Comfort at Canyon Lake

As Al and I travel around, we occasionally stumble across a location that embodies comfort.  We find ourselves in such a location at a Corps of Engineer campground at Canyon Lake in Texas, just 45 minutes north of San Antonio’s River Walk.Canyon Lake

In spite of inclement weather with record low temperatures and persistent overcast skies, we thoroughly enjoyed our week long stay.  The view out my rear window is the kind of view I relish and routinely search for.

We love parking near water and Canyon Lake provided the perfect backdrop to a beautiful campsite.  The cold dreary weather kept us indoors the majority of our stay but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the area on the couple of somewhat nice weather days we did have.Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake

Our first excursion was a visit to The Alamo and San Antonio’s River Walk.  It’s a Tuesday morning.  We hop in the truck and head into the city around 9 in the morning hoping any rush hour traffic has long past.  It turns out to be a relatively easy drive taking us about 45 minutes from the time we leave Canyon Lake until the time we’re parked in a nice parking lot…..St. Mary’s east lot.

City parking isn’t always easy when driving a pick-up truck with an extended bed.  Fortunately, we have no trouble fitting into a parking spot near Broadway and Pecan and find the $5 for the entire day to be quite a bargain.  Score!The Alamo

It’s a short and easy walk over to The Alamo where I quickly start snapping away.  It’s a brisk overcast morning with few other visitors.Alamo

The battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas revolution.  This epic battle for Texas independence took place in 1836.  There is no fee to tour this 300 year old structure, but there are a set of unique rules befitting The Alamos status as the Shrine of Texas Liberty.Alamo

Rules of Reverence –  Help Honor Their Memory

  • Gentlemen, please remove your hats inside the Shrine.
  • No open containers are allowed inside the buildings.
  • No food or drinks are allowed inside the buildings.
  • Photography is not allowed inside the buildings.
  • No camera or cell phone use is permitted inside the buildings.
  • Please do not touch the walls or display cases inside the Shrine.
  • No pets are allowed on Alamo Grounds (service animals allowed).
  • No restrooms inside the Shrine. Public restrooms located at back of grounds.
  • No obscene or offensive clothing is allowed.
  • No bikes or skateboards are allowed on the grounds.
  • Please lower your voice when speaking.
  • No unauthorized weapons are allowed. CHL allowed with permit.
  • Ice chests are allowed but must not be left unattended at any time.The Alamo

Al and I spend about an hour touring this historical landmark before venturing over to the River Walk……..

We are currently located in Benson, Arizona, making our way back to Phoenix.  The warmth of the desert is welcome but the lure of Texas is strong.  I see more Texas explorations in our future.  For now, we look forward to visiting our son in Phoenix.


62 thoughts on “Comfort at Canyon Lake

  1. We’ve been to the Alamo quite a few times and really enjoy going there. Loved the view out your window at Canyon Lake. We’re going to have to check that site out. Right now we’re right down the road from you in Tucson but heading in that direction. That’s for the info. So, Canyon Lake COE is about 45 minutes from the SAT airport?

    • Yep, should be about 45 min. depending on traffic. We stayed at Cranes Mill campground and any of the lakeside sites have a beautiful view. We also liked the looks of the Potters Creek Campground, much bigger but looked to be a bit further from the city.
      Sounds like our paths will be crossing. From Benson we’ll head to Phoenix on Tuesday. We forgot it was a 3 day weekend and almost left Sunday. Safe travels 🙂

  2. Ah, that sunset shot is breathtaking! We loved visiting all the missions in that area of Texas. Too bad the weather didn’t cooperate. We stayed in San Antonio for three weeks and hiked the trail right outside our campground, over to the River Walk, everyday. You will just have to go back for another visit.

  3. Our daughter lives in the SA area and we’ve been several times, but somehow never made it to the Alamo so I enjoyed your visit. It’s always nice to stumble onto something positive.

  4. The Alamo is one place I’d like to visit. As it is for me with most places of historical significance, I like “the feel” of the place and imagine that at the Alamo, you can sense that something momentous happened there. Thanks for taking me along with you. 😉

  5. We will be heading there next Wednesday! The weather here is 84 today..WOOT!WOOT!…I forgot to tell you to stop in at Menger’s Bar down by the Alamo…That’s where Teddy Roosevelt recruited his “Rough Riders”…really neat bar ( leave it to me to find a bar, right?)

  6. That sunset picture is beautiful! I loved visiting the Alamo but was surprised by how small it truly is and like right smack in the middle of regular old San Antonio… You turn a corner and there it is.

    • Thanks and yes, it is rather small. That seems to be the general consensus. I was pleasantly surprised The Alamo and River Walk were so close to one another. Great city!

  7. Great photos of Alamo, Ingrid! The sunset is gorgeous. $5 a day parking, I’ll look for the spot next time. I haven’t visited the Canyon Lake.Thanks for the information!

    • We think Canyon Lake is a great spot to call home while we explore the area and we would stay there again in a heartbeat. I know, 5 bucks for the day was pretty awesome.
      Oh, how I’m longing for some yummy pastries from the Old German Bakery 😉 Working on that post….a tad behind!

  8. Love your new campsite. We always try to find water wherever we go, and being able to see it right out of our window is the best of all worlds for us.

  9. COEs are a great GEM in Texas. Glad your stay was good even with the weather. BTW, today the sun is again out and temps up to 70 with no wind. YEA

    • Unfortunately an appointment in Phoenix had us moving on sooner than we wanted. But at least we managed a quick overview and look forward to returning 🙂

  10. I really enjoyed reading about your visit to the Alamo. It’s been over 40 years since I went there and your description brought back good memories. Thanks.

