Day Trips: Comanche Lookout Park, San Antonio

Climb the (fourth) highest mountain


Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Comanche Lookout Park in northeast San Antonio has a history as expansive as its views. 

A four-story rock tower is the most prominent feature in the 96-acre city park not far from the intersection of Loop 1604 and Interstate 35. Completed in 1928, the tower was part of a planned compound that never reached fruition. 

The human history of the peak is estimated to go back to 9200BC when native people hunted mammoths from the high point. At 1,340 feet the hill is the fourth highest in Bexar County; Mount Smith at 1,892 feet is the tallest. 


The knob 19 miles north of downtown became a landmark on El Camino Real, the colonial Spanish highway. The Comanche used the high ground to attack travelers on what is now Nacogdoches Road

In 1848 Mirabeau Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas, owned the peak and surrounding lands. Lamar's daughter sold the property to a German farmer who sold it to Colonel Edward Coppock in 1923.

Coppock had grand plans for the hill. Besides building a few outbuildings and the tower, he had completed only the foundation of a U-shaped castle when he died in 1948.


His family sold the property to a developer who removed all the buildings except the tower before going broke. By 1994 the city owned the land and added trails leading to the tower. 

Comanche Lookout Park is accessible at 15551 Nacogdoches Rd., just south of Loop 1604 in San Antonio. The park has 4.5 miles of paved and natural trails through the mesquite forest. Views of the city can be glimpsed at different points along the trails, but the tower isn't open.


1,516th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond,” a weekly travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: Lake Wood Recreation Area, Gonzales
Day Trips: Lake Wood Recreation Area, Gonzales
It’s water over the dam at this scenic park

Gerald E. McLeod, Sept. 25, 2020

Day Trips: Black Is Beautiful Beer, Weathered Souls Brewery, San Antonio
Day Trips: Black Is Beautiful Beer, Weathered Souls Brewery, San Antonio
Brewers worldwide are making a San Antonio beer for social change

Gerald E. McLeod, Sept. 18, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Comanche Lookout Park, San Antonio, Camino Real, Mirabeau Lamar, Colonel Edward Coppock

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle