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Lake LBJ

Because Life is Better at the Lake

Lake LBJ Information

Lake LBJ is part of the Highland Lakes chain in Texas of seven lakes on the Colorado River. This chain of lakes begins about 45 miles northwest of downtown Austin, Texas, and runs northwest for over 85 miles. Its official name is Lake Lyndon B. Johnson. The Wirtz Dam impounds Lake LBJ on the Colorado River. The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) owns and operates Lake LBJ.

Lake LBJ is located in Llano and Burnet Counties and covers 6,200 acres with 200 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 90 feet. The towns of Kingsland and Marble Falls, Texas, and the communities of Horseshoe Bay, Highland Haven, Sunrise Beach Village, Granite Shoals and Cottonwood Shores benefit from the two 22,500-kilowatt generating units at the Max Starcke hydroelectric power plant on Lake LBJ.

U.S. 281 runs along the east side and SH 71 on the west side of where Lake LBJ snakes around in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Lake LBJ is one of the best venues for water sports and off-water attractions. The unique terrain full of geological formations, connections to Texas pioneers, and wildlife makes Lake LBJ one of the best vacation spots and year round living in Texas.


History of Lake LBJ

Construction began with the Wirtz Dam which forms Lake LBJ in 1948, and impoundment began in 1951. Originally named Granite Shoals Lake, it was renamed on April 22, 1965, for President Lyndon B. Johnson.  

The Nightengale Archaeological Center at the northern end of Lake LBJ, owned by the LCRA, is at the location of a state archeological landmark on ten acres. In 1988, looters were stealing artifacts on this site. Archeologists recovered more than 171,000 flint tools, spear points, arrowheads and other artifacts. Their evidence suggests that the site has been continuously inhabited from at least 6,500 years ago, and possibly as far back as 10,000 years. The hunting and gathering peoples who had established themselves in the area by about 4500 B.C. are thought to be ancestors of the Tonkawa Indians.

Though Spain owned Texas until 1821, no evidence of Spanish exploration in Burnet County exists. Seventy people in Nashville, Tennessee, addressed a memorial to the independent government of Mexico, asking for permission to settle in Texas. Robert Leftwich, one of the group’s leaders, obtained a colonization grant from the Mexican government in 1825, and was later part of Robertson’s Colony in today’s Burnet County. Leftwich received permission to settle 800 families in 1825, but the money to immigrate had run out.

Leftwich sold his contract to settle in Texas to the Texas Association, and Sterling Clark Robertson ended up as a major stockholder of the grant. This original petition to settle the 800 families in today’s Burnet County results in lawsuits for years. It was 1838 before people were legally allowed to settle in the original Mexican grant properties. Each family that dedicated itself to farming received one labor (177.1 acres) of land; if they also began ranching operations, they received an additional sitio (league, or 4,428.4 acres). Single men were to receive one-fourth league (1,107.1 acres). In 1847, Robertson was credited with settling 600 families.

In 1848, the U.S. established Fort Croghan in the region and was active until 1853 when the landowners could protect themselves from the Indians. Burnet County is the namesake of David G. Burnet, president of the provisional government of the Republic of Texas.


Lake LBJ Fishing

The predominant species of fish in Lake LBJ are largemouth and white bass, blue, channel, and flathead catfish, and green, hybrid, longear, redbreast, and redear sunfish. Other species include hybrid striped and smallmouth bass, bluegill, white and black crappie, and longnose gar. Water willow, bulrush, Eurasian watermilfoil, and spatterdock form the majority of aquatic vegetation.

Miles of bulkhead and boat houses provide cover for fish. Creeks winding off of Lake LBJ give shallow vegetative cover. The power plant, located in the Horseshoe Bay area, discharges hot water during the winter, and game fish concentrate in this area. Catfish is good year round. Largemouth bass fishing is best in the spring and fall. White bass begin spawning in the Llano and Colorado River arms in February. Crappie can be found especially around docks and man made brush piles which are hidden under the surface of Lake LBJ.

Multiple boat launch ramps, marinas, and services provide anglers excellent opportunities for great fishing trips. If you don’t want the expense and maintenance of a boat, many fishing guides are available to take you on a hassle-free adventure to pull out your limit of fresh fish! Find a local guide on our Lake LBJ Fishing Guides page.


