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Top 5 scenic overlooks in the Highland Lakes

Elevations at Doeskin Ranch reach as high as 2,400 feet, awarding stunning views of the Texas Hill Country. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

The winding roads and rolling hills in the Highland Lakes create picture-perfect views. The Highland Lakes features some of the highest elevations in the Hill Country, allowing a scope of land that goes for miles. Catch sweeping views of sparkling lakes, lush terrain, and stunning houses that line the countryside. Go on an adventure to check out our favorite scenic overlooks in the Highland Lakes.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

Stream crossings, prairie-like trails, and thick trees are abundant on a hike at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge.The 23,000-acre park offers miles of hiking trails that go up, down, and around rolling hills. When you reach the highest peak along the path at Doeskin Ranch, you’ll see stunning views of the land that gives the Hill Country its name.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge headquarters is located at 24518 RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Doeskin Ranch is located on RR 1174. Read our guide to Balcones Canyonlands for more information.

Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain is located off RR 1431 between Granite Shoals and Kingsland. Staff photo by Jared Fields


Find this stunning summit off RR 1431 heading west from Marble Falls toward Kingsland. Lookout Mountain is the easiest scenic overlook to visit on our list — you can drive right up to it! At 1,585 feet in elevation, you’ll get a stunning view of Lake LBJ and the beautiful lakehouses situated on the water’s edge. A pristine, privately protected forest sits across the water. Bring a pair of binoculars and set your sights west to see Packsaddle Mountain in the distance. The best time to visit Lookout Mountain is right at sunset when the water reflects the red and purple sky.

Lookout Mountain is located on RR 1431 between Kingsland and Granite Shoals.

Hidden Falls Adventure Park

Hidden Falls Adventure Park has one of the highest peaks in the Highland Lakes. Get to it by four-wheeler, bike, or hike. Staff photo by Jared Fields


For a view that’s accessible by 4x4, ATV, or motorcycle, visit Hidden Falls Adventure Park. The Wildcat Trail offers a stunning view of the Hill Country and the Colorado river. The 3,000-acre park has more than 240 miles of trails, but this summit might be the high-light (get it?) of them all. The peak is one of the highest in Burnet County and provides unmatched views of the Hill Country.

Hidden Falls Adventure Park is located at 7030 RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Visit hiddenfallsadventurepark.com for more information.

Inks Lake State Park

The top of the Devil’s Backbone Trail at Inks Lake State Park offers serene views of the water and the surrounding cliffside. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp


For a hike that is distinctly Texas, visit Inks Lake State Park. The rocky cliffs and high elevations offer sweeping views of the Hill Country. Get a peek at Falkenstein Castle at the top of the Pecan Flats Trail, or summit the Devil’s Backbone Trail for a view of Inks Lake and the beautiful, colorful, and narrow canyons that surround Devil’s Waterhole.

Inks Lake State Park is located at 3630 Park Road 4 West near Burnet. Visit the website or call (512) 793-2223 for more information. Read our guide to Inks Lake State Park to learn more.

Pedernales Falls State Park

Get a panoramic view of the cascading water at the Pedernales Falls scenic overlook. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp


For eight square miles of pure Texas scenery, visit Pedernales Falls State Park. Drive to the end of the park for the Pedernales Falls scenic overlook to view the park’s namesake. The falls are created by cascading water across layers of limestone that stretch for a mile. We suggest hiking down the moderate trails to relax on the smooth, white limestone with its tranquil falls.

Pedernales Falls State Park is located at 2585 Park Road 6026 near Johnson City. Read our guide to Pedernales Falls State Park to learn more.

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There are 2 comments.

Jane Brunclik —
Thank you for including Balcones Canyonlands NWR in you interesting article.
Russ Roper —
Another one is the River Hill in Marble Falls. Driving north on highway 281 and coming around the bend, you see the whole valley coming into Marble Falls

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