Lake Buchanan, Texas – A Hill Country Vacation Destination

Lake Buchanan is the perfect spot for families to get away from the stresses of daily life, fishermen to spend time doing what they love most, and couples to spend a lazy, romantic weekend together. Lake Buchanan is located just north of Austin, Texas and West of the City of Burnet and is the largest of the Highland Lakes, providing enough room for everyone to enjoy their favorite lake activities in a relaxing atmosphere.

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Accommodations Government Offices
Restaurants Parks
Boat Rentals Additional Activities
Fishing Map of Lake Buchanan

A Little Lake Buchanan History

Lake Buchanan was built in 1937 with the creation of Buchanan Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Buchanan Dam is over two miles long and is still considered the longest multiple arch dam in the United States. Lake Buchanan and Buchanan Dam were created to provide hydroelectricity to the area and they are still used for that purpose today. The lake was also constructed to store water and help bring an end to flooding problems that regularly plagued the Austin area.

Originally called Hamilton Dam and Reservoir, Lake Buchanan’s name was changed in recognition of Texas Congressman James Paul Buchanan who had secured the funding to build the dam and lake.

Today, Lake Buchanan is the first lake in the chain of 6 called the Highland Lakes, which also includes Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin. Learn more about Lake Buchanan in this episode of The Daytripper:

Watch Llano, TX on PBS. See more from The Daytripper.

Lake Buchanan Lodging and Accommodations

Check out our printable guide to hotels in the Highland Lakes (PDF)


Lake Buchanan's peace and quiet make it the perfect place to escape from the stresses of daily life. From romantic bed and breakfasts to full service resorts and gorgeous cabins, you're sure to find that perfect oasis on the lake.

Ahoy Lakefront Resort On East Lake Buchanan

11510 RR 2341, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-715-8877, E-mail:


Private beachfront condos on Lake Buchanan

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Arrowhead on Lake Buchanan

Located on RR2341
Burnet, TX  78611
(512) 265-4600


Private Texas Hill Country retreat on Lake Buchanan.

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Big Chief Resort on East Lake Buchanan

1420 FM 690, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-793-4746


Great reunion & retreat site.

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Lakeside Lodge on East Lake Buchanan

201 Lakewood Drive, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-756-4935


Specialize in pampering couples & adult groups seeking privacy

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Rainbow Hearth Sanctuary On East Lake Buchanan

1330 Waterway Lane, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-756-7878


Nurturing oasis on Lake Buchanan provides organic breakfast, lunch & dinners daily.

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Painted Sky Inn On East Lake Buchanan

1400 CR 128, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-715-9896


All rooms are waterfront with stunning panoramic views.

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Canyon of the Eagles On East Lake Buchanan

16942 RR 2341, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-334-2070


Located in the Highland Lakes Upper Region, this nature-based destination resort is uniquely nestled within the Texas Hill Country preserve.

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Sunset Cliff Escape on East Lake Buchanan

3321 Sunset Cliff Rd, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-656-7698 Email:


8000' house easily accommodates 18 with 3 bedrooms, 3rd floor apartment and bunk room.

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Thunderbird Resort On East Lake Buchanan

200 Greenwood Hills Trail, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 512-756-4878


Cabins on Lake Buchanan

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Lake Buchanan Boat Rentals

Boat rental on Lake Buchanan could not be easier.  With options on either side of the lake and some boat rental businesses that will even drop off your boat to the shoreline of your hotel, you’re sure to spend a majority of your day having fun in the sun in the open waters of Lake Buchanan.

Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife web site for public access boat launch facilities at Lake Buchanan.

Visit the LCRA web site for a map of marinas on Lake Buchanan.

Big Chief Resort
1420 FM 690, Burnet, Texas 78611
Phone: 866-922-4433
Cabins, boat launch, large covered pavilion, clubhouse, & pool. Paddle, kayak and canoe rentals. Great reunion & retreat site. Ask about our pet friendly policy.

Buchanan Adventure Tours
16942 RR 2341, Burnet, Texas 78611
Outfitter and guide service offering kayaking adventures, boat rentals and group retreats on pristine waterways occupied by waterfalls, bald eagles & other wildlife that inhabit unspoiled habitats on Lake Buchanan.

Painted Sky Inn
Kayaks, Canoes and Stand-up Paddleboard Rentals.  Hourly and Daily Rates. Call for availability.

Thunderbird Resort
200 Greenwood Hills Trail, Burnet, Texas 78611
Boat and watercraft rentals. Family friendly resort with cabins, pool, volleyball/basketball, and playground.
Thunderbird Resort Web Site

Vanishing Texas River Cruises
1-800-4-RIVER-4/(800) 474-8374
443 Waterway Ln., Burnet, TX 78611
Hours: Vary by season, please call for details and reservations.
Kayak rentals are available from Vanishing Texas River Cruises for visitors to Lake Buchanan. There are several kayaking options available due to their location in Beaver Creek, a protected cove along the lake. Visit their web site for more information.
Vanishing Texas River Cruise Web Site

Lake Buchanan Fishing

Lake Buchanan attracts fishermen from all across Texas due to its excellent Bass fishing. The species of fish in Lake Buchanan include Large Mouth Bass, White Bass, Striped Bass, Catfish, White Crappie, and Sunfish. The Texas Parks and Wildlife web site provides some excellent tips for fishing on Lake Buchanan. In addition, fishermen can hire a professional fishing guide (listed below) to ensure you have the most successful fishing excursion possible.


