[ Log In ] or [ Register ]

Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Warbler Vista Log Entries


Return to Balcones Canyonlands NWR - Warbler Vista

Nice views, just wish it was longer and quiter
User: heatharcadia - 1/3/2016  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.44 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 12 minutes

These trails are all pretty easy and short, so this is the ideal place to go hiking if you want to combine it with a day out in the Hill Country. There are some nice views of Lake Travis, but unfortunately most of these views include 1431. You can also hear traffic noise from 1431 on all parts of the trail, which takes away from the feeling of solitude.

Bring binoculars because the Sunset Observation Deck has some nice views that are enhanced by binoculars.

Dogs are not allowed on these trails (it is part of a wildlife reserve), but I still saw people walking their dogs along the trail. I don't know if this is the usual for this place because this was my first time here.

I will return to do these trails again. Cactus Rocks Trail is a self-guided interpretive trail, but all brochures were gone when I got there so I was not able to read about what the markers were pointing out.

Cactus Rock Trail
User: wolf2600 - 3/29/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.00 Mile Duration: N/A

Took the Cactus Rock Trail, up near the top where the trail is open, I encountered a large rattlesnake on the trail.  We were both quite surprised, and I decided it was best to turn around and go back the way I came.

Canyon Rocks - Awesome Trail!
User: mgialusis - 3/22/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.25 Miles Duration: N/A

I loved this trail although I wish it were longer.  Next time, I'll try the other two trails as well.  It was a very beautiful trail and I only saw one other person when I was parking & leaving but saw no one on the trail itself.  There were times that I wasn't sure if I was still on the trail which was really cool.  There were many inclines and declines and some were a littlle steep but not too bad.  This winding trail is very shady and makes you feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere except that you can hear the road noise in the distance.  

Warbler Vista - Great views, fun trail, recent improvements
User: jeffyg - 3/10/2014  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours

I walked every inch of all the Warbler Vista trails on March 10th.  Started just after sunrise and the only other folks there were the couple cleaning the bathrooms at the trailhead.  They have just poured new concrete and asphalt road from 1431 to the first trailhead.  Perfect road.  And there is fresh mulch down on the trailheads and ends.   The trails themselves are quite nice with great tree cover and some nice openings with views across the countryside.  The noise from the nearby roads/highways was a bit of a nuisance but it was only occasional.  I really liked the Ridge trail.  It had a lot of rock and branch debris which made it a bit adventurous to get through it.  Not at all a "nice, flat, improved" trail at all.

You'll enjoy these trails.  Easy to get to from Austin.

Great hike under oak-juniper canopy in Golden Cheek Warbler habitat
User: jnosler - 7/24/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.30 Miles Duration: 1 hour

Great hike with several options for mixing it up.  Pretty mild terrain but a few tricky switchbacks to navigate.

New Cactus Rocks Loop
User: Riff Raff - 5/21/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.60 Miles Duration: 2 hours

They've added a parallel path for the Cactus Rocks Trail, making it into a loop.  I actually ended up hiking every trail in the place today.   Started out at the usual Cactus Rocks interpretive nature trailhead, took the Vista Knoll semi-loop, then walked out the Ridgeline trail to the observation deck and back before taking the other side of the Cactus Rocks loop on the return trip.  Lovely area as always, when the traffic on 1431 isn't too disturbing.  Saw only one other hiker out.

Warbler Vista in the misty morning
User: AustinWhitewater - 3/13/2011  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.90 Miles Duration: N/A
Hiked all of the available trails at Warbler Vista Sunday morning:
 
Cactus Rocks Trail - 0.6 mile out
Vista Knoll Trail  - 1.2 mile loop
Ridgeline Trail to Sunset Deck - 0.75 miles out
Sunset Deck to Ridgeline Trail - 0.75 miles back
Cactus Rocks Trail - 0.6 mile back
Total - 3.9 miles
 
I was not being stealth as I was out for exercise but still saw one Golden Cheeked Warbler.
 
The Vista Loop showed lots of different scat but didn't see any mammels.
 
This was my first time here. It was worth doing and I will do it again.
 
 
Nice hike
User: texaskdog - 11/14/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes

We attempted to go to Doeskin but it was closed for hunting (nice of them to post signs to not waste a lot of gas) so we doubled back to this one without our map so hiked blind.  The only place they post their map is at the deck (which is a nice map).  the road you come in on parallels the trail ending at the deck.  We hiked the cactus trail and took vista knoll up the hill...dont waste your time going up, it just goes to the gravel road.  We went down vista knoll and back up to ridgeline to the deck, then  hiked back on the gravel road to save a little time heading back.  Very nice trail, not vigorous yet there is a bit of climbing.

User: Crazydad - 4/4/2010  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours

Took my 12 and 10yr old kids and they had a blast. Great hike in the trees with enough terrain variation to keep them interested. Been out here a few times and have never seen more than 2 other groups.

Ridgeline and Vista Loop Trails
User: buzz9298 - 10/2/2009  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: N/A

Hiked with my 11 year old son and his two friends from the Sunset Pavillon along the Ridgeline Trail to Vista Trail Loop.  Friday afternoon hike with no one around.  Cool and shady under the Ash Juniper groves.  Great hike for kids to get them out of the house and off the WII.  Distance was moderate enough to keep them interested without complaints.  2 hour round trip.

