What to do in Government Canyon State Natural Area

Government Canyon State Natural Area is an approximately 6,642.65 acre area in Bexar County, just outside San Antonio. The park was purchased by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1993, in cooperation with Edwards Underground Water District, San Antonio Water System, the Trust for Public Lands and the federal government Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The canyon was on the "Joe Johnston" Road from San Antonio to Bandera which was blazed by the military at Ft. Sam Houston in the 1850s. The canyon is a part of the rich ranching history of Texas.

Trees such as mountain laurel, cedar and Live Oak abound, as well as riparian species such as willows, cottonwood, and sycamores. Steep slopes provide scenic overlooks of the surrounding Bexar County and glimpses of San Antonio. Rare birds such as the Golden-cheeked Warbler can be found. Geologically, the Natural Area lies on the Balcones Escarpment, an area of deeply entrenched canyons that defines the eastern boundary of the Edwards Plateau. Approximately 88% of the Natural Area overlays the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. The remaining acreage overlies the transition zone for water recharge.

Nearby attractions include Casa Navarro and Landmark Inn State Historical Parks, Hill Country State Natural Area, The Alamo and four other San Antonio missions (operated by the National Park Service), Sea World, and Fiesta Texas.

This beautiful area is a recent acquisition; and, although currently undeveloped, is undergoing master planning and design. Construction of the park facilities should begin in 2000 with a grand opening targeted for late 2001 or early 2002.

From the intersection of Loop 1604 and Culebra Road (also known as FM 471 - back road to Castroville), travel west 3.5 miles to Galm Road. Turn north (right) on Galm and travel 1.6 miles; gate with signs on the left.

Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.

12861 Galm Rd
San Antonio, TX 78254

Phone: 210/688-9055

  • Government Canyon State Natural Area Travel Q&A