Garner State Park

One of the smaller state parks in Texas at 1774 acres, Garner State Park stands as one of the most interesting attractions near Utopia, TX. The beautiful Frio River flows directly through the park, making for some of the best fishing on the western side of the Lone Star State.

On top of being a premier fishing location, Garner State Park has rolling hills and panoramic peaks for you to enjoy with friends and family. You can also hop in the water yourself if you're looking for a way to cool yourself down after a long hike.

In general, there's no shortages of things to do in this beautiful outdoor paradise. This guide will tell you everything you must know about the park before you arrive and what to expect when you get there!

Garner State Park FAQs

Sometimes you need a little extra information to plan your vacation. Thankfully, you can get all the answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions down below.

How much does it cost to enter Garner State Park?
  • $8 per day / per person age 13+

What are the park's opening hours?
  • 8AM - 10PM

What animals live in Garner State Park?
Garner's diverse wildlife makes it the perfect place to hunt or birdwatch, depending on your mood and the goal of your vacation. Here is a short list of some of the animals you might see here!
  • Blackrock Squirrels
  • White-Tailed Deer
  • Raccoons
  • Rio Grande Turkeys
  • Morning Doves
  • Turkey Vultures
  • Axis Deer
  • Golden-Cheeked Warbler

Fishing the Frio River

We've gone into full detail about fishing on Frio River in another article. However, it's worth giving a short recap. It's a wonderful river in the middle of the Texas desert that offers plenty of fishing opportunities for trout, bass, and other marine life.

Make sure you grab a fishing license online before you try to reel something in. You can find those digitally here. Anyone in your party over the age of 17 needs one. Anyone younger than 17 is not required to have one.

Hiking Trails

When you get to Garner State Park, you will likely notice the beautiful geological features and forests surrounding you. With a little bit of planning, you'll be able to chart your course through many of the fine trails out there. Here are a few of them:

Old Baldy, TX
  • Distance: 3.5 mi
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Make your way up to Old Baldy Peak! One of the highest points near Garner State Park, it is a little challenging, but totally worth it.

Frio Canyon Trail
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy

A milder trail for those with small kids who just want to be in the forest. You'll see rivers, small rock formations, and native wildlife!

You can find the rest of the hiking trails map here.


One of the most popular ways to go hunting in Garner State Park is through organized contract hunts for axis deer. Because the axis deer often steal food from the less common white-tailed variety, the Texas state government hires hunters to eliminate some of the excess Axis population.

You'll pay a $3 application fee, and if your name is drawn, you'll pay an additional $130 hunting fee. If you are able to sign up for these hunts, they are a blast, but even if you aren't, an out-of-state hunting license is fairly affordable if you want to go for a day.

Hopefully you've found something that interests you here! We know that Garner State Park is one of the most popular locations near Utopia, TX. If you enjoyed this article, here are a few others you might be interested in, as well.
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