Crownridge Canyon Park is a small natural area on the northwest side of San Antonio with a small loop. You will not find many scenic views at the park, but the hike will be short, and well shaded. There are few amenities and the park is NOT dog friendly. I visited Crownridge Canyon Park late on a weekday morning, and completed the nearly two mile hike in under 40 minutes.
The parking lot is small, and you will find public restrooms near the trailhead. The main loop is handicap accessible and well shaded. A natural trail connects to the main loop at two points on the back end of the park.
How to Get There
Crownridge Canyon Park is between Friedrich Wilderness Park and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, on the northwest side of San Antonio. You can access the park via Luskey Blvd, which connects Camp Bullis Rd to Babcock Rd. The park is open from 7:30am until dusk.
The Red Oak Trail is the largest of the only two trails inside the park. It forms a 1.3 mile loop which is handicap accessible. However, there are a few bumpy spots along the trail. If you are using a wheelchair, you may encounter some rough areas on the way around this loop.
The smaller trail will extend your hike by about half a mile, but it is not handicap accessible. It is known as the Bear Grass Trail. I found this trail very easy to hike even though the trail is natural. Its difficulty is moderate at best.
Why Aren’t Dogs Allowed?
Much like Friedrich Wilderness Park to the north, Crownridge Canyon Park is NOT dog friendly. The reasoning for this has not been posted on the parks webpage. However, each park may contain an endangered species of bird known as the Golden Cheeked Warbler.
During my previous research I found this to be the reason why dogs are not allowed at Friedrich Wilderness Park. The case is likely the same at Crownridge Canyon Park. I’m not exactly sure how dogs would bother the bird, especially since hikers must stick to the trail, but I suppose there is always some risk involved with animals.
After I viewed the trail map, I decided to head to the left. I noticed the ground was very rocky, and the tree cover was very dense. After rounding a turn I quickly came to a bridge allowing me to cross over a canyon. The canyon was not grand, but it was a considerable drop. I imagine most of the water runs through it after a heavy rainfall. However, at the time of my visit, it was bone dry.
I continued along the Red Oak Trail hoping to reach a more challenging area. The trees were so dense I was unable to see much in the distance. I only noticed a few metal rooftops here and there. When I reached the Bear Grass Trail the woods closed in around me. If I were claustrophobic I would be uncomfortable on this trail. Bushes and trees attempted to grab me as I traversed the natural path.
I expected to find a couple of locations with scenic views, but there were none. The Bear Grass Trail made a u-turn which spit me back out onto the Red Oak Trail. I didn’t find the natural trail difficult, but it is more adventurous than the paved path. Bear Grass Falls would have been much more spectacular if it were wet outside. The final stretch was short and peaceful. I completed the entire loop in less than 40 minutes.
Things to Remember
I didn’t see any wildlife in the woods during my hike, but that does not mean animals are not out there. Parks on the north side of San Antonio could have snakes, coyotes, or bobcats. Occasionally a mountain lion may be spotted as well.
There is plenty of room to pass other hikers on the Red Oak Trail. However, the Bear Grass Trail is very narrow, and you may find it difficult to maneuver. I found each trail to be very easy, but you may want hiking shoes if you plan to use both trails.
According to the parks webpage, you can find endangered birds and native plants inside Crownridge Canyon Park. If you enjoy spotting either of those you may want to visit the park. If you prefer more challenging trails and scenic views, there are better options nearby.
Other Opportunities to Consider
You can find Friedrich Wilderness Park a short distance to the north. This park contains trails which are longer and more challenging. It also has scenic views scattered around the trails. Government Canyon is a few miles to the west which also contains more challenging trails, and scenic views. However, it is a Texas State Park and charges an entrance fee of $6. It is only open four days a week (Friday – Monday), so keep that in mind.
You may have noticed I inadvertently captured a trail reflection while taking a photo of the trail map (first image). Believe it or not, that is my favorite image of this hike! Usually my favorite is a photo with my dog on the trail. Unfortunately, Crownridge Canyon Park is one of the few non-dog friendly areas in San Antonio.
If you (and your pups) desire dog friendly hiking, Eisenhower Park will be one of your better options. That park is east of I-10, next to Camp Bullis. It is one of the best places to hike with your dog in San Antonio.
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I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.