Canyon Lake Texas

15 Amazing Things To Do At Canyon Lake Texas

Want to visit Canyon Lake in Texas? Perfect!  There are so many fun things to do in Canyon Lake Texas!  Of course, there is swimming, boating, and fishing, but one of the main reasons people love Canyon Lake, TX is because it is ABSOLUTELY beautiful!

In this post, we are going to give you a complete guide on everything you need to know about visiting Canyon Lake Texas including all the fun Canyon Lake activities you have to do!  

Canyon Lake Texas is located between San Antonio and Austin New Braunfels where one of the largest Buc-ees is located is the closest major town to Canyon Lake. 

Let's explore all the fun things to do in Canyon Lake Texas! 

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Canyon Lake San Antonio
Canyon Lake Austin

Canyon Lake Austin or Canyon Lake San Antonio????  Both Canyon Lake is a good halfway point for both cities.  The lake is about an hour and a half from Austin and just over an hour from San Antonio.  

Is Canyon Lake TX Worth Visiting?

Yes,  there are so many amazing lakes in Texas, and Canyon Lake is one of the most beautiful in all of central Texas.  The main reason it is so beautiful is that it is located in the Texas Hill Country. 

A Canyon Lake day trip is the perfect addition to your Texas Hill Country trip! 

What is Canyon Lake Texas Most Known For? 

Canyon Lake is most known for its beautiful bluish-green water and amazing landscape around the lake.  The water is so clear!  It is the perfect place for outdoor recreation such as hiking, boating, and swimming.  

Let's learn a little more about Canyon Lake Texas! 

Admission to Canyon Lake Texas

Admission to Canyon Lake Texas

If you are coming for a Canyon Lake day trip there is a $20 fee to enter the Canyon Lake area park.  There are two beach areas, picnic areas, and hiking trails beyond the entry gate. 


Once you enter the park you can NOT leave unless you want to pay another $20. Wait, What!! Yes,  the fee is NOT an all-day fee.  Make sure you are prepared to stay for a while! 

Military Access

There is a section of Canyon Lake that only those that serve in the military have access to. It is the nicest area of the Lake.  If you are in the military check this area out!  

Where to Stay Near Canyon Lake Texas

Grand Lake O the Cherokees Camping sites

There are at least 5 campgrounds and 4 RV parks located around Canyon Lake.  You may want to consider renting an RV and spending a few days in this area.  Another great option in the Canyon Lake area is Jellystone Campground.  It is amazing! 

Canyon Lake, TX Hotels

If camping isn't your thing but you want to spend a few days on Canyon Lake, there is a Holiday Inn located right on the lake.  It is pretty much the only major hotel brand nearby.  

Things to Do on Canyon Lake Texas

Go Boating on Canyon Lake Texas

Okay, now the fun part. Let's talk about all the fun things to do on Canyon Lake.  I am going to list out some of the fun Canyon Lake activities and you can start getting an idea of what you want to do on your Canyon Lake day trip! 

1. Go Boating on Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake Texas Boating

The #1 Canyon Lake activity is boating.  Many people in both San Antonio and Austin head to Canyon Lake with their own personal boats.  But don't worry if you do not own a boat you can rent one from the Marina.  Just be sure to book ahead of time.  

We spent the entire day boating! It was amazing! We planned a family reunion and had 21 people in our group.  We all took turns tubing and wakeboarding.  It was a blast! 

2. Jet Ski on Canyon Lake

Jet Ski at Canyon Lake Texas

Another crazy popular thing to do in Canyon Lake is jet ski! There were seriously so many people jet skiing on the lake.  

I grew up jet skiing and it is one of my favorite lake activities! It is so fun! Some of the jet skies can even pull skiers and tubes. Canyon Lake Texas is a great place to go jet skiing! 

3. Relax on Canyon Lake Beach

Canyon Lake Texas Beach

Canyon Lake Beach is a must if boating and jet skiing are not an option.  

Can you Swim in Canyon Lake Texas?

Yes, you can swim at Canyon Lake Texas. Canyon Lake beach is a sandy beach with a roped-off area where swimmers do not have to worry about boats or jet skis coming too close.

