Canyon Lake Information

Canyon Lake lies in the Texas Hill country between Austin, and San Antonio, Texas, in northern Comal County. Canyon Lake covers 8,308 acres with 80 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 125 feet. The Guadalupe River feeds Canyon Lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the dam, lake, and adjacent property. The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority manages the water rights, wastewater treatment, and hydroelectric generating facilities. 

The Corps of Engineers maintains eight park areas around the lake for camping, swimming, boating, and picnicking. Comal County, the Corp of Engineers, and private parks operate public boat ramps for access to the lake, and there are 23 boat ramps in total. Canyon Lake is just a few miles west of San Marcos, and New Braunfels, Texas. Live oak trees, limestone rocks, native wildlife, and clean air dominate Canyon Lake’s notable hilly terrain with stunning waterfront views of canyons that form the Guadalupe River basin. 


Canyon Lake History

Construction of Canyon Dam began in 1958 to provide flood control and water conservation. Impoundment of Canyon Lake began in 1964, and the lake filled to its conservation level in 1968. Canyon Lake swallowed two rural communities, Cranes Mill and Hancock.

Cranes Mill developed as a stock-raising community by German immigrants seventeen miles northwest of New Braunfels and was named for J. B. Crain. J.B. built a mill at the Gum Spring crossing on the Guadalupe River in the early 1850s. When a post office began serving the community before the Civil War, it changed the community’s spelling to Crane. 

By 1872, August Engel, a minister, teacher, and store owner, ran the Cranes Mill's post office out of his store. Engel’s son succeeded him and was postmaster until another rural mail route from Fischer's Store in Fischer, Texas, began serving the communities. 

Cranes Mill had a population of 25 until the 1940s. Eventually, the Cranes Mill School was incorporated into another school district nearby. The community disappeared when Canyon Lake began impoundment. In the 1980s, the Corp of Engineers named a lakeside park, Cranes Mill Park. 

John Hancock received a land grant 1851 on the north bank of the Guadalupe River, 15 miles northwest of New Braunfels. A post office opened in Hancock in 1914 at a private residence, but was also taken over by the Fischer’s Store post office. The farming and ranching community of Hancock had a population of ten until the 1950s when it grew to 40 until Canyon Lake inundated it. Hancock eventually boasted a bowling alley, a merchandise store, and held dances.


Canyon Lake Fishing

Predominant game species in Canyon Lake are largemouth, smallmouth, Guadalupe, white, and striped bass, and blue, channel, and flathead catfish. Striped and white bass and catfish fishing are excellent on Canyon Lake. Other species include bluegill, black and white crappie, longnose and spotted gar, redbreast and redear sunfish, and tilapia, plus trout on the Guadalupe River.  

Steep rocky banks, isolated flooded timber, and clear waters characterize Canyon Lake. The water is typically clear and boosts topwater fishing during warmer months. Canyon Lake water is more stained toward the river end of the lake and is great for shallow-water fishing techniques. Trout fishing is awesome on the Guadalupe River North Trail during trout stocking season. 

Canyon Lake bass fishing guides rule this lake, but professional fishing charter services are experienced in catching all the game species in the lake. Some of these guides work several area lakes. There are 23 boat ramps and two marinas on Canyon Lake managed by different authorities and parks. 

Find experienced local guides on our Canyon Lake Fishing Guides page. 


Canyon Lake Boating

Canyon Lake has plenty of clear, open water for all types of boats and watersports on its spacious southern arm. From the air, Canyon Lake looks like a lizard in shape. It offers breathtaking views, and is extremely deep at its 125-feet maximum depth. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advises visitors to avoid swimming at Overlook Park because it has steep drop-offs underwater. Cliff diving is illegal.

Canyon Lake provides 23 boat ramps and two marinas, so boaters have no issues finding a place to launch. The two marinas rent tritoons (3-hulled pontoons), wave runners, ski boats, kayaks, and paddle boards. Scuba diving is popular because of Canyon Lake’s deep waters. Tubing is popular on the Guadalupe River. There are several other private boat rental services near Canyon Lake. There are two official swim beaches, Comal Park Swim beach on the southern border, and Canyon Swim Beach on the southern northeastern arm. 

