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Having lived in the Lone Star State for over three years, and returning often for vacation or work, Texas holds a special place in my heart. While my camping there was restricted to Cub Scout and Boy Scout camps, there are so many beautiful areas in Texas. In this guest post, the author shares the 10 best campsites in Texas with us.
Guest post by Jay Steele
Do you want to camp in Texas? The south-central state is the second largest state in the United States in terms of area and population.
Being a very large state means that there are numerous campsites, making Texas an ideal state for camping if you’re looking for options.
But on the other hand, these numbers can also make it difficult when you are trying to choose which of these (Texas) campsites to choose for your next camping trip.
10 Best Campsites in Texas
So, to make it easier for you to pick an ideal one, here are the ten best campsites in Texas;
1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
The Palo Duro Canyon State Park is known as the Grand Canyon of Texas and is the second-largest canyon in the state. Its beauty and history have attracted visitors from all over the country.
There are historical markers, hiking trails, biking trails, public showers, restrooms, and of course, multiple camping and parking areas at this campsite. You can camp in these areas using a camping tent or RV. And since winter is almost here, you may want to consider getting a winter tent with a stove jack if you are tent camping.
This campsite boasts of seven unique cabins known as the Cowcamp Cabins. There are four on the canyon floor and three on the canyon rim. You can book reservations to stay at these cabins overnight. There are also Doves Rest Cabins.
Would you like to go on a horse ride? The Grand Canyon of Texas has about 1,500 acres of land for horseback riding. What more? You can enjoy shows and more at the Texas Outdoor Musical located within the campground.
2. Big Bend National Park
Located in western Texas and close to the Mexican border, the Big Bend National Park is known to many as a natural wonder. Notably, it’s home to wildlife.
The Big Bend National Park houses four major campsites. These include the Chisos basin Campground, Rio Grande Village Campground, Cottonwood Campground, and the Rio Grande Village RV Park.
As you would guess, the first three are for tent camping while the last is for RV camping. The camping tent campsites are managed by the National Park Service, while Forever Resorts manage the RV campsite.
You can occupy a particular camp area for up to 14 nights and can only spend 28 total nights in the park per year. Campfires are not allowed within the camp, but you can prepare meals using a good camping stove.
3. McKinney Falls State Park
The McKinney Falls State Park lies in Austin. It measures about 640 acres and has more than 80 campsites with a primitive youth camping area. At this campground, you can go for hikes, birding, mountain biking, and much more.
This is an ideal campground if you want to enjoy the sights of the flowing Onion Creek. It’s recommended if you’re looking for a Texas campsite with fishing and swimming opportunity.
You can come along with your camping tents or rent and use any of the parks’ Sox remodeled cabins.
For hiking and biking, there are about nine miles of trails available. The campsites have electricity and water hookups, so you shouldn’t worry about these amenities.
From this campsite, you can enjoy the many attractions Austin offers, including museums, restaurants, and good music. All you need to do is take a short drive.
4. Guadalupe River State Park
From the description, it’s clear that this State Park’s primary site is the Guadalupe River. So, if you need a good Texas campsite where you can go canoeing and fishing, you can go with this.
Majority of people who visit this campground come to swim. Nevertheless, the park has a large land area, so it is suitable for camping, hiking, biking, and bird watching.
There are nine walk-in tent campsites and 85 water and electric campsites. Hiking is best in the Bauer Unit area. Here there are trails rated according to their difficulties – moderate to challenging.
Camping here is easy as the park offers all the camping equipment you’ll need for rent. You can simply drive here and hire everything.
There is a park store where you can purchase firewood for your camping stove and other stuff, including ice and gifts.
5. Padre Island
Texas is home to Padre Island, which is home to plenty of campsites. The Island combines grasslands, wetlands, tidal flats, dunes, and white sandy beaches.
The many campsites in Padre Island are situated in five areas. This includes the Malaquite Campground, South Beach Primitive Camping, Bird Island Basin Campground, North Beach Primitive Campground, and the Yarborough Pass Primitive Campground.
