Canyon Overlook Park: The Best Place to Visit in Texas

Canyon Overlook Park is a dog friendly oasis on the southeast side of Canyon Lake in Comal County, Texas. We’ve been to hundreds of parks throughout San Antonio, and Texas Hill Country, but none of them are like this. As far as scenic views are concerned, Overlook Park is one of the best places to visit in Texas.

Canyon Overlook Park Video

Overlook Park is one of many ways to access Canyon Lake. However, it is one of the few free locations open to the public. We have visited this spectacular place a few times with our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Abbey. There are several things to do at Canyon Lake, and they are dog friendly.

The popular beach area is used for sunbathing and floating in the water. We stayed on land for dog friendly hiking because the views are amazing, but Abbey did take the opportunity to play in the water. If you are looking for things to do at Canyon Lake, swimming is probably the most popular one.

A rare view in Texas, from the beach of Scenic Overlook Park at Canyon Lake.
Canyon Lake in Comal County, Texas

How to Get to Overlook Park at Canyon Lake, Texas

Address: 601 Coe Rd, Canyon Lake, TX 78133

Fees: None

Canyon Overlook Park is on the southeast side of the lake where the Guadalupe River exits the Canyon Lake Dam. It is approximately 10 miles north of New Braunfels. The park is almost directly between San Antonio and Austin. It will take about 30 – 45 minutes to reach from either city.

Overlook Park is open from sunrise to sunset. You may find the entrance blocked by a gate from dusk til dawn. We quickly noticed that parking spaces cannot be found in abundance. Most lake goers park along the roadside due to a lack of spaces.

The overlook is just beyond the parking area and the walk to the lake is downhill. The view of Canyon Lake on the southeast side is similar to finding an oasis in the desert. Picnicking is another popular thing to do at Canyon Lake. If you enjoy picnicking with your dog, you can do so at the overlook or down on the beach.

Trail leading down to the dog friendly beach at Scenic Overlook Park on Canyon Lake.
One of the trails to Canyon Lake

Hiking at Canyon Overlook Park

There are few trails at the park, but it is possible to hike in the wooded areas and alongside the beach. It’s important to note the beach is very rocky in many areas. Bring appropriate footwear to wear on the rocks.

If you take your dog hiking around the beach, be aware that some areas are more difficult than others. If you hike at an advanced level some of the rocky, or wooded areas may be to your liking. However, if you prefer to hike at a beginner level, the overlook trail will be more suited to you.

Walking along the beach is one of the things to do at Canyon Lake.
The beach at Canyon Overlook Park

On our most recent visit we noticed hundreds of people walking along the service road on top of the Canyon Lake Dam. This road used to be off-limits, but has apparently been opened to the public recently. It’s not exactly a hike, but it does contain scenic views like nowhere else in Texas. Use the Canyon Lake Dam for one of the most beautiful walks in Texas. If you watched the video above, you saw what I am talking about.

Surprisingly, the beach was not very crowded during our holiday visit. There is no park capacity limit at Overlook Park, but it’s still a good idea to get to the park early in order to secure a better spot. By the time we left there were several vehicles entering the park, and the parking situation had not improved. However, temperatures near San Antonio do not reach a high point until mid afternoon. This may be a more popular time to swim in Texas.

Canyon Lake Dam is a Must-See

Hiking the Canyon Lake Dam between Overlook Park and North Park is worth the visit alone, but there are several other things to do. From the beach we saw boats, jet skis and floats out on the lake, as well as people swimming, fishing and hanging out.

These are a few of the popular, dog friendly things to do at Canyon Lake. We saw at least one other dog playing in the lake during each visit. However, I could not help but feel bad for all the dogs left at home. Bring your four legged friends to Canyon Lake because this park is dog friendly.

Abbey walks the beach at Canyon Overlook Park

You will find shade a short distance from the beach, but all other areas will fall under the sun. Beware the rocks which come in many shapes and sizes. If you do plan on doing any hiking, the level quickly climbs from beginner to advanced due to the size of the rocks and lack of trails.

We took a brief rest on one of the rockier areas at just the right time. Consequently, we were bathed in spectacular rays of sunlight! The most amazing aspect of this photo is that it came unrehearsed.

Bathed in sunlight on the rocks at scenic overlook park at canyon lake.
A truly spectacular view at Canyon Lake (unmanufactured)

An Oasis You Must See for Yourself

Overlook Park at Canyon Lake has more than a few fantastic views. You could spend an entire day here swimming, floating, picnicking, or hiking with dogs. Access to the park is free and there are public restrooms next to the parking area.

Remember, the area is very rocky and you will have an uphill battle returning to your vehicle. Overlook Park is easy to find, and you may come across Sasquatch on your drive! Here in Texas it is legal to shoot Sasquatch, but we would rather hike alongside her.

Our dog Abbey went walking with Sasquatch.
Hiking with Sasquatch

Let us know if you and your dog(s) enjoyed Canyon Lake. Canyon Overlook Park is one of the few free, dog friendly parks around the lake. You can also find Guadalupe River Trail nearby to the east. The lake, river, hills, trails and views make this area a contender for best place to visit in Texas.

Canyon Lake is not too far from San Antonio, or Austin. You can find everything you need to know about hiking trails in San Antonio by reading our Indisputable Guide. Have you found a better place to visit in Texas? Leave us a photo and a few words below.

I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.

We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.

Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly.  I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.


David Earley


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