Lake Travis is one of the most famous lakes in Texas for good reason – not just because it offers endless fun, but because it’s drop dead gorgeous. It’s also pretty fascinating because it’s not naturally occurring, it’s a man-made lake that has an island….sometimes.

What is Sometimes Island?

One of the most intriguing little hotspots that locals know about is Sometimes Island (also referred to as Sometimes Islands). The Island only pops up and is visible when lake levels at Lake Travis are low enough to see it, thus “Sometimes Island.”

Located near Mansfield Dam, and just below the cliffs at The Oasis, Sometimes Island can be hidden for years. But when lake levels lower, folks take out boats to take pictures of themselves on the famous secret island, or they kayak from Bob Wentz park.

As of publication, the lake is currently at 45.2% full, so Sometimes Island is quite wide. KXAN has a live cam overlooking Sometimes Island – we’ve taken snapshots from this year and from five years ago, take a peek:

image of where the mansfield dam and where sometimes island are located
sunset view of where mansfield damn and sometimes island are located

But friends, before you go thinking that there is some freakish nature going on in the Hill Country, Lake Travis has a lot of ups and downs, and it’s normal to spend quite a time low before flooding again later.

Here is a historical perspective:

So what do people do when they’re on Sometimes Island? Don’t laugh, but mostly stand around or go take a picture with the American flag someone put there randomly (no one knows who, and no one has taken credit).

Occasionally, someone will put a weird chair there, and that’s the big attraction for a while. It’s not technically part of the shore and is not calculated as part of the lake, but it’s fun to go so you can say you’ve been. Maybe plant a flag!

It’s the simple things in life, folks, isn’t it?

More About Lake Travis

Lake Travis is a monster, it’s huge – it’s 63.75 miles long, has over 271 miles of shoreline, is 210’ feet at its deepest point, and can hold nearly 630 billion gallons of water when full! It’s actually a reservoir built generations ago to deal with the Colorado River flooding since livestock and crops were repeatedly destroyed. Now it’s mostly a residential area, but there are still some farms and ranches that benefit.

Word of warning, though – don’t listen to old locals who tell you the lake was dug out (quarried) by prisoners, it’s an old wive’s tale that has no truth to it. But you can listen to tales that the Texas capitol building was created using prison laborers, that one’s true.

Despite Lake Travis being built purely for function, it’s now a destination for fun and relaxation, famous for being the cleanest lake in Texas, offering a diverse range of activities from camping, hiking, boating, zip lining, eating incredible food, visiting local distilleries and breweries, or having a fancy schmancy spa day.