There are 2 Canyon Lake beach areas.  If you are going to hang out at the beach I highly recommend purchasing the following items before you take your Canyon Lake day trip.

I honestly don't think we could have made it all day if we didn't have the canopy.  Texas is hot in the summer!  These canopies provided the perfect amount of shade to make our day fabulous! 

4. Swim on Canyon Lake

Swimming at Canyon Lake Texas

There are more areas to swim in than just the designated Canyon Lake beach areas.  If you drive past the beach areas you will find park areas.  At these locations, there are covered picnic tables.  There are several along the shoreline.  

You can walk out from the picnic area and swim.

How Deep is Canyon Lake Texas?

Canyon Lake is 125 ft to 134 ft in its deepest areas.  In the swimming areas, it is much more shallow.  You can walk out and still touch the bottom.

Is Canyon Lake Water Clean?

Canyon Lake water is very clean.  It is clear and beautiful! The water is a spring-fed and rain-fed lake.  There are two reasons Canyon Lake is so clear. One is the Guadalupe River runs into it and the other reason is the limestone bottom.  

Are there Alligators in Canyon Lake?

If you are from central Texas you are probably like what? What kind of question is that? Why would there be alligators? But the first question I was asked when I told people I went to Canyon Lake was β€œAre there alligators in the Lake?”  and I am happy to say No!  Alligators are pretty rare in this part of the state.  

5. Paddle Board on Canyon Lake

Paddle boarding on Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is perfect for paddle boarding.  The water is pretty smooth on most days.  

There are a few companies around Canyon Lake that rent them. However, you may want to bring them yourself.  Scheels and Sam's Club usually have the best deals but Amazon is another great place to check out.

Scheels paddle board

6. Rent A Boat at Canyon Lake Texas

Canyon Lake Austin Texas

If you don't have a boat, you HAVE to rent a boat.  You can do this at the marina or you can book a Canyon Lake Pontoon Boat Tour

Boat Rentals Near Canyon Lake Texas

  • Lake Life Boat Rental
  • Canyon Lake Adventures
  • Boat and Ski Rental Canyon Lake
  • Watercraft Inc
  • Suntex Watersports
  • Jet Ski Rentals at Canyon Lake

There are actually a lot of boat rental companies in the Canyon Lake area.  This is great news because on busy days you have a lot of options! 

7. Wind Surfing

wind surfing at Canyon Lake TX

Canyon Lake is a great place to windsurf.  The wind is pretty strong in Texas.  This makes it a perfect place to windsurf. There are windsurfing clubs in both Austin and San Antonio.  Big windsurfing events are held on Canyon Lake throughout the year.  

If you get the chance to watch a windsurfing event, that would be an awesome thing to do in Canyon Lake! 

8. Canyon Lake Dam - Overlook Park

Canyon Lake Dam Overlook Park

The Canyon Lake dam is a beautiful thing to do in Canyon Lake.  This area is free!

You can park at the top of the dam and take a .7-mile hike on the dam.  Be prepared to walk both downhill and uphill! 

This walk/hike will take you about 17 minutes. 

9. A Picnic at Canyon Lake Texas

Picnic at Canyon Lake Texas

As you enter the park there are a few areas where you can actually drive up to a picnic area.  These areas go fast during the weekend so be sure to get there early! 

Is Canyon Lake Dog Friendly? 

Yes, you can bring your little doggy companion but they have to be on a leash.  We brought two pups with us.  My sister actually has a doggy lifejacket for her Dachshund.   If you know anything about Buda, TX you will know that dachshunds are a big deal!  

10.Guided Fishing Trip at Canyon Lake Texas

Guided Fishing Trip on Canyon Lake Texas

The fishing at Canyon Lake is amazing! There are lots of stripers and bass.  Now, you can go fishing all on your own or you can book a fishing tour

This tour I am linking to has phenomenal reviews.  After reading about it, it made me want to book and I don't even fish!

11. Canyon Lake Gorge

Canyon Lake Gorge Texas

Canyon Lake Gorge is near Canyon Lake.  The gorge is an area that was formed in 2002 when the Guadalupe River flooded and water went over the spillway from Canyon Lake filling the gorge with over 50 ft of water.  

