Garner State Park

5.50 Miles
3point5stars (3.76)18
3stars (3.00)
2stars (2.29)
More Info
Good Signage
The signage in the park is very good. Signs are posted at all trail junctions. (Photo by Blaze)
White Rock Cave
White Rock Cave is a small cave along one of the trails. (Photo by Blaze)
Elevation Change
The trails run up and down several hills, giving you a challenge and good cardio workout. (Photo by Blaze)
Frio River
The Frio River is a wonderful place to enjoy the water. There are several swinging ropes hanging from the trees along the bank so you can swing and jump into the river. (Photo by Blaze)
Mountain Goat
I ran into a group of mountain goats on top of Old Baldy. (Photo by Blaze)
Crystal Cave
Sadly, Crystal Cave has been vandalized and marred with graffiti. (Photo by Blaze)
Old Baldy
This scenic overview was taken from Painted Rock. (Photo by Blaze)
Park Overview
This shot of the Frio River was taken from Old Baldy. (Photo by Blaze)
Entrance Sign
This is the sign to the park. (Photo by Blaze)
Climbing Old Baldy - Garner SP
Tough climb. (Photo by Eveline)
Log Entries
By zemaitisa12 on 3/28/2019
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 1.20 Miles Duration: 52 minutes
East & West Trails Plus Old Baldy
By Blaze on 9/22/2013
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 1point5stars
Distance: 12.20 Miles Duration: 6 hours, 9 minutes

Garner State Park is an excellent place to hike.  It offers distance, elevation, scenic overviews, and interesting places to explore along the way.  The one disappointing part of hiking this park was seeing graffiti spray painted and written all over the rocks and signs.  A few bad apples can sure screw things up for everyone else.

I started my hike from the campground and along the East Trails.  I deviated from the established trails to climb Old Baldy in the "Danger Unsafe Area" and was rewarded with spectacular views of the park.  At the top, I encountered several mountain goats.

After finishing the East Trails, I hiked the West Trails focusing all hitting all of the main trails.  As a result, I hiked up and down the hills several times and occasionally backtracked.

Aside from hiking, camping at Garner State Park looks very enticing.  Spending time on the Frio River engaging in water activities or simply cooling off in the water is a must-do.  It is very pretty and there are numerous ropes hanging from the trees so you can swing and jump into the river.

Major let down
By J3NN1F3R on 3/19/2011
Rating: halfstar Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: halfstar
Distance: N/A Duration: N/A

20 minutes north of Garner SP is Lost Maples SP. The trails are better, the views are better and the trees are better. And, unless it's fall, it is much less crowed. However, if you're looking to go swimming, stay with Garner. My husband and I went hiking at Garner last weekend (3/19/11) and were horribly disappointed. The trails are pretty bad, the crowds were loud and there was litter/graffiti all over the park. Even after an hour of hiking we could hear the obnoxious music of the pavillion. The trails were crowded with people who could not read hiking maps, were ill equiped for trails made entirely of loose rock, and did not seem to be enjoying nature at all. Go to Garner SP to enjoy the river and the "party atmosphere", but not to enjoy quality hiking.

By gypsydawn on 12/18/2010
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 4point5stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: N/A
We always go to Garner on 4th of July and in the winter. The last trip we took was in December, and the park was empty. It was amazing! My husband is just getting into hiking and climbing, so we started out on the park's main trails, but ending up going to the top of Old Baldy. The view is amazing. This really is my favorite park in Texas.
Who hasn't been to Garner?
By eaglepass1 on 5/7/2009
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 5.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Hiking at Garner can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. I've done marked trails with my tiny niece and slighty larger nephew and a bunch of out of shape folks. For more of a challenge get off the trails and try some of the cliff faces and I always like to try and get myself lost on the hills that are more like mini-mountains. It's good hiking and if you get off the trails it really opens up alot more opportunities.

To the top of Old Baldy
By Joefirefighter on 3/20/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Our last day of hiking in Garner, we decided to go to the top of Old Baldy.  Old Baldy is one of the iconic images of Garner State Park.  Ironically, Old Baldy is not in Garner State Park.  The initial climb was very steep and very rocky.  Not being a part of the park, we had to look a little to find the trail once we got up the initial climb.  We eventually made it to the top of Old Baldy.  The kids really enjoy the challenge of climbing to the top of a peak they'd been camping under for several nights. 

On the way down, we decided to go to Ice Box Cave.  The trail to Ice Box Cave had been pointed out to us two days before by an interpretive guide.  The trail follows along the face of Old Baldy.  It is very narrow with a few places requiring climbing over rocks to pass. 

The cave itself is a very narrow cleft in the rock that goes back about thirty to forty meters before ending and requiring you to sidestep back to the opening. 

For those of you climbing Old Baldy.  Please be careful about kicking rocks off from the summit.  People on the Ice Box Cave trail are very exposed.

Neat trip to highest point in park
By Joefirefighter on 3/19/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 1star
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours

We went on another guided hike.  This one took us on the Green Trail.  This took us to the highest poing in not only Garner, but in Uvalde County.  The guide, one of the park rangers was very knowledgeable about the geology and history of the area. 

We had nine children ranging in age from six to thirteen and they all had a good time.

Beautiful Vistas
By Joefirefighter on 3/18/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 1star
Distance: 4.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours

This was a guided hike with a group of twenty or so people.  The hike followed the red trail up beside Old Baldy, along a ridge to the west, down to painted rock and eventually to crystal cave before heading back to the campground.  The trail has a little less than 600 feet of net elevation gain mostly done in short fairly intense segments. 

Of particular interest were artifacts left from the days when crews of CCC workers created the trails. 

By dgray216 on 12/6/2008
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 5stars Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 12.00 Miles Duration: 5 hours, 30 minutes
By chris_xg on 10/31/2008
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 1star
Distance: 3.00 Miles Duration: N/A

The water was cold...but so worth it.

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