Park Alerts...

Field Trips

Group of young students posing for a photo at a picnic pavilion.Looking to get your students outside? Government Canyon State Natural Area is the perfect outdoor classroom. Help your students engage in experiential exploratory learning while gaining a better understanding of and appreciation for nature!

We offer self-guided and ranger-led field trips and programs.

Planning Your Field Trip

Hours

We offer ranger-led field trips on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Schedule trips at least two months in advance. We do not offer ranger-led field trips during spring break or other major holidays.

Self-guided field trips are available year-round and generally occur on Mondays or Fridays.

Directions

General information

We offer two types of field trip programs: self-guided and ranger-led. Both provide entrance fee waivers, allowing free entry for your group.

Please keep in mind that, while we do have covered facilities and restrooms, your entire trip will be outside. Also, we close most trails (except the 1.25-mile Discovery Trail) after heavy rain.

Self-guided programs

Self-guided programs are programs that you lead for your students. We provide the space, and you provide the activities (hiking, stations, etc.). This is ideal if you have specific educational goals in mind or if you want to bring students out for a hike.

Ranger-led programs

We schedule ranger-led programs on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on ranger or volunteer availability. These programs can vary and can be somewhat tailored to meet your students’ needs.

Staff and volunteers lead the students through the day’s program. With larger groups, we usually set up interactive educational stations for students to rotate through.

Scheduling

Visit our Educational Resources for K-12 Students page to select the right trip for your group.

Email your field trip request and responses to these questions to the appropriate program coordinator:

  • What school do you represent?
  • What is the best phone number to reach you?
  • Are you looking for a self-guided or ranger-led trip?
  • How many students and how many adults will be attending?
  • What grade are the students?
  • How would you be arriving (#/type of vehicles)?
  • When (month/date) do you want to visit?
  • If this would be a ranger-led trip, what are you looking for (topic/tour/talk/station-style activities/etc.)?
  • Do you have any special needs or requirements?
  • If this will be a self-guided trip, will you need any of the facilities (i.e. picnic pavilion, gallery, or amphitheater for lunch/programs)?
  • Are you familiar with our site or would this be your first visit?

Program coordinators

Coordinators will work with you to try to schedule a trip. If a trip is scheduled, they will help you fill out the entrance fee waiver form.

Costs

With prior scheduling, we will issue an entrance fee waiver for all teachers, students and chaperones on a self-guided or ranger-led field trip.

Without prior scheduling, regular entrance fees will apply.

Chaperones

Chaperones must remain with students during the entire trip.

Self-guided trips: We recommend bringing one adult for every 15 students. If you plan to take your students on a hike, you will need two adults for every 15 students (one for the front of each hiking group and one for the back).

Ranger-led trips: Chaperone requirements vary.

Cancellation

  • Field trips are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather.
  • If your group needs to cancel or reschedule its trip, please let us know ASAP.
  • Note: Most of our trails close to hiking after a significant rain event except for the Discovery Trail (1.25-mile loop). We will not cancel your trip if trails are closed, but we may adjust the day’s plan. For up-to-date trail closure information, call the Visitor Center at (210) 688-9055 or check our Facebook page.

Can’t Come to Us?

TPWDiscover is Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's free, TEKS-aligned distance learning program about the wild things and wild places of Texas. We offer on-demand resources for students in early childhood through 12th grade as well as educator training.

  • Explore our Educational Resources page for a downloadable, searchable spreadsheet that is updated monthly.
  • Visit our YouTube channel for a collection of free, TEKS-aligned videos from across the state.
  • Create a free account with Connect2Texas to register for virtual, educational programs. To view upcoming events, click the "Events” tab on the Connect2Texas website and search for "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department." You can also request a recording of a virtual program.
  • Submit a program request that can be tailored to your needs.

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