The best camping near Government Canyon State Natural Area

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Government Canyon adventure.

88% (4 reviews)
88% (4 reviews)

An unspoiled backcountry wilderness preserve near San Antonio.  

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Community favorites near Government Canyon State Natural Area

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Government Canyon State Natural Area

96%
(869)

Sparrow Bend River Retreat

11 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents8 acres · Pipe Creek, TX
Sparrow Bend River Retreat is a beautiful 8 acre multi-site vacation rental property with camping, RV sites and 2 vacation homes.With a private 300yard stretch of the crystal-clear, spring fed MEDINA RIVER your party will spend the day exploring its majestic cliffs and coves, paddling/floating the river (tubes and kayaks for rent), splashing in the shallows, playing yard games on the lawn or sunbathing on a massive bolder.Enjoy a delicious and memorable dinner in Lakehills (15min), Bandera (20min) or Boerne (25min). Or stay in and grill out over the fire, or at the provided grill.Camp sites each have a customized picnic table for you convenience.Spend you evening sharing laughs around the provided firepit as you take in the dazzling canopy of stars. (Firewood available for sale)Our family has always dreamed of hosting a place for families and friends to come enjoy nature however we would have never dreamed of finding a property as unique and beautiful as this. A lake when the water is high, a beautiful river when the waters low. All crowned by a majestic limestone bluff, complete with boulders, coves and endless room for adventures.This land was once a part of a wagon trail along the river and, if you're lucky, you can still find arrowheads along the paths.The property is gated with a high privacy fence along the neighboring borders for security.
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$61
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94%
(1251)

Lost Woods

43 sites · RVs, Tents55 acres · San Antonio, TX
Welcome to our little piece of paradise! 55 acres of woods hidden near town. A network of trails criss-cross the creek and wind throughout the property under a peaceful canopy of large beautiful trees. Don't be surprised if you run into deer, squirrels, or roadrunners! Our property is home to a wide variety of hill-country wildlife. - Each of our campsites are private and surrounded by forest. - Each site has a fire ring for campfires - Our trees are our most precious natural resource and set this campground apart! Please don't do anything to harm them. - Port-o-john is available on site. - All of our campsites are primitive. No electric or water here. - When you camp with us you are welcome to explore and play on the entire property! We have 55 acres of trails and woods to explore! Please bring your bikes, trail shoes, or whatever helps you have fun in the wild! - Hammocks welcome! We have so many trees! All of our sites are hammock-friendly. - When you check-in, just text us, your host will help you find your campsite. - Some sites are drive-in where your vehicle can park right next to the fire. Others are walk-in and require a short hike of 100' or less from your parking space. You can indicate your preference during booking or at check-in. If you want to drive right into your site, Campsites 2, 3, 6, and 12 are the sites you want. Some of our campsites are more secluded than others and offer extreme privacy in the most beautiful settings we have to offer. If you're looking for a wilder campsite surrounded by huge old trees and all the peace the woods have to offer, just request Campsites 4, 5, 7, or 8. Each of these sites requires a walk of at least 50' from your vehicle to the fire ring. Site 13 is only for backpackers or people willing to hike about 500 yards to the campsite over rough terrain. There is no way to drive to it or even get close except on foot. But it is spectacular and beautiful! Only three sites can accommodate a smaller trailer or camper. Site 1, Site 2, and site 6. Please notify me in your booking if you intend to bring a camper and I can accommodate you. We practice leave-no-trace as much as possible. So please pack out anything you pack in. You are responsible for removing all trash. If any garbage is left behind in your site you will be billed for the cleanup. We have a dumpster located near the front gate. Please use it and put all your trash in there. Heads-up! We have a small farm on the property. Dogs are always welcome and we LOVE our furry friends! For their safety and the safety of our livestock please keep them leashed while on property.
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$50
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100%
(132)