It’s a free campsite, so you don’t get to pay any money. As a result, there are no reservations, and the camp operates on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, you would need camping permits to camp here and get them at each campground entrance.
Furthermore, you have to bring everything you need along with water, electricity, food, firewood, gas, etc. The campground does have a couple of rules. For example, if you’re staying overnight, you’re not allowed to keep your generator running from 10 pm until 6 am.
6. Colorado Bend State Park
Just two hours northwest of Austin, Texas, you’ll find the Colorado Bend State Park. A wilderness and a great place to camp and experience nature.
This campground features walk-in tent sites, drive-up sites, and primitive hike-in sites. There are water hookups in the walk-in tent sites but none in the other sites, although there is water in both areas.
Would you like to tour caves? The Colorado Bend State Park has a couple of them. You would need to book a cave tour reservation ahead.
Furthermore, there’s the Gorman Falls, where you can hike over 3 miles. The terrain is rocky and rough, but the view of the 70-foot spring-fed waterfall at the end is worth it.
Other interesting sights in this campground include the Spicewood spring and over 155 species of birds.
7. Garner State Park
If you visit Garner State Park once, I bet you’ll want to return. That’s why it is one of the ten best campsites in Texas. It lays just next to the Frio River with many camping options and hiking trails.
You can set up your camping tent on the campsites or rent any cabins and screened shelters. Also, you can go on a ride on the Frio River. There are boats and kayaks available for hire within the park. Other stuff you can rent includes barbecue pits, tables, fans, and heaters.
If you visit the Garner State Park during summer, you can experience the summer dance – jukebox dance. This activity attracts so many visitors that it’ll be impossible to find space if you don’t arrive early.
This campground is not so far from the Briscoe-Garner Museum.
8. Caprock Canyons
This campground is located in Briscoe County, and it’s a relatively large campground with over 15,000 acres. You can camp here at hike-in primitive sites, drive-up sites, and equestrian campsites.
Both camp renting and RV tenting is allowed. Also, you can grill using a camping stove or set up BBQ pits and fire rings.
Caprock Canyons is home to bison and bats. You can find the bats in the Clarity Tunnel and the bison on the plains.
This campground features 90 miles of trails where you can bike or hike. There are very difficult trails like the Haynes Ridge Overlook Trail and easy trails like the Mesa Trail. You shouldn’t bike on difficult trails unless you’re a pro biker.
Caprock Canyons is also home to Lake Theo, so you can go fishing, swimming, or boat riding.
9. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
This is one of the oldest camping areas in Texas. Here, you’ll find the large pink granite dome (the Enchanted Rock), which is a regular sight in central Texas.
It has been around for centuries and is ideal for park camping and hiking. The Enchanted Rock State Natural area is also home to wildlife.
In addition to the various campsites in the area, the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area has 11 miles of hiking trails. Also, it’s an ideal campsite for rock climbing.
There’s a park store where you can purchase firewood for your camp stoves and also gift items. Water is available, but supply is limited sometimes, so it’s recommended that you come with your drinking water.
10. Dinosaur Valley State Park
While you won’t find dinosaurs at this valley state park, you’ll find tracks filled with their footprints at the Paluxy River Bed. It is believed that dinosaurs occupied the area in the past before Native American Indians.
There are campsites with electricity and primitive hike-in campsites. Dinosaur Valley State Park also has two group campsites for 20 and 40 people respectively. All amenities you need are provided.
This campground has cabins for rent and RV sites for RV camping. Besides, there are 20 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.
The Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is located within the park. Here, you can watch animals like rhinos, giraffes, and ostriches.
Bottom Line on the Best Campsites in Texas
Camping is fun, but it will be more fun when done at a good campsite. Any of the ten best campsites in Texas listed above in this article guarantees an amazing camping experience. Just be sure to note the options at each campsite and match them with your camping demands.
Jay Steele is a ‘dad of one’ and a passionate adventurist who enjoys sharing his adventures and other outdoor fun ideas through his writings. He writes for outdoorfads.com, a website dedicated to helping outdoor lovers have the best possible fun in the great outdoors. They publish content about camping, backpacking, and hiking.
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