Rock scrambling at Bull Creek on New Year’s Day


For a New Year’s Day hike, we explored Bull Creek again, doing a bit of scrambling among the boulders on the cliff edge. It was a glorious day, about 74 F degrees and sunny. My daughter struck a few poses above the creek. I call this one The Moonrise Kingdom, after the Wes Anderson movie.


Here’s The Instagram. In the distance, the setting sun lit up the cedar trees and live oaks on the bluff, giving this illusion of spring greens or maybe early fall color.


The creek winds along the bluff, and we surmised that the enormous boulders in the creek were once part of the cliff behind us, and fell off after a millennia of being undercut by the water.


My husband exploring the creek boulders


The cliff is mostly vertical, but native plants have managed to find toeholds in the cracks, like this beautiful Texas nolina, which cascades over the rock face like Rapunzel’s hair. Sadly, invasive nonnatives like ligustrum are colonizing the cliffs too, but we saw evidence that a native-plant group is working to eliminate them: many ligustrum trees have been cut down, and others have been girdled, which will kill them.


Farther along the creek, limestone ledges create mossy grottos. Spring water trickled over some of the ledges like mini-waterfalls.


We found the wagon tracks carved into the limestone creek bed in an earlier era. For more info, see my post about the tracks from late November.


Bull Creek is a special part of Austin. An afternoon visit was a beautiful and peaceful way to start the New Year.

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All material © 2006-2017 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

10 Responses

  1. Kris P says:

    It’s a wonderful place to have so close to your home and rock scrambling seems a great way to work off some of the holiday season excesses. I’m a bit envious of your New Year’s Day temperature as we barely cleared 50F yesterday but I’m not really complaining as the gloomy skies that appear to be sticking with us hold the promise of more rain. Happy new year, Pam!

  2. Laura Munoz says:

    It’s so very pretty.–Almost magical. What a great resource.

  3. A lovely way to welcome the New Year, Pam. Great pictures, especially of your beautiful daughter. P. x

  4. Ray says:

    Great way to spend a New Years. I went hiking at a local state park as part of the national First Day Hike in state parks throughout the country. It was a warm day here, after a freezing New Years in past years.
    -Ray

  5. Sherry says:

    Happy New Year! I once asked you for a real estate agent recommendation when we were in the process of moving to the Austin area. Now that we’re here, was wondering if you have an affordable landscape designer/coach to recommend since your business is on hiatus? Thanks :)

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