Government Canyon State Natural Area

Park Alert...

Solar Eclipse FAQs

Two eclipses are coming to Texas, and Government Canyon State Natural Area is in the viewing path for both. Before planning to watch from the natural area, please read through these FAQs.

Can I camp overnight in the park?
Yes. Camping is available on Oct. 13-14 and April 5-8. Our 25 tent-only sites have a pad for your gear, lantern hook, fire ring, picnic table and a hutch for your goodies. Potable water is available from spigots around the campground parking lot, but the sites do not have water or electricity. Reserve campsites up to five months before your check-in date.
Are reservations required?
We expect to fill to capacity on both eclipse dates. Reserve day passes early to guarantee entry. You can reserve those passes up to a month ahead of time. A state park pass will not guarantee entry - you'll still need a day pass (free for park pass holders). We will turn away vehicles when the parking lots are full.
How much will it cost to enter the park?
Regular entrance fees will apply. Entry is free for state park pass holders. 
Where can I park?
Parking is permitted only in paved, marked parking spaces. Do not park on the grass or along or in roadways.
Will there be food and drinks available to purchase?
No. The Visitor Center has a limited supply of bottled water for sale, but plan to bring your own food and drinks, instead.
Can I bring a picnic?
Yes, please. We encourage you to bring your own food. Picnic sites near both parking areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Can I set my chair out the day before to save a space or picnic site?
Leaving personal property unattended is not permitted. We will treat personal property left overnight as abandoned property in accordance with state law and TPWD policy.
Can I bring and set up a barbecue grill?
The picnic areas have a limited number of barbecue grills (charcoal only) available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are camping, you can use the fire ring grills provided at your site. You may bring your own grill as long as you set it up in a designated picnic site. They cannot be set up in the grass or in the parking lots.
Are drones allowed?
No, drones cannot be launched here.
Will we be able to get solar eclipse glasses there?
We will have a limited supply of ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses for sale in our Visitor Center.
Are pets allowed?
Yes, pets are allowed, but must be on a six-foot leash and always under your physical control. You are required to pick up after them. Pets are not allowed on the Backcountry Trails or inside any state building. No horses or other livestock are permitted.
Are buses or RVs allowed in the park that day?
No, Government Canyon SNA doesn’t have spaces for buses or RVs.
Will there be educational programs?
We are planning some come-and-go educational activities related to the eclipses. These will be set up at booths in parking lot C. We are also planning post-eclipse hikes for those who want to avoid the traffic and stay in Government Canyon a little longer. See our Events page for details