User: angie0318 - 7/11/2009  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: 50 minutes
wonderfully scenic hike
User: ladyleatherneck - 4/24/2009  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: 3 minutes

wonderfully scenic hike, not really certain how long it was, we hiked all the trails, and spent a wonderfull afternoon out there.

User: jessforeman - 7/31/2008  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: 2 minutes
Hiked to observation deck
User: Riff Raff - 7/12/2008  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Today was my first time on the relatively new Ridgeline Trail.  It adds another 1.5 miles (round trip) to the existing Cactus Rocks and Vista Knoll loop, and follows above FM 1431 for the most part.  It ends at an observation deck, which can also be driven to.  A majority of the Ridgeline Trail is still under the tree canopy, so like the rest of the trail system here it's a good place for hiking when the sun is unrelenting.

User: ssmith09 - 5/19/2008  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.50 Miles Duration: 1 minute
User: lancescape - 6/2/2007  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Long way to go for a short walk
User: Rajun Cajun - 11/24/2006  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.75 Miles Duration: N/A
I had a great time. My five year old and I made the hike. I didn't realize that it was that far out. We did see alot of intersting plants and bugs so the little one thought it was great. It was a little disheartening that the highway was in view for alot of the hike but it was nice to gain some elevation and see the valley. It's a great place to teach kids direction with a compass due to the view. Be careful with little ones there because the trail does get kinda steep at times and the ants there are HUGE! My little one happend upon a ant pile and it made for an unenjoyable ten minutes. When you get to the top of the hill it is a great place to have a picknic and enjoy nature.
Beautiful trail system, amazing views
User: figment - 11/5/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.90 Miles Duration: N/A
The NWR just opened up a new trail called Ridgeline. Its 0.75 miles, and it goes from the Vista Knoll trail to an observation deck with beautiful views. It looks very new, but the map at the trailhead information kiosk had the updated map info. To get to the new trail, follow the cactus rocks trail to the vista knoll trail. Go down the vista knoll trail about 200 ft (give or take), where you will see a sign for the Ridgeline trail. The Ridge line trail basically continues going in the same direction as the Cactus Rocks trail, and is an equally beautiful trail. No interpretive markers though. This trail system is highly recommended, and 1431 is a really nice drive out there.
Cool hiking under the canopy
User: Riff Raff - 11/2/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
Decided to make a day of the Balcones Canyonlands, and headed here after hiking the Doeskin Ranch area. You really don't notice 1431 too much until you get to the Vista Knoll trail, as the Cactus Rocks trail is under a canopy of trees pretty much the whole way. One important thing to note is that it looks like there may be a new trail here, which I haven't seen on any maps yet. If you go to the end of the Cactus Rocks trail and turn left onto the Vista Knoll trail, there'll be an option to turn right a little later onto what's called the Ridgeline Trail. It's marked as being three quarters of a mile. I was under time constraints at this point though (only noticed it on my way back to the trailhead), and will have to return to explore this another day.
Great beginner hike
User: jmorello - 10/10/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
It was our first hike in the Austin area and it was a perfect starter. The trail is fairly easy and the views are terrific. We never saw anyone else out on the trail. The FM 1431 background noise is ever present.
Easy hike in a nice area
User: jpgivens - 3/13/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.50 Miles Duration: N/A
I only gave it a solitude of 3 because we saw two families on the trail (both with dogs - grrrr.) Please people follow the rules. The only other problem was that we could hear the traffic off the 1431.
Excellent night hike
User: enhance - 2/21/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
Though slightly illegal, hiking this trail at night is really enjoyable. The wildlife is much more active and you get some great views of the night sky.
View of Lake Travis is pretty breathtaking
User: Blake - 1/19/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.90 Miles Duration: N/A
probably better in the spring
User: manwithdog - 1/9/2005  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: N/A
My wife read the little info pamphlet off as we came to waypoints - mostly it details plants along the trail which are a little tough to distinguish with the branches bare. Standing atop one of the viewpoints, it was kinda interesting to note how much noise a single car kicks out on 1431.
Beautiful
User: enhance - 12/1/2004  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
This was a nice hike in the woods with some great views. The road was close so there was some noise, but the views made up for it. I saw no other people.
Easy morning hike
User: belizeman01 - 10/9/2004  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
Nice views, traffic noise not that bad and nice drive out to the trailhead. If you see a crowd forming at the trailhead, just go a few hundred feet up the gravel road and take the marked trail to the left were the hiking trail exits the woods. You will be hiking in reverse order and maybe see some wildlife before the two-legged kind passes you from the other direction!!
User: pmack - 5/25/2004  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
Nice Hill Country Hike
User: Riff Raff - 4/14/2004  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
Went on a weekday and never saw another soul. The solitude on the Cactus Rocks Trail is actually pretty good, it's only when you get to the Vista Knoll portion that you're hiking on a hill overlooking 1431 (and the lake though, still a good view).
Great trail--scenic and fairly easy.
User: UGoGirl - 10/19/2003  [View Log Page]
Rating: N/A Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: N/A
Hiked the Cactus Rocks Trail and the Vista Knoll Loop for approx. a 2 mile hike. Saw only 2 other people on a lovely Sunday afternoon.
Almost perfect
User: Austin Explorer - 7/19/2003  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 1.80 Miles Duration: N/A
I really liked this hike. It included a learning experience with an interpretive guide. I saw no one else on the trail the entire time I was there. There are spectacular views of Lake Travis to the southeast. The only downside is FM 1431 running by. The near constant road noise (though not always loud) was the one negative. Still, it's worth the trip!