You don’t need wheels to enjoy Spider Mountain Bike Park in Burnet County
Even if you’re not a mountain biking enthusiast, Spider Mountain Bike Park has plenty to offer Burnet County tourists. Its unique chairlift carries riders 350 feet up the summit for breathtaking views of Lake Buchanan and the Texas Hill Country.
The park is situated just northwest of Burnet at 200 Greenwood Hills Trail. In addition to drawing crowds of mountain bikers from the surrounding areas, on-foot adventurers can escape into the Hill Country to hike a mountain trail. Or, you can choose to ride the only year-round chairlift of its kind in Texas in both directions, saving yourself the walk down.
Hiking passes are $5 and available Tuesday-Thursday. On these days, hikers can explore any of the nine bike trails without having to worry about bicycle traffic. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, only one of the trails is open to hiking as the others stay busy with mountain bikers.
The park’s showstopper, its repurposed ski lift, offers a gentle ride up the mountainside for hikers and bikers, who hook their rides to the seat in front of them for a peaceful lift to the top.
To make sure rides are safe, lift operators help guests find their seats. The chairlift has plenty of room for riders, and, while there are no seatbelts, safety rails are attached to each chair.
Once you are comfortably situated, the lift begins its slow ascent, offering 360-degree views of lush Hill Country greenery. Despite the Texas heat, occasional breezes help keep you cool as the lift gently starts and stops as other riders climb on.
When you reach the clearing at the top, you are greeted by glittering views of Lake Buchanan. Several picnic tables make the summit the perfect place to enjoy a packed lunch or tacos purchased at the Gravity Tacos food truck, which is located at the base of the hill.
Those tempted by the view of the lake can take the dedicated hiking trail down to Thunderbird Lodge, where you can fill the rest of your day swimming in Lake Buchanan or renting standup paddleboards.
Day passes allowing visitors unlimited access to the lift are $20 for adults and $15 for ages 11-18. Kids 10 and younger can ride for free. Before riding, liability waivers must be signed at the park office, located at the base of the hill.
Visitors should prepare to wait 5-15 minutes in the lift line, depending on when they arrive at the park. Although rare, wait times could reach 20-30 minutes on particularly busy days, said General Manager Suzy Bauer.
While the park is mostly geared toward biking, extra trail options are being added within the next year, Bauer said. Other upcoming park improvements include the construction of a beginning skills park area, which will be available in June for seasoned bikers and newbies alike. The new area will provide an opportunity for guests to try out smaller versions of bike trail features before they begin their ride.