If you haven’t heard of Hippie Hollow in Austin, let us tell you about the facts and myths of the only clothing-optional public park in all 7.5 trillion square feet of Texas.

Aside from all of the nudity, it isn’t too much unlike any other beach on Lake Travis, but each visit is certainly nuanced.

view of Hippie Hollow and Lake Travis
image courtesy of wikipedia.com

How much does Hippie Hollow cost?

In the Hill Country of central Texas sits a glorious gem where you can be as nekkie as you want, year-round, rain or shine. But only if you’re over the age of 18.

Hippie Hollow is a public park operated by Travis County, so you’ll pay $8 per person ($3 for seniors, $0 for disabled veterans), or pony up $15 for a day pass to all public parks in the county.

The secret pro tip is that if you come by boat and anchor offshore outside of the swim area, you can swim on up for free. Just ignore the sunperch that nip at you on the way to shore, they don’t actually bite or hurt, they’re just saying hello.

Making sure you actually get into Hippie Hollow

To get to Hippie Hollow, if you’re coming from downtown Austin, take Mopac North to 2222 West and go so far that 2222 turns into Bullick Hollow Road after crossing 620, and you’ll see the brown signs pointing you left on Oasis Bluff Drive (full directions here).

There is no nudity in the parking lot once you get here, so come fully dressed, and at least wait until you’re on the trails to shed any layers. Anyone over 18 can walk around nude on the primitive trails or the concrete pathway trails, but be sure to stay on the pathways and not walk around in the woods since Hippie Hollow is an endangered species habitat.

What to do while at Hippie Hollow

You can enjoy nude sunbathing, nekkid fishing in designated areas, and of course, you can swim in the buff. There is an area roped off in the water so boats can’t enter, keeping swimmers safe.

But bring sturdy shoes – just because it’s called a “beach” doesn’t mean it’s sandy. It’s actually rocky and while there are fabulous places to sunbathe comfortably, the walk to the water can be sharp, plus there are zebra mussel shells in and out of the water that want to cut you. So be careful.

While there, you’ll do the same things you’d do at any other park – have fun, mingle, eat, drink, hike, and sunbathe. Don’t gawk, don’t take selfies, and don’t act like a giggling idiot, just go swimming or go home.

There is a patrol making sure no lewd behavior is going down and that everyone is safe. It’s not a hookup spot, it’s just normal people free of clothing, doing normal lake stuff. You won’t get arrested for nudity, but you will if you act inappropriately.

PS: There are on-site restroom facilities, so please don’t use our lake for any of your weirdo human byproducts.

What should you bring to Hippie Hollow?

The biggest bummer is that there are no pets allowed, so you will be turned away if you have any type of pet. Why? It’s not because of the mess, it’s because it’s first and foremost an endangered species habitat with several animals that could be harmed.

Also, don’t bring your camera. It’s not illegal, there are tons of pics online, but it is wildly rude to take selfies with a rando in the background so you can earn fake internet points. Just go have a good time.

Bring everything you normally would to a day on the Lake Travis shore – drinks, snacks, towels, folding chairs, an inner tube or float to enjoy sunbathing on the water.

You can bring alcohol, it’s legal, but there are no glass bottles allowed for any type of drink, so stick to cans. We highly recommend packing as much water as you do booze – the sun can be pretty brutal and dehydrating here.

And on that note, our biggest recommendation for what to bring is sunscreen. So much sunscreen. And you’re going to want to double up on it in sensitive areas that have never seen the sun. But it’s a good idea to lather up before you even head out, or get a good sunscreen spray so there’s no… umm… rubbing of sensitive areas while in public…

Who goes to Hippie Hollow?

This park has an outdated reputation from the 90s of being a gay hangout, but all types of people head out to be in their birthday suits these days. Sure, there are plenty of gorgeous gay men, but most people are just average Americans, and you’re going to see plenty of flesh.

It’s not a hookup spot, it’s just a free zone. Simple as that.

It’s not typically modelesque people, just normal bods doin’ their thing. You’ll see thicc and thin, and everything in between, just like any other beach in Texas.

Hippie Hollow has been keeping Austin weird for 80+ years

Most people know that women can be topless at Barton Springs and think that’s as free as it gets, but Hippie Hollow has been nude for almost 100 years on a much bigger scale than a tiny swimming hole.

This 100 acre park enjoys over 100,000 visitors each year and offers half a mile of Lake Travis shoreline.

It used to be called the McGregor Park and has been open since the Mansfield Dam was built in 1941. In the 50s, people started skinny dipping in this spot, and its nickname “Hippie Hollow” was born in the 60s as the culture evolved.

For decades, state officials and locals living nearby tried to get it shut down. Cops would arrest people for public indecency, but judges and juries didn’t convict, as it was already widely known as a nude park.

Sheriff Raymond Frank publicly declared that the city’s budget was better spent on serious offenses, and that they would only arrest other law breakers, not skinny dippers.

In 1983, Travis County took over management, adding trails, restrooms, parking, and officially changing the name to “Hippie Hollow Park,” declaring it an 18+ clothing optional park.

In 2004, the park became famous again when a double-decker party barge capsized and sank when all 60 passengers gathered on one side of the barge to see the nudity on the beach. Only two minor injuries were incurred. Whoops.

It’s a fun time for those already accustomed to being nude, and equally enjoyable for first timers. Visit the county’s website for updates and enjoy your nekkie time!