Chula Vista Farms

4 sites · Tents1 acres · Helotes, TX
I was not looking for another house to buy, but my daughter wanted me to look at a "little cottage" in Old Town Helotes. Just to shut her up, I made an appointment on a rainy day so I could not see/access the back of the property. The house was 3,000 sq feet and I fell so madly in love with it that I made an offer two hours later. I saw the potential of both house and land. Only after moving in did I walk the pasture and realize how much land I had bought. The house was featured in the San Antonio Express News (Spaces 2/27/2011) as a home for the arts because I collect folk art—mostly from Mexico.  My daughter Kelly and I worked on the front gardens first—butterfly and cactus gardens, always mindful of choosing local plants and trees. In the spring, the mountain laurels add color; honeysuckle and jasmine scent the land and the flowers on the cacti bloom scarlet and yellow. The summer and fall produce the yellow and orange Esperanza bushes and the Mexican Bougainvillea.  Three years ago, I decided to maximize the use of the back pasture which is separated from the front by a dry creek bed. Kelly and I started an heirloom vegetable farm with raised beds and terracing. We installed some stone steps for easier access. According to the "old folks" here, this property was part of a ranch on the stagecoach line replete with cowboys and Indians, started out as a two-room stone shack and blossomed into a Cinderella home with Moroccan arched ceilings and even a wine cellar. Learn more about this land:As parking is on one side of the creek and camping is across the creek, RV's and camper vehicles are discouraged. However, if you message me prior to booking, we can accommodate one low one under the oaks in the front and you will have access to front chiminea and back pasture amenities also.We are proud to announce that our campsite has been nominated for Best Hipcamp in Texas for 2019 and was recently featured on television to promote Hipcamp. The video can be found under S A Live Hipcamp and provides a visual description of the layout of the property.Note: Only two tents per site and only two cars per site. Mardi Gras in the Cowboy Capitol: Bandera, Texas. Fun will begin Thursday, 2/17 and continue till Saturday, 2/19. Please visit website for tickets/events including bull riding.So you want to spend a weekend at Chula Vista Farms and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Here is the recipe for a unique experience. You check in Friday afternoon and set up camp. Then you walk into Old Town, shop at the antique shops and gallery (Hill Country artists), have a beer with the old-timers at an outdoor picnic table at the Country Club, have dinner at El Chaparral Mexican Restaurant or Big Daddy's BBQ. Then you kick back-- sipping a glass of wine at Wine 101. Then you carefully walk  back to the farm, sit in the zero-gravity chairs, watch the stars, and listen to country music coming from Floore's Country Store. Next morning, you walk to the Cracked Mug in Old Town for coffee, and then, for breakfast,  drive 30 miles through the Hill Country to the  famous OST Cafe (Old Spanish Trail) in Bandera--the Cowboy Capital.  Not only is the cafe famous for its western saddle bar stools, its John Wayne room, its down-home cooking--it is also the destination for the leather-clad,  serious-helmeted motorcycle riders from San Antonio who rendezvous and ride up there every Saturday. So you end up with quite an eclectic crowd: serious old-time ranchers, drug-store cowboys, the Steve McQueen type motorcycle racers, and the tourists. And the prices are right! Then, after visiting Bandera, you head out Hwy 73 for 13 miles to Camp Verde--an old Army Camel Fort from the 1840's with a still-functioning post office, and a gorgeous restaurant along the banks of the river (best onion rings this side of heaven).   