Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Wild Basin have a reservation and fee system?
To reduce human impacts on the preserve, Travis County Commissioners approved a new day-use fee system. Registration and day-use fees will be required on weekends and holidays only, when preserve visitation is at its highest peak. During the 50 years of free and unlimited public access to Wild Basin trails, natural areas have become visibly distressed. Human impacts such as cut-through trails, plant damage, and increased trash and traffic overwhelm the natural creek basin. Managing the number of visitors and collecting a small fee supports our staff in their work to conserve and restore the preserve.

When do I need a reservation to hike?
Online advance registration is required for weekends and holidays only. On weekdays, entry is free and reservations are not required, but the gate will close whenever the parking area is full.

How many vehicles and people are allowed in one reservation?
Each reservation is good for one vehicle with up to 6 people. All the people and vehicles in your group must be included in your reservation(s).

How long is the hike?
The trails at Wild Basin total almost 3 miles and take guests from the top of a hill at the Visitor Center down to the basin of Bee Creek. The shortest loop, Arroyo Vista at 0.6 miles, includes a stop at the scenic Overlook. Hikers can explore a longer hike with creek crossings along the Creek Loop, at 1.5 miles. Ledge Trail is an intermediate option at 0.8 miles that follows a natural limestone outcrop. Woodland Trail is steep and rocky, and contains some of the largest Ashe juniper specimens along the trails. At almost 2 miles, The Yaupon Loop is the longest trail, crossing Bee Creek to follow the preserve’s southern border. 

What should I bring?
Whichever hike you choose, prepare your group to hike 1 to 2 miles over 2 hours across rugged rocky terrain. All participants should wear closed-toed shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring water to carry on the trails. A sun hat and sunblock are recommended. Carry a printed or digital Wild Basin Trail Map.

Can I stay longer than three hours?
No. Please exit at the end of your three-hour hiking period, so that others may enjoy the preserve.

Are there restrooms, water, facilities?
The Visitor Center is currently closed and no water is available on site. A portable restroom is located in the parking lot. 

Can I bring my pet?
No. Wild Basin is a nature preserve, not a park. Pets can disturb habitat and disrupt the behavior of native wildlife.

Can we swim or fish in the creek?
No. As part of the nature preserve, Bee Creek's waters and wildlife are all protected and must not be disturbed. 

Can I cancel due to rain or inclement weather?
No. Reservations are valid "rain or shine."

How do I request a refund or cancel?
Email wb_reservations@stedwards.edu or call 512.327.7622 to cancel your reservation. You must cancel 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Do you offer fee waivers?
Wild Basin is free to visit on weekdays and after 5:30 pm on weekends. For financial assistance on weekends, please request a fee waiver by emailing wb_reservations@stedwards.edu or calling 512.327.7622.