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Lake Travis

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Lake Travis Information

Welcome to Lake Travis, a water-filled playground reservoir on the Pedernales Tributary of the Colorado River. Located northwest of Austin, Texas, in the Texas Hill Country, 32 miles from Austin, it has clear water that is so natural in the Hill Country, and you can find so many things to do and see at this lake. Its serpentine shape weaves through Travis and Burnett Counties and covers 30 square miles of surface area. Lake Travis supplies water, flood control, electrical power generation, and recreation.

Visitors can enjoy one of Lake Travis’s four water parks and go zip lining along with the usual lake activities that Texans and visitors enjoy, and the weather is great. It has 15 parks operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority and Travis County Parks offering day use and camping along its snaky shores. You do have to be cautious on Lake Travis whether boating or swimming because there are deep underwater drop-offs. You can wade in three feet of water and take one more step out into 150 feet of water. Experts describe Lake Travis as a flooded canyon.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge sits on the northeastern edge of Lake Travis with eight miles of hiking trails. The principal purpose of this wildlife sanctuary is to protect the seriously endangered species of golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo’s nesting habitats. Goats destroyed the black-capped vireo’s habitats, and then brown-headed cowbirds took over their nests. By the late 1980s, there were only about 350 of them known to exist. In 2018, over 14,000 of these songbirds lived in their breeding range of Texas, Oklahoma, and Mexico.

Flora and Fauna

Lake Travis is one of seven reservoirs known as the Highland Lakes. Take your binoculars to discover sightings of blackbuck antelopes, bobcats, coyotes, fleet-footed squirrels, porcupines, possums, raccoons, red foxes, ringtail cats, and white-tailed deer.

Birders enjoy looking for Canadian snow geese, Canadian geese, flycatcher, gray vireo, great blue herons, great egrets, red-eyed vireo, rio grande turkeys, scissor-tailed flycatcher gulls, storks, owls, pelicans, Scott’s oriole, varied bunting, whooping cranes, and zone-tailed hawks, plus two rare birds, the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo.

The wildflowers in the region are amazing with the bluebonnet, Indian blanket, Indian paintbrush, pink evening primrose, Mexican hat, winecup, horsemint, pink verbena, plains coreopsis, and huisache (honey) daisy being the most common. Also, you can find Agarita, Baby Blue Eyes, Blue-eyed Grass, Buffalo Bur, Dayflower, Goldenrod, Indian Mallow, Maximillian Sunflower, Prickly pear cactus, Senna, Slender Green Thread, Southern Iris Gregg’s Mistflower, Texas Dandelion, and too many more species to mention.

Cabins and Rental Homes

From cottages to cabins to luxury vacation homes, you will discover your memorable sabbatical at Lake Travis. Choose from tiny cabins to condos to thousands of square foot homes. The water is clear and beautiful, and with many activities off the water to choose from, you will be sure to find something to rent that fits your budget or go all out and rent a home with a private dock on an island. Check out your vacation rental options and book your Lake Travis getaway in advance: hyperlink

Fishing

Fishing is an adventure on Lake Travis, so grab your fishing gear, load up or rent a boat, follow safety precautions and get ready for fishing fun. Catfish species include channel catfish, blue catfish, and large flathead catfish. Guadalupe bass, largemouth bass and white bass and sunfish are predominant. White and black crappie, yellow and black bullheads, warmouth, and several other species of sunfish are available. All four species of gar swim in this lake along with shiner, carp, and walleye pike. There are striped bass, but Lake Travis is not well-populated with them. Find Lake Travis fishing guides here and give them a call: hyperlink

Marinas

Twenty-plus marinas call Lake Travis home. Facilities include boat access, covered and uncovered on-water slips, drystack, yacht clubs, ship’s stores and fuel docks. Some of the top boat dealers in the nation sell watercraft in the Lake Travis areas. Boat rental is big business on Lake Travis, if you just want to have fun for a day without the hassle of boat maintenance. Especially on Lake Travis, boating and water safety are of the utmost importance. Find a marina on Lake Travis to line up your next adventure on the water. 

Nightlife

Austin, Texas, is known for its musicians and their fans and Lake Travis follows suit. There are plenty of bars and restaurants scattered around Lake Travis offering different fares and types of entertainment with several offering live music.

Camping

Come stay under the starry skies of the Texas Hill Country after watching stunning sunsets on Lake Travis. Campgrounds and RV parks dotted around the lake are sure to meet your expectations with friends and family for relaxation or adventure. The winter low temperature is above freezing. Swim, fish, boat, go ziplining, or enjoy a water park all day, and come back to a wonderful grilled dinner at your campsite.

Bring your supplies with you though, because only the town of Cedar Park on the northeast and closer to Austin on the southeast have shopping areas. There are a large number of vacation rental homes for lease, plus hotels and motels, and resorts. Take a look at the list of day use areas and campgrounds on Lake Travis.

Weather

Lake Travis sees about 35 inches of rain per year, with approximately 229 sunny days a year. High temperatures in July reach an average of 95 degrees, and the winter low average is 38 degrees in January. This region has a near perfect climate for most folks.

Housing

Property in Travis County is higher than in Burnet County, but lakefront homes on Lake Travis cost over $1 million dollars. There are about 240 homes and 430 lots available at any given time around the lake. With 270 miles of shoreline, hills, and cliffs surrounding Lake Travis, lakefront homes have amazing views of the lake. There are five public schools in Burnet County, and Travis County has the Lake Travis ISD plus Lakeway Elementary school.

Clockwise from the north, the towns of Lago Vista, Jonestown, Volente, The Hills, Lakeway, and Briarcliff border the lake with numerous neighborhoods located in and around these towns. Cedar Park, northeast of the lake, and closer to Austin on the southeast offer the best shopping areas.

Find an experienced and knowledgeable realtor who can answer all your questions, or list a home for sale on Lake Travis.

History

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), a young Lyndon B. Johnson, and J.B. Buchanan commissioned the construction of the Mansfield Dam in 1937 with the main purpose of flood control. A big flood in 1938 caused modifications to raise the height of the dam to store floodwaters. It is the primary flood control reservoir of the Highland Lakes reservoirs.

The Mansfield Dam was built across the Marshall Ford canyon, a historical river crossing and rural settlement. The Corp of Engineers calls it the Marshall Ford Dam today. The Corp completed construction on the dam in 1939 and the dam was renamed in 1941 after U.S. Rep. J.J. Mansfield who had a role in the reservoir’s development.

Lake Travis Email Updates


 

Lake Travis Current Weather Alerts

Lake Travis Weather Forecast

Monday

Thunderstorms Likely

Hi: 79

Monday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 70

Tuesday

Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 82

Tuesday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 71

Wednesday

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 87

Wednesday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 71

Thursday

Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 87

Thursday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 72


Lake Travis Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 5/24: 620.06 (-60.94)