12 Best Places to Camp in Texas

Best camping places in Texas

Best camping Places in Texas

From primitive camping to fantastic RV parks, the best campgrounds in Texas offer stunning scenery to sleep nearby.

Backcountry tent in front of the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park, Texas

the Texas Panhandle; the Texas coast; and the southern, central, and western parts of the state offer excellent camping spots. Unique features of some include spring-fed pools, wild rivers, and ancient caves. Many of them are located in Texas state parks.

Places like Colorado Bend State Park offer some of the best camping in Texas. The nearby Guadalupe River State Park offers excellent RV parking near Austin. Both state parks are located within the Texas Hill Country near Central Texas, which is a top destination for RV camping and tent pitches. Texas Hill Country is also home to many of the best caves in the state.

Great camping grounds can be found in every corner of the state. Palo Duro Canyon is a beautiful state park and campground near the Panhandle.

South Padre Island, off the Texas coast, offers an excellent camping beach on an undeveloped shoreline. Cypress swamps define East Texas campgrounds, and rugged mountains provide a picturesque West Texas backdrop.

During school holidays and other peak times, it is best to reserve a seat in advance. You can reserve camp at most state parks.

While all campgrounds have their own unique differences, each campground shares the same spectacular Texas sunrises and sunsets. Claim your site today with our list of the best places to camp in Texas.

1: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Best Places to Camp in Texas

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area offers a special camping spot 20 miles north of the Texas Hill Country city of Fredericksburg. Each campsite places visitors in the shadow of the mystical monolith that gives the park its name: Enchanted Rock.

This state wilderness area has 35 tent pitches with access to water. Campgrounds require a short walk from the parking lot. Each site has access to toilets and showers, and some sites have a modern shaded shelter.

These campgrounds also offer close access to popular park trails, including the Enchanted Rock Summit Trail. Campers often take advantage of this proximity with a stunning sunset hike.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area also has 20 hiking campgrounds that require.

Address: 16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, Texas

2: Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore

Off the coast of Texas, Padre Island National Seashore protects the largest undeveloped barrier island in the world.

Adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, this 130,000+ acre wilderness offers several unique camping options. Most visitors take advantage of the wide camping beach available on Ilha do Padre.

Malachite Campground and Bird Island Basin Campground are two developed camping areas. Malaquite Campground has 48 semi-primitive sites with access to toilets and showers.

The camps at Bird Island Basin are completely primitive and only have chemical toilets. Surfers often pack the spots at Bird Island Basin, thanks to world-class recreation just a short drive away.

Primitive and beach camping is also available along the coast in three designated areas. Campers wishing to pitch a tent on North Beach, South Beach and Yarborough Pass must obtain a free permit before staying overnight.

Many places require the vehicle to move on the beach and users must know how to navigate the sand. Visitors must also pack for a self catering trip with very few amenities available on Padre Island.

3: Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers places to camp with a view. Camping at this Texas Panhandle state park spans several areas of Palo Duro Canyon.

Campgrounds with electricity are located at both ends of the state park at Juniper, Sagebrush, and Hackberry Campgrounds.

RVs up to 60 feet in length can find parking spaces at Sagebrush and Hackberry Campgrounds.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park also features unique primitive camping, accessible only by a half-mile hiking trail. There are no designated spots in this primitive area for camping in the park, and overnight visitors choose where they’d like to pitch a tent.

Group camping is also available in Palo Duro Canyon, as are the cabins. All the campsites are within a one mile view of Palo Duro Canyon.

The canyon is one of the best things to see in Amarillo, only 30 minutes away.

Address: 11450 State Hwy Park Road 5, Canyon, Texas

4: Colorado Bend State Park

Colorado Bend State Park

Colorado Bend is one of the best state parks in Texas and has several places to camp. Autonomous RVs tend to head to the 15 campsites in the park.

The park also has 28 campsites that fit tents. All campers at Colorado Bend have access to potable water and restrooms (showers are not available).

Popular activities in Colorado Bend include using the 35-mile network of multi-use trails. The Gorman Falls Trail is one of the busiest trails in the park.

Colorado Bend State Park has two backcountry hiking campgrounds, both accessible by a one-mile hike.

Group camping is also available in Colorado Bend and can accommodate up to 48 people.

Address: 2236 Park Hill Drive, Bend, Texas

5: Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park

This river-centric state park has almost 100 campsites less than an hour north of San Antonio.

Campgrounds at Guadalupe River State Park are divided into three campgrounds. Turkey Sink and Cedar Sage campgrounds are home to the largest number of campgrounds in the state park. These campgrounds have full electrical hookups and are popular for Texas Hill Country RV Camping.

Camps require a two-night stay on weekends (Friday and Saturday). Turkey Sink and Cedar Sage campgrounds are close to toilets and showers.

The state park also has nine pristine Wagon Ford Campground sites that require a short hike from a parking lot. These campgrounds have easy access to the Bald Cypress Trail and the adjacent Guadalupe River. Campers at Wagon Ford Campground have access to bathrooms but not showers.

Address: 3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, Texas

6: Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Adjacent to the Rio Grande River and the US-Mexico border, Big Bend National Park offers great camping options in West Texas.

The National Park Service operates four developed campgrounds within the park. This includes the Rio Grande Village RV Campground, which has 25 full hookup sites. The other three campgrounds in Big Bend serve tent and dry trailer camping.