On the return on Hwy 16 (Bandera Road), turn off on PR-37 and visit Medina Lake., Then you return to camp for siesta--before  repeating last night's adventure. Next morning, you walk into Old Town and have breakfast at the Helotes Bakery--full breakfast and baked goods--Texas-size Cream Puffs. On the way home, you stop in Grey Forest and walk/hike through the one-lane roads of this enchanting artist colony with its 300+ cottages and rock homes. Some important dates for Floore's Country Store where you can camp and walk to the shows American Aquarium  (11/13); Kody West:  11/19;  Kyle Nix of the Turnpike Troubadours: 11/27; Kolby Cooper: 12/3; Last Bandaleros & Vandoliers: 12/9; Read Southhall Band: 12/10; Mike and the Moonpies  (12/11). Please check with Floore's  to make sure of dates.  Also every first Saturday, Old Town hosts Market Days--music, crafts and food. We are beginning to host artists who want to paint the Texas Hill Country--what a neat idea: camping and painting. Old Town has just opened its first art gallery featuring local artists and Chula Vista Farms is hosting its second "en plein air" event in the fall.Ten miles from the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Chula Vista Farms, in Old Town Helotes,  lies at the gateway to the Texas Hill Country. Camp under magnificent old oaks in the front area or up in the back pasture ( with our heirloom tomatoes) across the creek. See the stars (no city lights) and experience total tranquility. Old Town Helotes is home to several antique stores, wine and coffee bars, El Chaparral Mexican Restaurant and Floore's Country Store—the oldest honky-tonk in Texas where Willie Nelson plays twice a year and country music bands play on weekends. You can hear the music from your campsite. Chula Vista Farms is part of Old Town Helotes so you can walk to the restaurants and shops. Across the highway (four miles) is the quaint town of Grey Forest with hundreds of artists' cottages and gorgeous walking trails with hills; three miles away is HEB plus—a mega-grocery and wine store; 10 miles is downtown San Antonio with the  Riverwalk;  30 miles is Bandera—the Cowboy Capital of the world—a stunning drive of hills and western panoramas--home to the famous OST (Old Spanish Trail) cafe and 13 miles from Bandera lies Camp Verde-with,  serene streams, lovely picnic area, a still-functioning post office (from the 1850"s), and a famous restaurant with panoramic views. Camp Verde sits on land which housed a civil-war-era army fort which experimented with camels from Egypt. Four miles away from Chula Vista is Government Canyon -a primitive hiking experience. Chula Vista Farms has five private campsites in the back pasture. This field is also ideal for group camping--20 tents could be accommodated. We have a communal fire pit, tables,  adirondack and  zero-gravity chairs  and four chimmineas for easy, romantic fires. We can accommodate small pop-up campers under the oaks in front area--but only one at a time. Please ask before booking. Thanks!You could spend a week here and not run out of things to do: shopping, sight-seeing, walking, hiking, eating, drinking, relaxing, cooking,  painting, sitting by the fire, listening to country music and, of course, camping and being close to nature.    And if that is not enough, we can put you to work with our heirloom tomato, herb and vegetable farm where names such as Eritrea Basil;  White Icicle Radish; Ruby Queen Beets; and tomatoes with exotic titles: Black Vernissage; Black Beauty; Indigo Apple; Ananas Noire; Pork Chop; Lucid Gem and my favorite- Chestnut Chocolate- constitute the language of the day.
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$37
 / night
100%
(2)

