Government Canyon State Natural Area

  • Just outside of San Antonio lies a pristine natural area.
  • Water is a precious commodity here, protected and conserved.
  • Bring the kids for a picnic and to play on our natural playscape.
  • The 1.23-mile Discover Trail is an accessible and educational nature trail for the whole family.
  • Explore more than 40 miles of trails through woods, across grasslands and up to limestone ridges.
  • Stop by our visitor center to see native plants, find information and shop for souvenirs.
  • Enjoy views of the Hill Country from high spots along trails.

Recharge in the Wild

On the north side of San Antonio lies a 12,000-acre wil­der­ness that protects the city’s drinking water. You’ll find your own “Recharge Zone” in this vast urban refuge.

Things to Do

Government Canyon State Natural Area offers more than 40 miles of trails. You can also camp, attend a program or guided hike, geocache, picnic, take nature photos, and look for birds and other wildlife. Your kids will connect with “natural fun” at our playscape and Discovery Trail.

Reserve our gallery or pavilion for your next meeting or reunion.

Read about the accessibility of our facilities and Discovery Trail.

The natural area is open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

Hiking/biking trails

Our trails cross gently rolling grass­lands and remote, rugged can­yon-lands. Explore by hiking, moun­tain biking, or even trail running. Some trails are only for hiking – check our trails map and trail signs. Take a virtual tour with our Interactive Trails Map.

Take a walk through time on the Joe Johnston Route to the Zizelmann House, built in the 1880s. You’ll pass 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks and a prehistoric midden (look for a sign with information on this Native American site).

For great views, hike the Far Reaches Trail to the Chula Vista and Sotol overlooks, or to the North and South Bluff Spurs overlooks.

Trails may close due to poor con­di­tions or weather. Check our Twitter or Facebook accounts for the latest trail reports, or call the park.


Reserve one of 23 walk-in tent camp­sites. We also have two walk-in group tent camps for up to 16 people.

Campgrounds are open Friday and Saturday nights only. We open for additional nights around holidays; visit our Events page for those dates.

Camping made easy! Texas Park Outfitters provides camping equipment rental and set-up at this park. For more information and to book their service, visit the Texas Park Outfitters website.

Dinosaur tracks

Take a hike to see the only known dinosaur footprints on public land in Bexar County. Scientists think that Acro­can­thosaurus and Sauro­po­sei­don dinosaurs left the tracks, nearly 110 million years ago.

Leave No Trace

Government Canyon State Natural Area protects a highly sensitive eco­system. We need your help to keep it pristine.

To reduce human impact here, please follow Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics. Government Canyon State Natural Area is an official Leave No Trace partner.

Get involved

We welcome volunteers! Join a volun­teer group (Friends of Govern­ment Canyon, Activities Com­mit­tee, Natural Resource Projects, and Trail Patrol) or check our Volunteer page.

We also need park hosts, who stay for free in exchange for volunteering. Call us to learn more!

Join or donate to the Friends of Government Canyon.


Stop by our park store for books, nature items and souvenirs.

Ranger Programs

Come to one of our programs and guided hikes. Check our Events page for the schedule, or contact the Natural Area for special tours.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Become a Junior Ranger!

Area Attractions

San Antonio offers restaurants, museums and more. Highlights include:

Visit the Landmark Inn State Historic Site in Castroville.

12861 Galm Rd
San Antonio, TX 78254

Latitude: 29.549316

Longitude: -98.764715

(210) 688-9055

Make reservations online

Reserve by phone: (512) 389-8900

Entrance Fees
  • Adult: $6 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

Open Friday through Monday,
7 a.m. – 10 p.m. 

Closed Tuesday through Thursday.


We often reach capacity; reservations are highly recommended for both camping and day use. To guarantee entrance  reserve passes online, or by calling the customer service center, before you visit.

On major holidays and Spring Break, Government Canyon may open for additional dates for day use visitation. Visit our Events page for specific holiday openings.

The Protected Habitat Area trails are open annually September through February. All other trails are open all year. All pets and domesticated animals are restricted to the front country trails. Trails may be closed due to poor conditions or weather. 

Closures due to max. capacity

Check our Twitter feedFacebook page, or call us, for the most current information about capacity closures and trail reports.


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