Tourist Site

This is seriously a tourist site now.  You will want to plan a full morning to explore this area.  There are several hikes. Kid-friendly activities led by rangers. You can also go on a ranger-led hike to see dinosaur bones! How cool is that!  It is really worth visiting! 

12. Canyon Lake Hiking Trails

Hiking trails at Canyon Lake Texas

There are some lovely hikes around the lake.  If you do decide to hike in summer make sure you go early in the morning.   These hikes would be awesome when it is not over 100 degrees outside! (Yes, when we went it was 103.)

Best Hikes Near Canyon Lake

  • Madrone Trail: 1-mile loop (bike, trail run, walk)
  • Canyon Lake Dam:7 miles (walk, run)
  • Guadalupe Park Trail: 1.8 miles (walk, birding, trail run)
  • James C Curry Nature Loop: .9 mile loop (walk, run)

If you know me, you will know I love to trail run.  This area has a lot of nice hikes and trails to explore.  

13. Visit The Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country

Dinosaur Museum at Canyon Lake Texas

The Heritage Museum of Texas Hill Country is a fun Canyon Lake attraction that would be good if you have some dinosaur lovers in your group.  


Adults: $5:00

Children: $4.00

Tours begin at 12:30 pm and are given every half hour until 3:30 pm.  I was planning on going however when we learned that we couldn't leave the state park without having to pay the full entry again we decided to just do the lake! 

14. Guadalupe River Rafting

Gaudalupe River Rafting

Tubing the Guadalupe River is a great thing to do in the Canyon Lake area! 

Price: As low as $20

Guadalupe River Tube Rental Companies

  • Shanty River Center
  • Tube Haus
  • White Water Sports
  • River Sports Tubes

This is a great way to beat the heat and a Canyon Lake attraction you do not want to miss out on! 

15. Whitewater Amphitheater Music Venue

Whitewater amphitheater Canyon Lake area

Whitewater Amphitheater is a legit place to go in the Canyon Lake area! Some big names have performed here.  

If you are visiting the area and want to see a fun concert check out who is performing at this awesome music venue! 

Are you Ready to Visit Canyon Lake Texas

Canyon Lake Texas Sunset

Hopefully, this has given you a great list of things to do in Canyon Lake Texas! Personally, I think a Canyon Lake day trip is not enough time.  There are so many fun Canyon Lake activities you will want to stay longer so you can do more! 

If you have any questions be sure to ask in the Facebook Group! 

Facebook Community

Join my Travel Community on Facebook This is a great group that can help answer any travel question you might have.  I also try to add any deals that companies send me as well!

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  1. Wow, there are so many activities to do in Canyon Lake! I am definitely ready to visit! I would love to rent a boat there and try Jet Ski! it seems so much fun! thanks for sharing this

  2. This looks like such a fun lake to relax at (and well, try all those water sports!) Canyon Lake Texas looks peeerfect for the summertime. πŸ™‚

    p.s. It is so cheeky that you have to pay again if you leave! You would have thought the $20 would cover you for the day!

  3. Lake Travis in Austin is the largest body of water that I’ve seen in Texas. I did not know that this particular lake was even present there! Great tips!

  4. I love going to the lake, and that one looks beautiful! I agree with having some kind of shade. It is HOT in the summer. We’ll have to keep this lake in mind for a future visit!

  5. I’ve been to Austin many times and to San Antonio but I have not heard of Canyon Lake! Looks like a fun area to visit for summer fun.

  6. Canyon Lake Texas looks like a picturesque area to visit! Having an affinity for lakes (I grew up on the largest in the NE) this makes me want to have some lake time 😊

  7. Canyon Lake Texas looks like so much fun! I’d be most interested in the jet skis. My husband has never jet skied before, and I’m finding rentals are hard to come by in most areas.

  8. We have visited Canyon Lake in Arizona. Looking forward to visiting Canyon Lake Texas. I wonder how many states have Canyon Lakes?

  9. Wow! I never knew there was a Canyon Lake in Texas! What a beautiful spot for water activities. There is so many things to do at Canyon Lake but I think I would enjoy the Heritage Museum of Texas Hill the most.

  10. Canyon Lake, Texas offers a vast amount of activities for families and all that love the outdoors. These activities would keep us occupied for hours.

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