Rio Grande Village Campground is the largest campground in Big Bend National Park and has over 100 riverside sites. Half of the campsites in Rio Grande Village can be reserved in advance. A camping store and shower are within walking distance of each campsite.

Near the center of the park, some of Big Bend’s best hiking trails surround Chisos Basin Campground. This makes the camp popular with campers interested in day trips.

Big Bend National Park encompasses greater than 800,000 acres. Visitors have several primitive camping opportunities in this vast expanse of canyon landscape. The inland campgrounds are accessible via backpacking, horseback riding, rafting, and 4WD. Visitors must obtain a permit before staying overnight in Big Bend outside of developed campgrounds.

This park gets large holiday crowds during the colder months of the year, including spring break and December school holidays.

Several private campgrounds surround Big Bend and relieve congestion in the park. These camping grounds range from RV resorts to tent-only options. The adjacent Big Bend Ranch State Park also has several primitive drive-in campgrounds.

7: Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park is one of the best camping spots in East Texas and is located less than 10 miles from the Louisiana border.

This sprawling state park offers easy access to Caddo Swamp Lake and features a variety of campgrounds. There are eight RV-only sites with full hookups, as well as 18 partial sites where guests can pitch a tent.

Caddo Lake State Park has an additional 20 waterfront locations catering exclusively to tent campers and small pop-up campers.

Boating the many paddle trails on Caddo Lake is a popular activity, and the state park offers canoe rentals.

All campers have access to toilets and showers. The state park also has sheltered cabins for overnight stays.

Address: 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, Texas

8: Balmorhea State Park

Balmorhea State Park

In West Texas, 30 miles north of Davis Mountain State Park, Balmorhea State Park offers a relaxing retreat from the Texas heat. The state park is a popular destination because of its 1.3-acre spring-fed pool, one of the largest in the world.

Adjacent to this spring-fed bathing spot, the Civilian Conservation Corps also built the adjacent San Solomon Springs Court. This historic property offers modern motel-style accommodations for those not interested in camping.

In addition to lodging at San Solomon Springs Court, RV camping is also popular at Balmorhea State Park. The state park has more than 30 electric RV campgrounds. Half of the sites also offer a cable TV connection. All sites are close to toilets and steps from the spring-fed pool.

Address: 9207 TX-17, Toyahvale, Texas

9: Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park

 Inks Lake State Park has nearly 200 campsites less than two hours northwest of Austin. Each field is located next to the park element of the same name.

Approximately 125 locations in Inks Lake serve RVs with electrical hookups. Exclusive to Inks Lake, these electric campgrounds have weekly and monthly rates available. This makes Inks Lake State Park one of the most popular RV campgrounds in the Texas Hill Country.

Inks Lake State Park also has nine pristine campgrounds that are only accessible via a 1.5-mile hiking trail. These locations require campers to bring their own water supply.

A park store in Inks Lake offers camping supplies like firewood and snacks. Inks Lake State Park is also popular for those looking to camp near Longhorn Caverns State Park for day use only.

Address: 3630 Park Road 4W, Burnett, Texas

10: Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park

 Franklin Mountains State Park is a popular place to explore in West Texas and is easily accessible from El Paso. These high desert mountains are less than 15 miles from El Paso and are home to a wide variety of recreational activities.

Activities: Climbing and hiking or biking on its more than 100 miles of trails are among the most popular things to do in the Franklin Mountains. Camping is also popular and sometimes competitive, with only around 20 pitches available.

Franklin Mountains State Park campgrounds are located on Tom Mays Drive, about a 20-minute drive from El Paso. All sites are considered primitive, with no water or electricity connections.

The locations are split between shortcut and shortcut locations, with less than a 50-yard walk from the shortcut locations. Some of the drive-thru campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 30-40 feet in length.

Franklin Mountains State Park campgrounds can accommodate up to eight people. The state park also offers group camping, with two 16-person capacity sites and one 30-person capacity site. Reservations are required for group camping.

11: Ratcliff Lake State Recreation Area

Ratcliff Lake State Recreation Area

Ratcliff Lake is a popular location for family adventures within the Davy Crockett National Forest of East Texas.

Including primitive and standard campsites, the 56 overnight spots are near the 45-acre Ratcliff Lake. All campers at Ratcliff Lake have easy access to swimming areas and hiking trails, and are also close to showers.

The wooded landscape that surrounds the course offers many ways to enjoy the surroundings. The area is popular with day users, and several picnic areas provide a quiet spot for an al fresco lunch.

The 20-mile Four C National Recreation Trail begins at Ratcliff Lake and ends at Neches Bluff Overlook. Shorter rides dot the rest of the state recreation area.

Address: TX-7, Ratcliff, Texas

12: Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park

A 64-acre lake is a centerpiece of this popular East Texas state park, located in Tyler, also known as the Rose Capital of Texas, 100 miles east of Dallas.

Other popular natural attractions at Tyler State Park include multi-use trails, towering trees, and plenty of places to park an RV or pitch a tent. The park also offers boat rentals to access the water.

With more than 100 campsites, Tyler State Park offers a variety of overnight options. The state park offers RV-only campgrounds and tent-only campsites.

All Tyler State Park sites have access to restrooms with showers and are located a short distance from the shoreline. Tyler State Park also has six cabins and nearly 30 sheltered overnight shelters.

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