Holladay Camping

34 sites · Tents20 acres · Boerne, TX
Twenty raw acres nestled in the heart of the Hill Country, just a short drive northwest of San Antonio. Easy to find, with wide open sky, perfect for viewing the eclipse or just watching for falling stars. It's just a short walk to local PoPo's Restaurant and the Dollar Store, or about a mile walk/bike ride in the other direction to visit and enjoy Joshua Springs Park & Preserve, where you can hike the trails, go paddling in your canoe or kayak, or take advantage of the bird blinds to see a painted bunting or any of the other local birds.
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$29
 / night
100%
(1)

Haby Ranch

336 sites · RVs, Tents1100 acres · Lake Medina Shores, TX
Come enjoy over 1000 acres of a 3500 acre Texas ranch. Perfect for fossil hunting, biking, hiking, stargazing, and exploring the great outdoors. Depending on rain and current water levels, you can also enjoy creeks, swimming holes, and waterfalls. Unplug and make memories sure to last a lifetime. Located 10 miles from Bandera, Cowboy Capital of the World.
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$55
 / night
95%
(142)

HomeAway Ranch & Wildlife Preserve

60 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents100 acres · Boerne, TX
We're happily retired partners loving life in this wonderful oasis... And working hard to make it a bit better for our animals and guests, every single day. Mickey's recently retired from 21 years traveling the world with International Joint Special Forces and Vicky's a Cordon Bleu Chef who also recently retired. We are living our dream "retirement" in this gorgeous wooded Texas Hill-Country, caring for and playing with all sorts of fun animals and welcoming lovely people to our ranch/wildlife preserve/nature- resort, personally ensuring everyone has a memorable experience, from customized horseback-riding experiences (everything from trail rides, to horseback riding lessons to weddings and vows-renewals on horseback), to serving as concierge to preparing that special "made to order" fresh country breakfasts, champagne brunches and romantic or fun meals and treats like chocolate covered strawberries for any special occasion, including anniversaries and birthdays.
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$35
 / night
89%
(61)

Alamo River RV Resort

55 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents100 acres · Von Ormy, TX
Alamo River RV Resort City Close, Country Quiet! Cozy RV park and campground on the Medina River just south of San Antonio. We accommodate RV's, Motorhomes, Campers and tents. We have 2 fully appointed Deluxe cabins and 1 Rustic cabin on site. Come relax on the river! Fishing, canoeing, kayaking and campfires allowed.
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$40
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100%
(69)

Old Herrera Ranch - Medina River

9 sites · RVs, Tents5 acres · Von Ormy, TX
We're a five acre piece of an historic Texas ranch in Southwest San Antonio, just 20-minutes from downtown, sitting along the Medina River. Come for the day or stay the night for some primitive camping. We've got plenty of room for tents, roof-top-tent setups or car/van dry-camping. We’re currently in the building/restoring process, but we’ll have some electrical, drinking water, fire pits, plenty of shade, compost toilets, water in the river, and plenty of good vibes.  Old Herrera Ranch has been in our family since the early 1800's and holds a lot history. A couple of our old buildings, the "jacals", are dated from around the 1830-40's. You'll also see the old "Dance Hall" which is great for hanging out or even some cover if it rains. They say that Santa Anna's army, invading from Mexico, may have crossed through our area on their way to the Alamo. This may be because our part of the river includes some of the more shallow areas of the Medina River. For more information, feel free to take a look at our page on the San Antonio Conservation Society's website https://farmandranch.omeka.net/exhibits/show/blasherreraranch We use Hipcamp to help maintain, preserve, and restore the land my family loves so deeply. We're excited to share it with you and see what all we'll be able to do. Thank you in advance for your support! Coming soon: picnic tables, benches, outdoor cooking area, South Texas Jungle Gym, Pink Elephant Cantina (BYOB), and more!
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$40
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98%
(285)

Overalls and Bird Calls

12 sites · Tents45 acres · Timberwood Park, TX
Welcome to the Cibolo Gardens Nature Preserve! Just 22 miles from downtown San Antonio, not far off of US 281, our educational homestead is an excellent place to camp. We’ve transformed 45 acres of what was once an active rock quarry just 15 years ago, into a healthy, regenerative, green space as well as an event and training venue. Our venue is nestled in the middle of the rapidly growing suburban landscape around us in north San Antonio. We purchased the property five years ago from good friends who had already started the mission of revitalizing the land. Today, 39 of the acres are in “preservation” status, which means that we are letting the natural micro-ecosystems that have developed from what remained of the quarrying activities 15 years ago to develop on their own. We hope to always keep this acreage in that status for generations to enjoy. The remaining 6 acres is wooded, where we live, have gardens, farm animals and where we interface equitably with our environment. Feel free to simply relax in the shade of the persimmon and juniper trees. Or, to add some activity to your stay, hike the varying terrain on our 45 acres, hunt for fossils in the dry creek bed, break out your tree / plant id books, or watch the wildlife (even if it’s just the chickens).  Refresh by taking a dip in the above ground pool, or wash off in the outdoor cob shower.  [Please be advised that besides campers, we also host homesteading, wilderness survival and herbal medicine classes on our site.  So, you might have company, but you'll definitely have room for privacy. ]  If you want to explore more Hill Country, nearby attractions for outdoor fun include the Guadalupe River State Park (16mi), Guadalupe Canoe Livery where you can rent tubes and kayaks on the river (16 mi) or Natural Bridge Cavern (17mi).
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$30
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100%
(4)

