I was going to die before making it back out of the Greenbelt.


BUT don’t be weary. I’m like gloriously out of shape and I totally believe in you. And what’s waiting on the trail is so pretty I think you’ll be cool with it.

Nestled at the end of the 7.5 mile trail in the Barton Creek Greenbelt (there are a few entrances – make sure to double check before you get too adventurous), the Hill of Life dam is probably one of the most peaceful places you can find in this urban sprawl. (You can actually check out my insta story if you like being soothed by the delicious sound of running water). The loop I took was about 2.5 miles and about ninety minutes with plenty of ogling time.

The water is shallow and clear – and there are actually connections across the shores at several points down the trail so you can check out a couple of other sites like Yellow Rope Swing and the Stone Bench. Any way you go, there are super beautiful wildflower fields and pretty abundant shade until you make the final climb back to civilization. There are also several just really stunning other dams besides the main attraction, and plenty of places to duck off for a quick break or set up and read or picnic or whatever the kids are doing these days.

The Hill of Life Trail


  • I’m serious, the Hill of Life is not for the faint of heart. It’s .5 miles of straight elevation gain on rocky terrain. You WILL feel a little bit like Rocky at the top.
  • Download the Google Map of the Hill of Life before you take off. I have Verizon and had a clear signal, but there are TONS of offshoots for this pretty established trail.
  • Wear leggings – the paths near the shore are pretty closely trimmed, and not as frequently travelled. I met at least two spider homes on accident.
  • Parking is just streetside along Scottish Woods Trail.
  • GO EARLY or LEAVE LATE. The last half mile is pretty much direct sun after exploring down below. You’ll drain yourself if you try and climb in the heat of the day.

What else do you guys want to know? Comment below!