    We love COE parks and stay in them whenever possible. I’ve just added Canyon Lake to my list of parks to visit when we travel to Texas. Which campground were you in?

    • We happened to stay at the Cranes Mill Park Campground only because it seemed like it would be an easier drive into San Antonio. We checked out Potters Creek and would definitely enjoy staying there as well. I don’t think you could go wrong with either campground. I know we already look forward to a return visit.

  11. The sunset shot is something else… the Alamo with its rules, deservedly so, it brought back a memory I have of when in Washington, we decided we should visit the Vietnam Vets wall, a man 10 yards in front of me was approaching the wall smoking… a few of the vets let him know in no uncertain terms what would happen if he proceeded to the wall with his cigarette… not the sort of guys I’d have tackled… but it did stick in my mind the patriotism of the American nation… something I felt strongly when visiting Arlington … oh boy that changing of the guard at the shrine of the unknown soldier was spectacular… it even made me stick out my chest…

    • Thanks Bulldog. I sure enjoyed those sunsets. Yes patriotism is some serious biz here in American. I watched a documentary about the guards at the shrine of the unknown……wow….talk about dedication. Visiting The Alamo was special 🙂

    • We’re back in the desert enjoying the warmth and sunshine. We’ll be back in Phoenix on Sunday. We really did love our time in Texas and I know we’ll go back 🙂

    • We enjoyed every stop in Texas so much we look forward to going back and exploring even more. Now we’re faced with a dilemma…..winter in the desert or winter in Texas. Isn’t it wonderful to have choices 🙂

  12. I miss going to San Antonio a lot. The riverwalk is just amazing, especially at Christmastime when they have all the lights out. I’m interested in that COE park where you stayed. Is there a site online to check them out or reserve spots? Also curious about the hookups they provide, too. Sorry the weather was terrible. Wish you could have stayed a few more days, as it is going to be beautiful here this weekend.

    • In my first paragraph the word campground is in blue….click on it. We stayed at the Cranes Mill Park Campground but the Potters Creek Campground is even nicer…..just further from San Antonio. We had electric and water. There’s a dump station on site which we used upon departure.
      Al and I were just discussing how pretty the Riverwalk must be at night around Christmas. Humm, a definite consideration to ponder!

  13. Looks like a great campground. I’m making a note of it for our trip through Texas next fall. Also the $5 parking area for the entire day! As you said it can be a challenge to find reasonable parking for a large truck in the city. Thanks for all the useful info!

    • We sure like campsites near water, don’t we! Great internet connection as well. I’m really glad we stayed here instead of one of the RV Parks closer to the city. I know we’ll return. Oh, and the parking fee jumps to a whopping $7 on Fridays and Saturdays.

  14. We stay in COE campgrounds whenever we can find them — we’ll have to put Canyon Lake on our list! We also have really enjoyed our travels in Texas — I’ll bet you would like Fort Davis State Park in the Davis Mountains and the nearby towns of Marfa and Alpine. Austin is fun, too, especially if you can get into Pecan Grove RV Park. And we loved Hueco Tanks State Park near El Paso, not a place we would ordinarily think of spending time, but it’s a unique cultural site with fabulous hiking.

    • We ended up having to cut our Texas excursion short due to an appointment in Phx and are already in talks about next winters locations. Thanks for all the tidbits on great places to see/stop in Texas. Our list continues to grow 🙂

  15. We love COE parks. All the ones we have been at are fantastic. If you ever get to Little Rock, AR, be sure to stay at Maumelle State Park, another COE park. Awesome and there is so much to do in that area.

    Hope you enjoyed your walk.

    • Thank you for the info on the COE in AR. We’re hoping to visit friends in AR in the next couple of years so appreciate. I think we’ll be checking into more COE campgrounds as this one was absolutely lovely 🙂

  16. Ingrid, that first photo is absolutely gorgeous! What a view! We’ve never stayed at a COE park, either but we’ve heard they are usually very nice with huge, well maintained sites. Your site sure looks that way.

    We did a long weekend trip to that area long before we moved into the MH. I really enjoyed the River Walk. TX is a place we aren’t planning to visit but you have really started me thinking with your visit.

    Enjoy your time with your son:) Our daughter arrives Sat. for a long weekend visit.

    • We loved this campground. That top photo was taken at the shore just behind our campsite. This is the kind of place I don’t mind doing without a sewer connection. It’s all about the view and space.
      Texas has a lot to offer. I know we’ll go back. Have fun with Jessica!

      • Thanks, Ingrid:) So glad she isn’t coming til Sat. with the amount of snow they received Thursday. She is staying at an airport hotel Friday night because they are calling for another few inches Friday evening which could make her trip Sat morning tricky. Sure hope she gets her.

        I don’t mind giving up sewer (even water as times) for a beautiful spot. You have shown us lots of very interesting things in TX.

        • Fingers crossed Jessica’s travels are uneventful. Isn’t the weather crazy this winter? For an amazing view, I’m willing to sacrifice some conveniences and Canyon Lake was just such a location. We loved Texas, now we’re faced with a dilemma…..winter in the desert or Texas 😉

    • Nothing better than staying near the water with plenty of room. The weather was horrible while we were there. Freezing rain, school closures, etc. so our explorations were limited. Ah, more reason to return!

    • I would definitely recommend Canyon Lake. We stayed at Cranes Mill but would consider staying at Potters Creek. We wanted to be closer to San Antonio and thus chose Cranes Mill. It’s a beautiful park 🙂

    • This was our first COE campground and at $14 a night (with senior card) how can you go wrong? We would stay here again in a heart beat and didn’t think it was difficult to get around. The weather kept us from exploring all the things on our list, but we plan to return next winter with hopefully better temps.

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