Boating on Lake LBJ

Lake LBJ is a favorite water sport wonderland. Whether you own a pontoon boat, powerboat, sailboat, or yacht, or love wet bikes, tubing, wakeboarding, and wakesurfing, every boat or watercraft owner will find a refreshing experience on Lake LBJ. Beautiful views combined with lots of room provide days of fun. There are a number of yacht clubs to choose from.

Do you love the relaxing floating ride of a kayak or canoe on a slow-moving river? Check out the scenic arm of the Llano River’s 24 miles backed up from Lake LBJ and the confluence of the Colorado River flowing down out of Lake Buchanan to the north. These trips give people a great opportunity for wildlife viewing because wildlife is omnipresent on Lake LBJ. Boats and all types of watercraft sales and rental businesses abound on Lake LBJ, along with numerous public boat ramps and marinas. Search boat ramps on our Lake LBJ Boat Ramps page.


Lake LBJ Marinas

All the marinas on Lake LBJ wind around its southern border. The six marinas on Lake LBJ offer every type of amenities a boater would need. Along with boat slips and dry storage, they offer amenities like fine and casual dining, mixed drinks, wine, and beer, lodging, hotels with suites, ships stores, gas docks, golf, and recreational areas with different games and courts. Only Fisherman’s Haven Marina offers ethanol and alcohol free gas on Lake LBJ. Find the perfect spot for your boat on our Lake LBJ Marinas page. 


Cabins and Vacation Homes

Cabins dot the shoreline of Lake LBJ all over the lake. There are too many cabin rentals available to count, and they range in sizes and amenities. There are just as many vacation home and condominium rentals offering in the lakeside communities and from individual owners. These rentals feature private docks, swimming pools and hot tubs, and grills and smokers, and range from multiple bedrooms to one bedroom with all the modern fixtures like internet providers, up-to-date kitchens, fireplaces, and more.

Wake up to a beautiful Texas Hill Country sunrise, play on Lake LBJ all day, then cook up a Texas-sized BBQ dinner in amazing natural surroundings with stunning views, and then watch the gorgeous sunsets relaxing by the water. Look at this list of rental lodging for your perfect sabbatical on our Lake LBJ Cabin Rentals page. 


Lake LBJ Camping

Tons of RV parks are salt and peppered around Lake LBJ with sites right on the waterfront, and other sites sit further back from the water. There are a few places to pitch a tent, but Lake LBJ parks cater mostly to RV owners. These RV parks serve vacationers for a day, week, or month, and year-round residents. They offer many types of services like laundry facilities, swimming pools and hot tubs, internet service and cable TV, bicycle trails, game and recreation areas, hiking and rock hunting, fitness centers, and dining.

Lake LBJ is so popular that many parks require reservations. Many of the parks are close to great fishing areas, have swim beaches, and boat ramps, plus allow pets. Be sure to book your ideal camping vacation in advance. Look for a great campground on our Lake LBJ Campgrounds and RV Parks page. 


Hiking Around Lake LBJ

There are several parks and nature preserves with hiking and biking trails on Lake LBJ. Along with a hiking and biking trail, Johnson Park has restrooms, picnic tables, and pavilions. The Horseshoe Creek Hiking Trail is 2.5 miles long and includes 500 feet of ADA accessible paths. Cottonwood Shores has an extensive park system and a nature preserve. Take a hike underground at the Longhorn Cavern State Park, only five miles northeast of Lake LBJ. Horseshoe Bay features a world-class equestrian center with hiking and guided horseback trail rides, but visitors need to call or email in advance.


Things to do at Lake LBJ

A golfer’s paradise awaits your tee time. Seven golf courses are right near Lake LBJ or within a few miles. The Horseshoe Bay Resort manages three award-winning golf courses and one Jack Nicholas Signature Course. Blue Lake is open to the public and members. The Legends Golf Course offers golfers challenges for every skill level. The Escondido Golf Course features a southwest Spanish theme and boasts a Tom Fazio layout.

The Longhorn Cavern State Park, five miles from the northeastern end of Lake LBJ is a massive limestone cave that once was an underground river. This tourist attraction was once used as a hiding spot for Confederate soldiers and Indians. The cave features a host of attractions, including an Indian Council Room, an underground ballroom, and a hall of marble. A self-guided walking tour takes about an hour and a half. Its Wild Cave Tour takes you crawling through some tight spots in the rock.

