Scenic Overlook Park – Your Dog Friendly Oasis

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

We spent our Memorial Day this year at Scenic Overlook Park, one of the many access points on Canyon Lake in Texas. We were accompanied by our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Abbey. There are several dog friendly things to do at Scenic Overlook Park on Canyon Lake. This is a popular beach area used for swimming and floating in the lake. However, we stayed on land for dog friendly hiking, but plan on returning in the future to dog paddle in the lake. If you are looking for things to do with your dog at Canyon Lake, swimming is probably the most popular one.

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

The Time And Place

Scenic 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(s) you can do so at the overlook, or down on the beach.

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

The surroundings

Trails are few and far between, but it is possible to hike in the wooded areas and alongside the beach. It’s important to note that the beach is very rocky in some 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 and shoreline will be more suited to you.

We were very surprised to see that the beach was uncrowded at noon, even considering it was a holiday. However, the temperature around San Antonio does not reach its highest point until mid afternoon. This may be a more popular time to swim in Texas. By the time we left there were many vehicles entering the park, and the parking situation had not improved. There is no park capacity limit at Scenic Overlook Park, but it’s still a good idea to get to the park early in order to secure a better spot.

The Take Away

We did not spend much time at Scenic Overlook Park, but the hike around the beach was worth it. From the shore we saw boats, jet skis and floats out on the lake, as well as people swimming and hanging out. These are a few of the popular, dog friendly things to do at Canyon Lake. We only saw one other dog playing in the lake, and I could not help but feel bad for all the dogs left at home.

You will find plenty of shade about twenty feet or so from the shore. 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 of Canyon Lake (unmanufactured)

Scenic Overlook Park at Canyon Lake has some fantastic views. It is a great hangout for swimming, floating, picnicking, or hiking with dogs. Access to the park is free and there are restrooms (the portable kind) next to the parking area. Remember, the area is very rocky and you will have an uphill battle returning to your vehicle. Scenic Overlook Park is easy to find and you might also come across Sasquatch on your way there! 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. Scenic 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.

Canyon Lake is not too far from San Antonio. You can find everything you need to know about hiking in our Ultimate Guide to Hiking in San Antonio.


I am a certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach. Places for Pups was created to catalog daily, dog friendly adventures. I hope you will share yours here as well.

The content and photos on this site belong to me, and may not be copied or used without permission.
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Even though I discuss places, or things, and emerge from the woods unharmed, I am not at all responsible for you, your family, your friends, or your pets. You are solely responsible for following in my footsteps and trying things described on this site.

I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.

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Well written article. Thanks