Explore Zilker: virtual tour of Zilker

Park Features

Park Amenities Google Map

Access to Lady Bird is at select designated areas.  Read about Lady Bird Lake access and laws/rules.

Parking & Transportation to Zilker

Notice: February 15, 2024–Spring 2025, public parking on the north side of Barton Springs Pool will not be available, and William Barton Drive will be limited to emergency vehicles, construction deliveries, and vehicles needing accessible parking. For more information, visit the Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation project page.

Parking Fees: March–September on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays there is $7 parking fee payable at park wide pay stations including the lots adjacent to Azie Morton Road and in the areas near Stratford Road on the rocks.

  • 2024 Holidays:  Eclipse (April 8), Memorial Day Monday, July 4/5, and Labor Day Monday.

Plan your trip to the park!  The park system first and foremost suggests public transit and biking options.  All parking is first-come first-served. 

Parking and Transportation Options Map

Use Cap Metro's Trip Planner feature! The #30 bus travels through the park and stops in several locations along Barton Springs Road.

During special events, traffic patterns typically change, or pre-credentialing may be required.  Check each event website for details.

Zilker Shuttle - FREE

Use the FREE shuttle service to Zilker Metropolitan Park from the One Texas Center parking garage Saturday, May 27 through Monday, September 4, 2023.

Dates/Hours:  The shuttle runs every Saturday and Sunday, and during Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Park in the One Texas Center parking garage,  505 Barton Springs Rd.

The popular Zilker Shuttle service returns this summer! To give feedback on this service, email Zilker.Shuttle@austintexas.gov.

Directions:

  • Get parking ticket validated by the shuttle driver
  • Drop-off location is at Zilker Playground/Barton Springs Spillway, a two-minute walk to Barton Springs Pool
  • No dogs or other pets allowed on shuttle

Image of Great Lawn of Zilker Metropolitan Park with city skyline in background

History

Becoming Austin's First Metropolitan Park

Zilker Park is known as the crown jewel of the Austin parks system. Zilker Metropolitan Park, located 2100 Barton Springs Road, is Austin’s oldest metropolitan park and is named after Andrew Jackson Zilker who donated parcels of land to the city starting in 1917. Mr. Zilker came to Austin in 1876 to become a business man and a banker. He operated one of Austin’s first ice factories and was elected an Alderman (system of city governance prior to City Council). He also ranched a 40-acre spread with good water southwest of town. In three separate gifts in 1918, 1923, and 1931, Mr. Zilker gave his ranch, which included what is now known as Barton Springs, to the city in a way that benefitted the community and the schools. Zilker made a final gift to the city in 1934, the site of what is now the Girl Scout Clubhouse. That same year the park was officially named Zilker Park.

The park is sited at the juncture of Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake and comprises more than 350 acres of publicly owned land. A major era of park development took place in the 1930s through New Deal programs such as the Civil Works Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1997, Zilker Metropolitan Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the park includes many resources of historical, architectural, and archeological significance.

Today's Zilker Park

Today, the park serves as a hub for many recreational activities and includes major facilities and amenities including, but not limited to, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin Nature and Science Center, Zilker Clubhouse, Girl Scout Lodge, Sunshine Camp, Zilker Hillside Theater, Zilker Caretaker Lodge, Umlauf Sculpture Gardens, and McBeth Recreation Center, the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, and Barton Creek Trail. The park is home to large-scale events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Trail of Lights, and Zilker Park Kite Festival.

Permits

The most common types of park permits are listed below. See the special events page for detailed information about permits, events, rentals and similar.

  • Concessions/sales are only allowed by permitted and contracted
  • Amplified sound and alcohol consumption are ONLY permitted at rental sites with a paid reservation.
  • Fitness groups/trainers:  The Department has a permit process, fees, and requirements for regularly scheduled activities that enhance the park experience at select sites.  Permits are required for all trainers/activities whether or not per fee classes are charged or not to a consumer.
  • Public Events, Alcohol and Amplified Sound Require Permits:  More information can be found on our special events page.
  • Filming/photo permits for any film/photography production.
  • Photo Sessions/Portrait Sessions:  See the photo session section on the special events page.
  • Commercial activity, sampling, product demonstrations/give aways ALL require review and approval (a permit) from the park system.

Contracted and Permitted Services/Amenities at the Park

Signature Park Events

Resources and Information

Click on the image to enlarge it or download the map (PDF, 22MB)

Zilker Metropolitan Map

Reporting Issues

In general, all parks are open for public use each day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless otherwise posted. At times, access is limited or affected by events or maintenance issues. To report any park non-emergency issue, call 3-1-1. Visit the 3-1-1 website to submit a maintenance concern online. Call 9-1-1 for all park emergencies.

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