Sunday, January 18th, 2015
Hike: Lake Georgetown, San Gabriel River Trail – Goodwater Loop
Weather: mid-70s, warm, clear
Hikers: Ian, Court, Greg, Cat, Sam
Length: 9.45 miles
I discovered this trail just a week ago or so and am really glad I did. The trail goes around Lake Georgetown, which is only about 30 minutes north of Austin. The entire loop around the lake runs 26 miles, but we only did a little bit of it today. We went in about 4.5 miles to the Cedar Hollow Camp, ate a small lunch, and turned back. There were a lot of boy scout groups backpacking and quite a few others day hiking as well, but it didn’t feel too crowded. The weather was amazing for January and actually got a bit warm if you were in the sun too long.
The trail is very rocky and has some decent elevation gain and some great views of the lake. There was one spot that would have been great for cliff jumping, but no way to tell how deep the water was.
The trail went by some private land and there were two longhorns behind a fence that were very pretty. One of them had injured his eye and was bleeding down his face. Court wanted to help him somehow, but there was nothing we could really do. On the way back, however, they were gone so hopefully the owner saw the situation and took his longhorn to the vet.
Just after the longhorns, we came to the highlight of the hike, Crockett Garden Falls. We almost didn’t bother going down the side trail to the falls, but an older couple coming up told us we should go check it out. The falls were very beautiful and I got a short video too.
The rest of the hike was nice and we got to the campsite and had it all to ourselves. There are several primitive campsites along the 26 mile stretch where backpackers are allowed to camp. This site was on a peninsula overlooking the lake and I’m sure it is a nice place to stay and stargaze. Maybe next time. We took a short break and got some calories in us before we headed back the way we came.
Towards the end we all started to feel it a bit in our feet, but we made it with no problems. I passed up the opportunity to use my Sawyer Squeeze Mini water filter for the first time at the falls on the way back, but I wish I hadn’t, as we were pretty much out of water when we got back to the car.
This was a great trail and we will definitely be back to do some more sections and will probably go for an overnight or two once we get all of our backpacking gear together. Greg made a good point that this would be a good training hike for a longer mileage backpacking trip or even a thru-hike at some point.