Texas is an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of landscapes from lush forests to rugged mountains and sweeping deserts. Camping allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Texas while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing and more.
To help you plan your next camping trip, here are 10 of the best Camping Sites in Texas:
1. Big Bend National Park
Towering above the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas, Big Bend National Park is one of the state’s most spectacular and remote wilderness areas. The park offers excellent hiking among the Chisos Mountains and Santa Elena Canyon, rafting down the Rio Grande, and the chance to spot wildlife like roadrunners, jackrabbits, and javelina.
There are several campgrounds to choose from, but the most popular is the Chisos Basin Campground which sits high in the mountains surrounded by towering peaks. You’ll need to acquire a permit in advance. For more seclusion, opt for one of the dozens of primitive backcountry campsites accessed by rugged dirt roads.
2. Garner State Park
Nestled along the clear, spring-fed Frio River in the Texas Hill Country, Garner State Park is perfect for cooling off during the hot summer months. Set up your tent at one of several campgrounds shaded by oak and pecan trees, then spend your days tubing down the river, swimming in Balanced Rock Hole, and hiking the park’s nearly 20 miles of trails to scenic overlooks.
The park gets crowded on summer weekends so visit during the week for the most pleasant experience. The convenient camp store sells supplies, food and firewood.
3. Guadalupe River State Park
Bordered by the cypress-lined Guadalupe River in the eastern Hill Country, Guadalupe River State Park offers excellent opportunities for camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and paddling.
The campground features modern sites with water and electric hookups nestled beneath tall trees, as well as primitive hike-in sites for a more secluded experience. The park has over 10 miles of trails, including the challenging Rock Garden Trail winding past massive boulders and limestone bluffs overlooking the river.
4. Brazos Bend State Park
Situated alongscenic Oyster Creek near the Brazos River, Brazos Bend State Park is a top spot for wildlife viewing and stunning sunsets. Herds of alligators can be spotted lounging along the shores of the park’s lakes and wetlands.
There are many campsites to choose from including shady spots near the water and equestrian sites with corrals. Hike or bike the park’s extensive trail system, fish for bass and catfish, or launch a kayak and explore the lush wetlands teeming with wildlife.
5. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
As the second largest canyon in the U.S., Palo Duro Canyon stuns visitors with its vibrant multi-colored rock formations, steep cliffs and dramatic landscapes. Camp beside the scenic canyon and enjoy its many geological wonders via the park’s hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.
The excellent campground features nearly 100 sites with water and electric hookups nestled among shady trees. For more seclusion, opt for a primitive backpacking campsite nestled deep within the canyon accessed via the park’s trail system.
6. Davis Mountains State Park
Nestled high atop the Davis Mountains, Davis Mountains State Park offers cool temperatures and beautiful scenery. Hike through pine forests and rolling meadows carpeted in wildflowers to the summit of Mt. Livermore, the second highest peak in Texas.
The spacious campground has 76 sites with water and electric hookups nestled beneath the mountains. Or try backpacking to a remote primitive campsite for breathtaking views. Enjoy fishing and boating on the park’s lake, stargazing in the dark night skies, and spotting local wildlife.
7. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Surrounded by sprawling ranch lands, Enchanted Rock is a distinctive landmark comprised of enormous pink granite dome rising 425 feet from the terrain below. Hike to the top for panoramic views, explore the natural rock formations and caves, and enjoy stellar stargazing at the park’s primitive backpacking campsites.
The main campground offers tent and RV sites with water and electric hookups. Hike-in backpacking sites require a short 1⁄2 to 2 mile trek. Time your visit for one of the park’s special full moon hikes.
8. Lost Maples State Natural Area
In autumn, the hills come alive with vibrant color at Lost Maples State Natural Area thanks to stands of bigtooth maples and other deciduous trees blanketing the limestone canyons.
The park has over 40 campsites with water available including walk-in tent sites and equestrian sites. Hike rugged trails to scenic vistas overlooking the Sabinal River and relax beside the spring-fed Maple Leaf Pond. Autumn and spring are the most popular times to visit.
9. Pedernales Falls State Park
Just west of Austin, Pedernales Falls State Park sits along the Pedernales River, home to a series of scenic waterfall cascades and swimming holes perfect for cooling off.
The campground has 60 sites with water and electric hookups situated in a woodland setting. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, tubing and swimming during the day. At night, stroll down to the falls under the stars for a magical experience.
10. Hunting Island State Park
Located northeast of Houston, Hunting Island State Park offers a scenic coastal camping experience along the Texas Gulf Coast. Herds of deer roam the lush island, lending to the park’s name.
The popular campground features shady sites just a short walk from the beach, some with Gulf views. Swim, fish, hike and bike by day, then fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the waves at night. Just remember to bring bug spray to ward off pesky mosquitoes.
You can check our friend article: Discover the Top 6 Best Landscape Places in the World.
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With its incredible diversity of landscapes and ecosystems, Texas offers endless opportunities for memorable camping adventures. Whether you prefer desert vistas, forested canyons, cool mountain peaks or coastal shorelines, you’ll find an amazing campground perfectly suited to your interests across the Lone Star State. Plan your next camping getaway at one of these top destinations to fully experience the beauty of the outdoors in Texas. Pitch your tent beneath the stars, cook over a campfire, and wake to incredible natural scenery each morning. Camping allows you to disconnect from the digital world and truly connect with the peace and splendor of nature.
FAQs about Camping in Texas
What is the best time of year to go camping in Texas?
The prime camping season in most parts of Texas is late spring through early autumn (roughly March to November) when daytime temperatures are warm but not excessively hot. At higher elevations like the Davis Mountains, summer temperatures are milder for camping. Along the Gulf Coast, winter offers a nice reprieve from the summer heat and humidity.
Where are the best places to camp for beginners in Texas?
Some top beginner-friendly campgrounds include Garner State Park, Guadalupe River State Park, Lockhart State Park and Galveston Island State Park. These parks offer campsites with amenities like water and electric hookups, as well as short hiking trails perfect for new campers.
What type of wildlife might you see while camping in Texas?
Some wildlife commonly seen while camping include white-tailed deer, raccoons, armadillos, skunks, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, turkey and a variety of songbirds. In West Texas, you may spot roadrunners, jackrabbits, javelina (collared peccaries), coyotes and rattlesnakes.
Are campfires allowed at Texas state parks?
Yes, most state parks in Texas allow campfires in designated fire rings at each campsite, as long as fire restrictions are not in place. Always check current fire regulations before lighting a campfire. Purchase firewood at the park, never bring outside wood which could spread invasive pests.
What are some campfire safety tips?
Always fully extinguish fires before leaving your site. Keep shovels, buckets of water and fire extinguishers on hand. Do not build fires during dry, windy conditions. Never leave fires unattended. Take care to fully extinguish and adequately dispose of cigarettes to prevent wildfires. Teach young campers proper fire safety.