Clancy's Fishing Guide Service
Clancy Terrill
Specializing in Stripers, trophy cats, and White Bass on Lake Buchanan/Inks Lake.
Clancy's Fishing Guide Service Web Site

Empty Pockets Guide Service
109 S. Chaparral
Buchanan Dam, Texas

Fernandez Fishing Guide Service
Toll Free 877-266-0338
We'll use 2009 25’ Tidewater Center Consol with twin 150 Horse Yamaha 4-stroke motors, and a full array of electronics, huge T-Top for shade and plenty of fishing room. Fast – “55 MPH” – dry and very smooth.
Fernandez Fishing Guide Service


Jerry Moore Fishing
Reservations Required
½ Day Trip (1-4 Persons): $300
Full Day Trip (1-4 Persons): $400
Jerry Moore Fishing Web Site

Jim Crawford Striper Guide Service
512-257-0103 or
512-755-0453 (mobile)
Striper fishing with Jim Crawford on the Highland Lakes of Central Texas. Striped Bass guided fishing trips on scenic Lake Buchanan. Over 20 years experience as full-time guide.
Jim Crawford Striper Guide Web Site

Ray's Striper Guide Service
Live & fish on Lake Buchanan. Can guide in all conditions & help you find the best fish.

Rick Ransom Lake Buchanan Striper Guide
We provide everything you need, bait, rods & reels and filet and bag your catch. The only thing to bring is food, drinks, and of course an ice chest to carry your catch home.

Lake Buchanan Parks

Lake Buchanan boasts a handful of parks for recreational activities. These parks feature different amenities including camping, picnicking, boat launches, and tours.

Not all of these parks are in Burnet County's boundaries, but all are short drives from your lodging venue of choice. Be sure to bring your camera and outdoor gear with you when visiting any park near Lake Buchanan. These parks also have unique & beautiful new aspects worth seeing with the change of each season.

Burnet County Park
Located off FM 2341 on the east side of Lake Buchanan, about mid-lake. Burnet County Park is open all year and there are no fees for visiting the park.

Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park, Lake Buchanan
NE on Lake Buchanan, 900 acre nature park. Stargazing observatory, beaches, camping, hiking, marina, RV sites, & well appointed cabins. On site restaurant & camp store. Weddings, reunions, & retreat groups welcome. Ask about day use and seasonal events.

Colorado Bend State Park/Gorman Falls & Cave
Box 118
Bend, TX 76824
North of Lake Buchanan, 5328-acre facility that was once a fish camp. Primitive hiking, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, birding, nature watching, & guided tours. 15.8 miles of hiking trails/14 miles of mountain bike trails. When Lake Buchanan is near normal levels, the river is navigable from the park's boat ramp to Lake Buchanan, approximately 10 miles. This trip is on slow moving water through the beautiful canyon lands of the Colorado.
Texas State Parks/Colorado Bend Park website

Enchanted Rock State Park
FM 1965
Llano, Texas
1643 acres on Big Sandy Creek, approximately 45 minutes SE of Burnet County, between Gillespie/Llano Counties. Primitive backpacking, hiking, picnicking, geological study, birding, & star gazing. Park resources are protected by law. Rock climbers must check in at headquarters before climbing the 425' granite dome revered by Native Americans as sacred ground.
Texas State Parks/Enchanted Rock Park website

Denney Ranch 2 Preserve. Burnet
96-acre family owned/operated ranch & nature preserve. Enjoy bird watching, photography on neatly groomed trails. Other nature related expeditions such as fossil & native plant education tours available by appointment.
10215 FM 963
Burnet, TX 78611-7339

Longhorn Caverns State Park, Burnet
512-756-6976 or 877-441-CAVE
Burnet, Texas 78611
Stay a cool 68 degrees year round!
Open daily except Christmas. 85 minute tour over 1 1/4 miles of underground caverns. Picnic areas, hiking trails, gift shop & deli lunch counter. Admission. A favorite field trip for schools, & civic groups. Unique setting for weddings, reunions and retreats! For the more adventurous spelunkers, call 512-756-4680 & ask about the Wild Cave Tours.
See what Fodor's said!
Longhorn Caverns Web Site

Additional Fun on Lake Buchanan

For boat tours of Lake Buchanan, take a ride with Vanishing Texas River Cruises. They offer a variety of packages, and many include meals or winery tours.

If you're more in the mood for relaxation, get an unbelievable massage on Lake Buchanan, take a tour of Fall Creek Vineyards, or visit the Eagle Eye Observatory at night for an amazing guided tour of the galaxy.

Map of Lake Buchanan

Below is a map of Lake Buchanan and the lodging and attractions available there. You can zoom in and move around this map using your cursor.


Be sure to get directions to any of these locations from the businesses themselves. Do not rely on these map markers as many of them only show the general location of the business on Lake Buchanan.

View Lake Buchanan in a larger map

Lake Buchanan Government Offices

Please feel free to contact any of these government offices with any questions you may have. For help making reservations at any one of Lake Buchanan's lodging properties, please contact the Burnet County Tourism Director.

County of Burnet
220 South Pierce St.
Burnet, Texas 78611
(512) 756-5420

Lake Buchanan/Inks Lake Chamber of Commerce
17816 Hwy. 29 in Buchanan Dam
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays

P.O. Box 282
Buchanan Dam, TX 78609

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
(800) 792-1112
Burnet County Tourism
810 Steve Hawkins Parkway, Suite 4
Marble Falls, Texas 78654

Lower Colorado River Authority
P.O. Box 220
Austin, TX 78767

Main Physical Address:
LCRA Headquarters
3700 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703
(512) 473-3200

Texas Department of Transportation
125 East 11th St.,
Austin, TX 78701
(800) 558-9368

More Information

Couldn't find what you were looking for in our Guide to Lake Buchanan? Check out what the other cities in Burnet County have to offer. Visit our travel guides for Bertram, Burnet, Granite Shoals, Kingsland, Marble Falls, and Spicewood.


If you'd prefer a lakeside vacation, see our travel guides for Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, and Lake Travis.


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