If you're looking for a great place to go camping in Texas, state and national parks are a great option. There are many different parks to choose from, each with its own unique set of features. No matter what your preference, there's a park that's perfect for you. We’ve compiled a list of the top 6 spots to go camping, based on amenities, scenery and family-friendliness. Whether you want to rough it in the wilderness or set up camp near civilization, we’ve got you covered. So grab your tent and sleeping bag and let’s hit the road!
National Parks and Preserves
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is one of the most beautiful and remote areas in Texas. The park is located in the Texas hill country, on the banks of the Rio Grande River. There are miles of hiking trails to explore, and plenty of opportunities for primitive and tent camping. The scenery is breathtaking, and the wildlife is abundant. Visitors can expect to see deer, javelinas, raccoons, and other animals roaming freely.
If you’re interested in tent camping, there are several great campsites to choose from. The Rio Grande Village Campground is a popular option—it’s located right on the river and has 83 individual campsites, each with a picnic table and fire ring. There are also five group campsites that can accommodate up to 25 people each. The campground has drinking water, flush toilets, and a dump station. It is open all year, but services may be limited in the winter.
Chisos Basin Campground is another good choice—it’s centrally located in the park and is a popular campground with tent sites and RV camping. There are 78 sites, each with a picnic table and fire ring. The campground has flush toilets, drinking water, and a dump station. There is a small store and laundry room in the campground.
Big Bend National Park is located in west Texas along the Texas-Mexico border, about 250 miles southeast of El Paso.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore is a 73-mile coastline that is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. The environment at Padre Island is one of the most pristine in the country, with very little development and industry to pollute the air or water. Visitors can enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing in the sheltered waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The undeveloped barrier islands provide a natural habitat for a wide variety of animals, including sea turtles, dolphins, and shorebirds.
For those looking for a more rustic outdoor experience, Padre Island National Seashore offers primitive camping, where there are no electrical or water hook-ups available. Campsites are located on the beach and in the dunes, and campers are encouraged to explore the park's 120 miles of coastline. Each campsite has its own unique set of amenities. The most popular campground on the island is the Malaquite Beach camping area, which offers beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and access to the beach. Other campgrounds on the island include the North Beach camping area, the Oso Bay camping area, and the South Beach camping area.
This spot is a beautiful, kid-friendly and dog-friendly place to camp, located in South Texas along the Gulf coast.
Texas State Parks
Inks Lake State Park
Inks Lake State Park is one of the most popular camping destinations in Texas. Located in the Hill Country, the park offers stunning views, hiking trails, and a variety of water activities. There are nearly 200 campsites at Inks Lake State Park, so there's sure to be one that's perfect for you. If you're looking for a little more privacy, there are also several cabins available for rent.
Whether you're RV camping or car camping, one of the best things about this state park is that there's never a shortage of things to do for the whole family. You can swim, fish, canoe, and hike. And, if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at rock climbing. The park is also a great place to see wildlife. Many visitors have reported seeing deer, raccoons, and other animals roaming around.
Inks Lake State Park is located in Burnet County, Texas and is open year-round.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Whether the nature lovers in your group are adults or children, camping at Enchanted Rock can be a wonderful experience. The national park service offers plenty of activities for kids to enjoy, including hiking, rock climbing, and swimming.
One of the most beautiful and geologically interesting Texas state parks, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Hiking, camping, and picnicking are popular activities, and the park offers a number of trails of varying difficulty levels. Visitors can also explore the area's geological features, including the large pink granite boulders that give the park its name. Rangers offer interpretive history programs throughout the year, and there is a visitor center with exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area.
There are three types of campsites available at Enchanted Rock: walk-in, backcountry, and equestrian. The 35 walk-in campsites are the most popular, as they are the closest to the main entrance of the park and come with picnic tables and fire pits. This makes it easy to cook food and keep warm at night. The 20 backcountry campsites are located further away from the park entrance and require a one- to three-mile hike or bike ride to get to them. Prefer to ride horses? The equestrian campsites are located on the other side of the park and can only be accessed by horseback.