Texas Hill Country folk demand great dining, and Lake LBJ sports a wide variety of restaurants. Many are right on the lake that you can access in your boat. You will find authentic Mexican food, great burgers, catfish, and Texas Bar-b-que. The Hill Country also loves great beer, mixed drinks, and wines, and no one is disappointed with Lake LBJ’s selection of drinking establishments. Visitors will also find nightclubs with live music.

Visit the historic Old Oak Square on Main Street in Marble Falls with quaint antique stores, specialty boutiques, and art galleries. Check out the Fiesta Winery in Marble Falls for live music on Saturdays, a tasting room, casual dining, and a dog-friendly patio.

See Texas and the Colorado River from the water on a Vanishing River Cruise. Offering cruises for the past 35 years, this company takes you through the Texas backlands to explore the scenic wilderness. Aside from the wilderness cruise, there are several cruises to choose from, including a history cruise and a sunset cruise, or you can book a private cruise to celebrate a special event.

Hop aboard one of the famed steam trains and take a short tour through Texas. The trains depart from Cedar Park Texas and travel to either Austin, Bertram, or Burnet before heading back to Cedar Park. The trip is 66-miles long with a layover for lunch. Check the calendar for special events for the kids, including a day out with Thomas the Tank or a winter trip with Santa Clause.

Hidden Falls Adventure Park near Marble Falls is a 3,000-acre outdoor family destination offering miles and miles of off-road trails for ATV’s, UTV’s, dirt bikes, 4x4’s & rock crawlers. RV sites, cabins and primitive camping are available for off-roading customers.

Explore places and activities on our Things To Do At Lake LBJ page. 


Lake LBJ Weather

Lake LBJ sees an average of 33 inches of rain per year, with no snow and 229 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 37 degrees and a summer high in July of 94 degrees. April, May, and October are the most comfortable months for this region. Stay up to date on our Lake LBJ Weather Forecast page. 


Real Estate on Lake LBJ

Lake LBJ real estate is the second largest market in Texas for lake homes and lake lots. The average list price of Lake LBJ homes for sale is $1,001,000. There are typically 240 lake homes for sale on Lake LBJ, and 530 lake lots and parcels. The Marble Falls ISD, Kingsland School, and Highland Lakes Elementary school provide education near Lake LBJ. Marble Falls, Texas, on the eastern side of the provides the best shopping centers with a Walmart, Home Depot, and Office Depot. Look for a dream home on our Lake LBJ Homes for Sale page. 


Lake LBJ Zip Codes

Burnet County: 76539, 76550, 78605, 78608, 78611, 78639, and 78657.

Llano County: 76831, 76869, 76885, 78607, 78609, 78643, and 78672.


Flora and Fauna around Lake LBJ

Wildlife in the Lake LBJ region includes deer, coyotes, bobcats, beaver, opossums, ring-tailed cats, foxes, raccoons, reptiles, turkeys, badgers, weasels, skunks, and squirrels. Sherry Bixler, a member of the Friends of Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery, a Texas Master Naturalist, and active with the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society reports at least 100 bird species in the area. Out of the 900 bird species in the U.S., Texas is home to 600 permanent and migratory bird residents. The Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce displays a popular, continually-updated wildflower map every year at their visitor center. By March, the spectacular wildflowers of Texas begin their outdoor visual concert every year throughout the Texas Hill Country.

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Lake LBJ Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Lake LBJ Weather Forecast

Thursday

Cloudy

Hi: 67

Thursday Night

Cloudy

Lo: 62

Friday

Severe Tstms

Hi: 79

Friday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 56

Saturday

Sunny

Hi: 82

Saturday Night

Clear

Lo: 52

Sunday

Sunny

Hi: 88

Sunday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 60


Lake LBJ Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 4/22: 824.73 (-0.27)



Lake LBJ

Fishing Report from TPWD (Apr. 21)

EXCELLENT. Water clear. 66 degrees; 0.62 low. Black bass are excellent on soft plastic swimbaits, top waters, bladed jigs, tubes, frogs, and crankbaits worked near shorelines, main lake points, and rock ledges in 2-14’. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs around brush piles, rock ledges, and docks. White bass are excellent near main channels with swimbaits, jigging spoons, and slabs. Catfish are excellent on punch bait and cut bait in 14-28’ in baited areas.

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