How to Spend a Perfect Day in Canyon Lake, Texas

Canyon Lake nestles in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, a sparkling gem among the steeply wooded hills. At Canyon Lake and along the Guadalupe River are some of the best water sports areas in Texas. Here locals and visitors alike participate in just about every water sport there is from crazed flyboarding to snorkeling in the shallows to angling for rainbow trout.


If you love outdoor activities and sports, you’ll love Canyon Lake. Ever since 1968 when a dam on the Guadalupe River created the 8,240-acre Canyon Lake, people have come from all over to spend a day, weekend or weeks exploring one of the prettiest regions in Texas. With 80 miles of shoreline, Canyon Lake has seven parks all offering something a little different from the others.

This scenic lake is exactly the kind of place you fall in love with and come back every year for more. You’ll find a variety of lodgings from relaxed bed-and-breakfasts to plush vacation rentals to simple tent camping in the parks. Eateries range from fine dining to catfish shacks and oyster bars, all with good food and good fun.

Here’s a quick overview of some fun ways to spend a perfect day at Canyon Lake.

Tubing on Guadalupe River

Tubing is king on the lower reaches of Guadalupe River, just downstream from Canyon Lake. Guadalupe River provides some of the best tubing in the state. Hundreds of thousands of people a year enjoy the cool waters while floating down the scenic river.

You can go solo or tie up with friends for a great party day, towing your cooler along behind you. River tubes for rent can be found all along the river at various venues, from morning to evening during daylight hours. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sunblock.


Rent a ski boat, jet ski, paddle boat or pontoon for a full day of fun on the water. Whether you prefer speedy excitement or a relaxing pontoon, boating on Canyon Lake is an adventure. Explore the extensive shoreline and check out the pretty lagoons.

Drop a line and catch some fish or dive in if you get too hot. If you own a boat or jet ski, there are 22 boat ramps around the lake for your convenience. Water safety information and rules are available from the Lake’s visitor center or local marinas.


World-class trout fishing on Guadalupe River draws fishermen from across the country. Next to tubing, angling for rainbow trout is the most popular sport on the lake. Below Canyon Dam is the best spot for rainbow especially during winter and spring. Various sizes of trout are stocked yearly on the Canyon Trace section.

If trout is not your game, many other fish abound in the lake including different kinds of bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie and shad. Kids will love fishing for catfish as they’re easy to catch on the lake, providing hours and fun and a good dinner to boot!

Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving

Safe, public beaches are located at many of the parks on the lake. When the sun is burning hot, jumping in the cool waters of Canyon Lake makes swimming the fastest way to chill. Signs mark the way around the lake to safe swimming areas. Snorkelers can explore the shallows for lost treasures, crayfish and minnows while scuba divers can check out the depths down to 120 feet with water temperatures just a few degrees shy of the surface temperature.

Whitewater Rafting

If tubers love the lower Guadalupe, the upper Guadalupe River is the spot for whitewater. Rafting, canoeing and kayaking are all great fun on this stretch of the river. Start early to beat the party crowd so you can enjoy the rapids and beautiful scenery.

Everything Else

The Canyon Lake area offers far more than just fun on the water. The River Road that winds around the lake is a fun drive in itself with many small towns to explore. Take the Canyon Lake Gorge tour for a fascinating view into the past million years. Check out the nearby Heritage Museum or head out for a wine tasting at the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards.


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