Enchanted Rock is located near Fredericksburg, in the Texas Hill Country.
Colorado Bend State Park
Camping at Colorado Bend State Park is an ideal way to experience the Lone Star State. The park, located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, is home to miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as Class II and III rapids for tubing and kayaking. Visitors can also enjoy camping, fishing, and swimming in the park's natural pools and waterfalls.
There are several camping options located within the park, each with its own unique features. The Gorman Falls Campground is a small campground located near the Gorman Falls Trailhead. It offers primitive sites with no water or electric hookups. The Riverside Campground is a larger campground located on the banks of the Colorado River. It offers both primitive and electric camping, as well as showers and restrooms. The Hickory Knob Campground is a secluded campground located in a picturesque valley near the park's entrance. It offers both primitive and electric camping, as well as showers and restrooms.
This state park offers more than 35 miles of trails that wind through the hills and canyons of the area, providing hikers with plenty of opportunities to take in the natural beauty of the region. The park is also home to several amazing geological formations, including Gorman Falls, which tumbles over a 60-foot cliff into a deep pool below.
Colorado Bend State Park is located in central Texas, just north of Lampasas.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a must-see for any camping enthusiast. The dramatic scenery at this 30,000-acre state park offers a perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures, including tent camping, hiking, mountain biking, zip lining, horseback riding, and fishing. There's also a visitor center on-site that provides information about the park and the surrounding area.
With six different campgrounds to choose from, there is an option for everyone. From the secluded, shaded sites of the Cedar Brakes Campground to the wide open spaces and river views of the Lighthouse Campground, there is a perfect spot for everyone. All of the campgrounds have picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms, but some do have additional amenities such as showers and electrical hookups. No matter which campground you choose, you are sure to enjoy your stay in Palo Duro Canyon State Park!
Palo Duro Canyon is located in the Texas Panhandle near the city of Amarillo.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
The Dinosaur Valley State Park is a great place to visit because of the many activities that are available there. There are trails for hiking and biking, as well as areas for fishing and bird watching. The park is also home to a number of different dinosaur fossils, which makes it a popular destination for paleontology enthusiasts and families with young children.
There are three different camping spots to choose from, each with its own unique set of amenities. Quarry View offers stunning views of the park's quarry and has electric and water hookups, as well as a dump station.
The second spot is Ridge View, and it offers beautiful views of the surrounding ridge. This spot also has electric and water hookups, as well as a dump station. For more primitive camping, Pond View offers lovely views of -- you guessed it -- the park's pond. This spot does not have any hookups, but does have a dumping station. Keep your eye out for dinosaur tracks!
Dinosaur Valley is near Glen Rose, Texas, about 70 miles southwest of Dallas.
Guadalupe River State Park
If you're looking for a fun and affordable getaway, look no further than Guadalupe River State Park in Kerrville, Texas. This state park offers something for everyone, from camping and fishing to hiking and biking. The beautiful Guadalupe River runs right through the park, making it the perfect place to escape the Texas heat and enjoy nature. There are also plenty of amenities on site, including picnic areas, a playground, and a swimming pool.
There are three camping areas at Guadalupe River State Park offering hookup campsites as well as primitive campsites, and each has its own unique features. The Piney Woods Campground is the most primitive, with just basic campsites and no amenities. The Hill Country Campground is a bit more developed, with electric and water hookups as well as a dump station. The River View Campground is the most luxurious, with full hookups, a swimming pool, and a playground.
From the Texas Panhandle to the Texas Coast, this state has plenty of parks to satisfy all of your outdoor adventures. With its massive trees, rugged beauty, and stunning landscapes, it's easy to see why camping is so popular here. Whether you're looking for a quiet spot to get away from it all or a place to take the family for some fun and adventure, Texas has something for everyone. So pack your tent and head on out to explore what our great state has to offer! For more information about these parks, including camping rates, major holidays, and reservations online, please visit their website.
Lastly, don't forget to check out Adventure Wise for all of your camping, fishing, and hiking needs!
Which Texas state parks have you visited?