Whether you choose to spend an afternoon traversing across creek beds, powering up the edge of cliffs, or dodging pine trees as you gain speed over a twisted trail, many Austin-area mountain bikers agree: few trails come close to those at Reveille Peak Ranch.
As you pull into the huisache tree-dotted parking lot (read: not much shade), take notice of the glistening lake that lies before you and watch as it drops down into a waterfall of pink-hued rapids—made more pronounced after a recent rain.
Hop on your bike and veer off the jeep road and onto a winding single-track path to warm up your muscles and prepare you for the tangled roots and rocky crags that lie ahead. Once you hit the high fence line, it’s choose-your-own-adventure time.
Take the Tee Pee Trail to start your day with challenging climbs punctuated with thrilling descents through open, grassy fields. Follow it up with a ride on the punishing Epic Trail (boasting 200 vertical feet in about 100 yards).
In search of a slightly milder, but no less exhilarating, ride? Cross the fence line and drop into the Race Loop. This wildflower-flanked, well-trodden dirt path positions you to dart through the woods, dodging roots and rocks as you make your way to the next fork in the road.
Take a left onto Reveille Peak Loop to test your nerves. Covered almost entirely in granite with a pastel pink sheen, the grade of the slopes and the rugged terrain can appear impossible to traverse on a bike. Don’t let your eyes fool you though. The granite is surprisingly grippy; meaning areas that appear impossible to climb are navigable with a can-do attitude and some leg power. In between weaving through boulders, look up and check out the mesmerizing vistas around you.
Everyone will tell you not to skip Decision Point, which boasts the best views on the 1,300-acre property. Take a seat on a wooden bench and refuel. Soak in the solitude as you squint to see Lake Buchanan in the distance. Then, let go of any Zen you may have found at the top by taking the Super D trail back down (at your own risk), or follow Decision Point Trail back to the Race Loop. Or, take a break with a calm cool-down on the League Loop.
Whichever path you decide, don’t forget to climb to the top of the Flow Track and bomb down it. Flying over tabletops and careening through berms makes for an exhilarating treat after all of your hard hill climbing.
Upon return to the high fence, assess how much dirt your body has accumulated and promptly pedal back to the pavilion to find cold showers and cold beer. A soak in the tub overlooking the scenic lake makes for a soothing, memorable end to a beautiful trail-riding day.
Be sure to bring water, food, sunscreen, and a GPS with you on your ride. Trail maps are available at the park office and the pay station. Admission is $10 per person.