Swim at Sculpture Falls
Austin › Scottish Woods Trailhead
Added by Sarah Vaughn
Sculpture Falls is a dog-friendly, secluded swimming hole with clear and cool waters located within city of Austin.
Sculpture Falls is a hidden gem that is part of the 7.9 mile long Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin. It's considered an urban oasis and is part of the Edwards Aquifer making the water temperatures in the summer about 70 degrees, and is a perfect way to cool off in the Texas heat!
To find the trailhead turn onto Scottish Woods Trail off of 360 (the other side of Scottish Woods Trail is called Westbank Dr so don't let it confuse you!). Drive up Scottish Woods Trail until it dead ends into Camp Craft Rd. It will most likely be easier to park on Scottish Woods as opposed to Camp Craft. You will probably see cars parked here already unless you are arriving at 7am or earlier! Keep in mind the trailhead is located in a neighborhood and there are no bathrooms.
Once you park you will walk to the trailhead that starts on Camp Craft Road. You will notice a Barton Creek Greenbelt sign and entryway. Be sure to take a quick look at the map here so you can see how far in Sculpture Falls is, as it will not have any signage for it on the trail. There are several other smaller waterfalls along the way that may confuse you. It is about a 1.5 mile hike to the falls one way. It starts with the "Hill of Life" which is mostly exposed to the sun, however when you get to the bottom the rest of the trail is tree covered and in the shade. There are mileage markers along the trail so you can keep track of how far you've gone. As mentioned before there are several smaller waterfalls and wading pools along the way that can be your own private paradise if you get there early enough!
Eventually you will come upon the actual Sculpture Falls. You may want to bring some water shoes or sandals to navigate across the creek as the rock is often very slippery. There is plenty of space to lay out towels/blankets on the banks of the creek and along a small bluff that gives the opportunity for some cliff jumping, but most people like to find a nice place to hang out in the water both above and below the falls. This spot is also very popular for dogs, so if you have a dog bring them along! You are allowed to have alcohol as well, so don't forget to pack some beers in a little cooler to maximize your summer/spring day!
Hungry after climbing back up the "Hill of Life?" Some local favs to stop for food within about a 10 minute drive in Austin are P Terry's Burger Stand Stand by Zilker Park at Barton Springs Rd & South Lamar Blvd (retro feel with a patio and awesome milkshakes!), and Homeslice Pizza on South Congress!
- Bathing Suits
- Water shoes/ sandals
- Beer/mini cooler
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Chillin, Hiking, Swimming
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This is a great place to try something different, if you like to take an small adventure and walk an small trail this is the place, I took my 2 years old daughter and our english bulldog with us, make sure you have enough water and some snacks with you, we had a great family time. Water is crystal clear, and there is plenty of space to enjoy of nature. But be prepare to walk!, the hardest to get here with a toddler is that they are exhausted after to play two hours in the water so the way back will be a challenge.
I love this place! When I visited Texas for two weeks I came back to this place several times. There is a hike open to the sun so bring lots of water. Once you arrive to the watering hole it's amazing to just wade and relax.
Enjoy it FREE while you can
If there is one thing that the City of Austin loves to do is sniff out where a profit is to be made. With the popularity of Sculptured Falls (we used to call it Twin Falls), it's only a matter of time before they start charging for this public site. Enjoy it while you can. Once PARD gets their claws into it, you'll see railings, ADA ramps, lifeguards and everything else to make this place "safe" for you.
Favorite Place in Austin
I would make sure there is water. When there is water this place is amazing. After a big storm it's even deep enough to Kayak. People usually have their dogs so be aware of that. Also, there are usually artists drawing or painting and people bring their guitars and play along. A true Austin spot.
Fun stop on the Greenbelt
Great scenery -- hard to believe you're steps away from a neighborhood. Good place for a swim after a hike on the Greenbelt. The water is usual Texas creek water (not that bad). On summer weekends, go early to beat the crowds. If you enter via the Scottish Woods trailhead, you'll go down the Hill of Life (steep 1/2 mile hill), so keep that in mind if you're lugging a cooler with you.
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