The Charmadillo: 21+ A-frame Resort

27 sites · Lodging, Tents44 acres · Center Point, TX
A 21+ getaway tucked deep into 44 magical acres of rolling hills. 10 minutes outside of Center Point, Texas. Tucked into the top of a beautiful valley, where hills rule supreme! While on the property spend your time enjoying the rugged trails, bird watching, dark night skies, and the quiet. Don't forget to take advantage of our communal amenities including sauna and outdoor shower! Currently we have 7 A-frame cabins to rent with more lodging and camping options to come Spring 2024! If you're interested in booking the whole property for your group shoot us a message! The Charmadillo is a great base to explore the area! About an hour from both Garner State Park and Lost Maples. About 35 minutes to Hill Country State Natural Area. Various access points to the Guadalupe river via Center Point and Kerrville. With the addition of wineries, honkytonks, and charming bars and restaurants throughout the region.
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$45
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82%
(119)

Rebecca Creek Campgrounds

34 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents16 acres · Spring Branch, TX
Rebecca Creek Campgrounds started out as a smaller Campground and Marina back in 1963! Over the years has grown and changed hands a few times to become an RV Park, Primitive Campgrounds, Cabins, Glamping. The newest ownership in 2021 is revamping this charming Hill Country Spot into a destination Campground for all Campers, Weekenders and RVs to enjoy for years to come!! With this drought, our part of the River has dried up and we can just pray for the rain Gods to bring it back soon!! Till then, Camping and hanging out with family is the best with the HIll country view out here under the big Texas starry sky!!
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$10
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98%
(324)

Al's Hideaway Eclipse viewing

35 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents20 acres · Lakehills, TX
Built on 20 acres in the Texas Hill Country we developed only three acres so that we did not displace any wildlife. We have hiking on site , a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, and a large smoker for all our guest to use. Al's Hideaway has a app now that you can check out all the events going on in the area. There is something for everyone in this area, animal encounters, horseback riding, musuems, caves, hiking, motorcycle riding, wineries, breweries and distillaries, concerts and shopping.
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$40
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The best camping near Government Canyon State Natural Area guide

Overview

About

Get away from it all at this 12,000-acre rugged natural area located in Bexar County about 25 miles northwest of downtown San Antonio. Government Canyon State Natural Area offers 40 miles of trails overlooking unspoiled acreage full of trees, wildlife, and even dinosaur tracks. Secluded front-country campsites, 23 backcountry tent campsites, and two group tent campsites are available on weekends, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in nature as you sleep under the stars.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Camping is only available at Government Canyon State Natural Area on weekends and select major holidays, such as spring break.
  2. Advanced reservations are recommended through the Texas State Parks reservation website for all camping. Reservations can be made up to five months in advance.
  3. Due to the limited camping spots available, Government Canyon State Natural Area frequently is fully booked to capacity. 

When to go

If you’re interested in hiking through the Protected Habitat Area trails, plan to visit between September through February; the rest of the year, those trails are closed. September through November can be lovely months to camp in central Texas due to the more temperate weather. It’s also helpful to keep an eye on the forecast—preservation efforts mean that rain or other inclement weather will close down all trails in this preserve, which would be a bummer if you’d had your heart set on hiking here.  

Know before you go

  • Campsites do not include electricity. Composting toilets are available, and potable water is available at the parking lot.
  • Dinosaur tracks dating back 110 million years can be seen along the Joe Johnston Route, a five-mile rugged round-trip hike. 
  • Hikers should bring sturdy hiking shoes or boots, as the trails are sometimes ungroomed.
  • Pets are allowed only on the front-country trails due to the fragile ecosystem of the protected habitat area.

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