Find or sell a boat on our Canyon Lake Boats for Sale page. 


Canyon Lake Real Estate

Canyon Lake real estate is a top ten market in Texas for lake homes and lake lots. Homebuyers can usually find 140 Canyon Lake homes for sale, and 420 lake lots and land for sale. The average list price for Canyon Lake homes for sale is $412,000, but homes and lots are offered at many different price points.

Austin, about 50 miles northeast, and San Antonio, about 45 miles southwest, of Canyon Lake are the major economic and entertainment centers near Canyon Lake. There are two Dollar General stores on the east side of Canyon Lake, and Walmarts in New Braunfels and San Marcos, both ten miles south and east. 

There are public schools around Canyon Lake which has quite a few communities on its lakefront. Comal ISD, Randolf Field School district, Mountain Valley Elementary Middle and High Schools, and Startzsville Elementary School serve Canyon Lake’s educational needs. 

To find your dream lake home, explore our Canyon Lake Homes for Sale page. 


Canyon Lake Cabin Rentals

Numerous cabins, condos, and vacation home rentals from private owners, parks, and resorts are available in different sizes with modern amenities. Canyon Lakeview Resort offers cathedral cabins and lodges that sleep up to 12 people with full kitchens, charcoal grills, hot tubs, a white sand beach, a volleyball court, a horseshoe pit, free wireless internet access, TV, and fishing access next to boat ramp. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park has cabin rentals, tent camping, and RV sites on the south side of the lake. Several hotels, resorts, and lodges ring around Canyon Lake.

Find the perfect vacation home on our Canyon Lake Cabins page. 


Canyon Lake Camping

The Corp of Engineers operates three parks with camping, Comal Park 1, Cranes Mill Park, and Canyon Park and charge fees. Cranes Mill offers 30 RV sites, 34 tent sites, water and electrical at most sites, a dump station, restrooms with hot and cold showers, boat ramp in the park with restroom facilities, and two fishing piers near the Cranes Mill Marina. 

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park offers tent and RV sites with a bunch of amenities like a water park, indoor and outdoor pools, laser tag, mini golf, and much more. North Park offers primitive camping on the northern side of Canyon Dam. Each site comes with a picnic table, standing grill, fire ring, and access to the lake with shade trees at most campsites. 

Potter’s Creek Park is open year-round with RV and tent sites, overnight screened shelters, a group site, and electric and water hookups. Every site has a picnic table, fire ring and grill, and water. It features flush toilets, showers, two dump stations with two boat ramps with docks, a fishing pier, and beach. Rangers patrol the park and hosts are on-site year-round. There are several other privately owned campgrounds and RV parks around Canyon Lake. 

Check out our list of campgrounds and RV parks for your family adventure on our Canyon Lake Camping page. 


Canyon Lake Hiking, Biking, and Equestrian Trails

The Guadalupe River Trail, at the southeastern edge of Canyon Lake, is two trails, Guadalupe North and South. Both trails equal 20 miles, but have short accessible trails for people with physical limitations. Guadalupe South has an almost one-mile long scenic walk along the bald cypress-lined banks of the Guadalupe River. Guadalupe North is populated with anglers during trout stocking season. The steep terrain in this area gives limited access to people with disabilities and physical limitations on a short, paved, fully ADA-accessible trail. 

The Overlook Park Trail at Overlook Park runs through the woods and along the shoreline. Over half of this trail is heavily shaded, and the other half is partial shade to full sun. It is a challenging 1.2-mile round trip loop.

The Madrone Trail is a great hiking trail for all levels from beginner on up, and mountain biking is allowed. Its terrain is rocky with some soil. Most of the trail runs through trees, creating cover from direct sun. The Madrone Trail varies from flat to steep on a few climbs. It totals 7.6 miles. 

