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Overlook Trail



1.0 mile 1.7 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable


Ascent: 66' 20 m
Descent: -44' -13 m
High: 1,204' 367 m
Low: 1,150' 350 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 6% (4°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Brendan Ross


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An easy diversion overlooking the Hill Country and Government Canyon's popular dinosaur tracks.

Brendan Ross

Features River/Creek · Views

Government Canyon State Natural Area is open Friday through Monday, 7 am to 10 pm. Some additional openings are found around major holidays, and there may be closures after inclement weather to protect the trails. Check their website for updates.

Admission for visitors 13 years and older is $6. Overnight camping is available.

Pets are allowed on the frontcountry trails only (Savannah Loo...

Runner Notes

Trails in Government Canyon SNA are typical of those found in the Hill Country, meaning that rocky conditions are common and trail shoes are recommended. This can considerably slow many runners' "normal" pace, so plan for a longer time on the trail than the mileage may suggest.

San Antonio experiences hot, humid summers and mild winters. The months of June to September often experience highs in the triple digits. Plan around the hottest parts of the day and bring plenty of water, as none is available away from the trailheads. Also be sure to pack out any waste produced during a visit; the SNA overlays the Edwards Aquifer and all runoff will eventually end up in the city's water supply.

Cougars, bobcats and rattlesnakes are part of the wildlife. Cougar sightings are uncommon but a potential danger; they are most active at dusk and sunrise. If out on the trail at these times, avoid running alone, and keep children and pets close at hand.


Close to some of Government Canyon's most popular features, Overlook Trail is a short detour off of the Joe Johnston Route. Look for the single marker on the right showing the starting point only a few hundred feet into Caroline's Loop. The path curves north as a packed dirt singletrack. Compared to some of the more rugged trails in the area, Overlook is generally smooth and easy, with few rocks to contend with.

It's a short, low grade climb to an opening on top of a bluff around the quarter mile point. Here, runners can experience an outstanding panorama of the Hill Country. Heading off the trail a few feet also leads to a bird's eye view of the dinosaur tracks along Joe Johnston Route. Use caution, as there is no barrier to prevent a fall, and the bluff is fifty to sixty feet high.

After enjoying the view, continue along the trail to the north. The remainder of the route is a bit more rocky, but also more shaded. Watch for tree roots and a few low-hanging branches.

Two thirds of a mile in, the trail turns southeast and heads back to Joe Johnston Route. It ends at another marker, directly across from the Zizelmann House.

Flora & Fauna

The Texas Hill Country is well known for its abundant tree life. Government Canyon exhibits a number of these varieties, including mountain laurel, Ashe juniper, mesquite and live oak. Birds and deer are the most common animals encountered in the area.

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in Texas


5 Views Last Month
248 Since Feb 14, 2016



Zizelmann House along the Joe Johnston Trail
Oct 13, 2019 near Helotes, TX
You'll know you are at the dino tracks when you see this sign.
Oct 13, 2019 near Helotes, TX
Dino tracks, covered mostly in mud and moss. Probably wrong time of year to go. Dry summer days is probably best.
Oct 13, 2019 near Helotes, TX


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