Hippie Hollow Park

Hippie Hollow Park (formerly known as McGregor County Park) is a park in northwest Austin on the shores of Lake Travis. It is the state’s first officially designated clothing-optional public park. The Lower Colorado River Authority owns the site, although it is leased to Travis County, whose Parks Department has managed the park since 1985. The park, which is sometimes mistakenly classified as a beach, really rests on a rather steep hill above Lake Travis, with limestone stairs that may be very difficult in some parts. Access to the water may involve some rock climbing depending on the lake’s water level.


Hippie Hollow Park has long been popular for naked swimming since it is located on a particularly secluded piece of Lake Travis’ beach. Because of the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, the neighborhood grew increasingly popular in the 1960s, and after Woodstock, the term “Hippie Hollow” was formed. Hippie Hollow was a source of contention in the 1970s owing to increased skinny-dipping, which prompted complaints from nearby landowners. From 1973 to 1980, Travis County Sheriff Raymond Frank judged that the county’s law enforcement money was better spent on more severe violations, and skinny-dipping was typically tolerated as long as no other laws were committed.

Travis County leased the park property in October 1983, and Hippie Hollow Park opened to visitors in October 1985 following some minor modifications and a thorough site clean-up by the county, replacing the prior moniker of McGregor Park. The park remains a clothing-optional park, with suitable signs at the park’s entry informing visitors that naked swimming and sunbathing are possible. Previously, families attended the park, but many complained. As a result of Travis County Attorney Ken Oden’s interpretation of nudity statutes, the county commissioners enacted an ordinance restricting park usage to persons above the age of 18 on July 11, 1995.

This ordinance was challenged in court by the Central Texas Nudists, led by Bob and Christine Morton, who had been bringing their children to the location for years without incident, along with other naturist families. Part of Morton’s argument was that in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Texas Hill Country was colonized by many German and Czech immigrants, and nude sunbathing was a part of their culture. In 1999, an appeals court decided in favor of the county, and in October 2001, the United States Supreme Court declined to consider the case (Central Texas Nudists vs. Travis County). Hippie Hollow is still clothes optional, however park access is limited to individuals over the age of 18. 

When the guests aboard a hired double-decker party barge carrying 60 people congregated on one side of the barge, the barge overturned and drowned in front of Hippie Hollow in 2004. The incident occurred on Splash Day, a semi-annual event held by Austin’s gay and lesbian bar association, and resulted in two minor injuries.

What to do in Hippie Hollow

You can enjoy naked sunbathing, naked fishing in certain places, and naked swimming. There is a roped-off section in the sea where boats cannot enter, keeping swimmers safe.

Bring strong shoes, too, because just because it’s called a “beach” doesn’t mean it’s sandy. While there are wonderful areas to tan comfortably, the trip to the water can be difficult, and there are zebra mussel shells in and out of the water that want to cut you. So be cautious.

You’ll do the same things you’d do at any other park while there: have fun, mix, eat, drink, walk, and sunbathe. Go swimming or go home, don’t gawk, snap selfies, or behave like a grinning fool.

There is a patrol to ensure that no obscene conduct occurs and that everyone is safe. It’s not a hookup location; it’s simply average individuals in their underwear enjoying typical lake activities. You will not be jailed for being naked, but you will be if you conduct badly.

Who frequents Hippie Hollow?

This park has an antiquated reputation from the 1990s as a homosexual hangout, but now days many sorts of people come out to wear their birthday suits. Sure, there are lots of handsome homosexual men, but the majority of individuals are simply normal Americans, and you’ll see a lot of body.

It is not a hookup location, but rather a free zone. It’s as simple as that. It’s not your average modelesque crowd; it’s simply regular individuals doing their thing. Like every other beach in Texas, you’ll see thick and thin, as well as everything in between.

What are you supposed to bring to Hippie Hollow?

The biggest letdown is that pets are not permitted, thus you will be turned away if you have any kind of creature. Why? It’s not because of the trash; rather, it’s an endangered species habitat with multiple creatures that may be damaged.

Also, please do not bring your camera. It’s not illegal, and there are plenty such photos online, but taking pictures with a rando in the backdrop to score false internet points is quite unpleasant. Simply go have a wonderful time.

Bring everything you’d typically bring to a day on the Lake Travis shore: beverages, snacks, towels, folding chairs, and an inner tube or float to enjoy water sunbathing.

You are permitted to bring alcohol; however, no glass bottles of any kind are permitted, so stick to cans. We recommend bringing as much water as you do alcohol because the heat can be severe and draining here.

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