The Old Hancock Trail is a 3.5-mile multi-purpose use trail along the north shoreline of Canyon Lake. This trail is designated as an equestrian trail, and hikers are welcome but need to be respectful to horseback riders. Mountain biking and fishing are also popular on this trail. Half of the trail follows the contours of the hills as it winds through the trees and back around on the outside edges of the trees.

The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country provides a guided boardwalk tour and several hiking trails. During the tour, a docent will lead you around the dinosaur trackways through the Cretaceous Garden along an aerial walkway. 


Hunting Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake staff hosts an annual white-tailed deer hunt for the physically challenged every December. There are no hunts offered by Texas Parks and Wildlife’s annual permit in Comal County. 


Things to Do at Canyon Lake

There are numerous restaurants around Canyon Lake serving a variety of cuisines, from BBQ to sushi, and most eateries serve alcohol. Tee off at Lakeside Golf Club in a cove on Canyon Lake’s southern shoreline. Its 18-hole, par-72 course at Lakeside Golf Club immerses you in rolling hills, fairways lined with live oaks, and a few holes that offer beautiful lake views. Plan your strokes carefully because each hole incorporates sand and water hazards that challenge your long and short game. 

Cruise the Scenic River Road, about ten miles southeast of Canyon Lake, which goes to New Braunfels. The breathtaking River Road is a must-see. It closely follows the Guadalupe River from the north side of New Braunfels and winds along and over the river through farms, ranches, campgrounds, and through tree tunnels. The route ends near Overlook Park.

Take a boardwalk tour at the Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country, which has been protecting and preserving over 200 dinosaur footprints and 28 separate trackways from dinosaurs made 110 million years ago. During the tour, a docent will lead you around the dinosaur trackways through the Cretaceous Garden along an aerial walkway. Docents discuss the history, geology, and details about the unique dinosaurs that roamed the Texas Hill Country. The museum is located midway between Startzville, and Sattler, Texas, about one mile southwest of Canyon Lake’s southern edge on FM 2673.  

See some of the top headlining musicians and bands in Texas at the Whitewater Amphitheater on the eastern bank of the Guadalupe River just a few miles from Canyon Lake. The Whitewater Amphitheater is an outdoor venue. It is located at 11860 FM 306, New Braunfels, Texas.

Take a tour of Canyon Lake Gorge. A flood in 2002 uprooted trees, tore away soil, sliced the ground, and created this 64-acre gorge, which revealed fossils, limestone, and dinosaur footprints 110 million years old. These are guided tours and the hike is a challenging three-hour tour. Canyon Lake Gorge is an outdoor classroom that offers advanced geology tours along with private group tours. 

No pets and rock or fossil gathering are allowed. Visitors sign a liability release form. The gorge is located at 16029 S Access Road, Canyon Lake, Texas, just a couple of miles from the southeastern border of Canyon Lake adjacent to the Canyon Lake Dam. 

Plan your next adventure with our What To Do At Canyon Lake page.


Canyon Lake Zip Codes

Comal County: 78070, 78131, 78132, 78133, 78135, 78623.


Canyon Lake Weather & Climate

Canyon Lake sees an average of 33 inches of rain, with 0 inches of snow, and 224 days of sunshine per year. The winter low in January is 38 degrees with a summer high in July of 93 degrees. April, May, and October are the most comfortable months for this region. Keep up to date with our Canyon Lake Weather Forecast page.


Flora and Fauna

During the spring, many plants put off spectacular blooms around Canyon Lake. There is an abundance of wildlife depending upon the season. Some of the wildlife species you may come in contact with are, cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, rock squirrels, striped skunks, raccoons, snakes, nine-banded armadillos, white-tailed deer, opossums, and red and gray foxes. Live oak and juniper trees dominate the landscape. 

Canyon Lake Email Updates


 

Canyon Lake Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Canyon Lake Weather Forecast

Friday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 93

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 72

Saturday

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Hi: 93

Saturday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 73

Sunday

Partly Sunny

Hi: 94

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 72

Monday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 95

Monday Night

Clear

Lo: 71


Canyon Lake Water Level (last 30 days)


Water Level on 9/16: 902.31 (-6.69)