Boasting rugged mountains, densely forested valleys, tranquil lakes, and rocky shorelines, the vast and beautiful landscapes of Texas are home to over 70 national and state parks that offer a variety of outdoor and recreational pursuits. Many of the parks have campgrounds and campsites with excellent amenities and facilities, ranging from rustic log cabins and beautiful beachfront campsites to family-friendly retreats and primitive tent camping nestled in the trees. Here are some of the Lone Star State’s best spots for camping.
1.Brazos Bend State Park
Set along the Brazos River in Needville, the 4,897-acre Brazos Bend State Park is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including American Alligators. Located within a stone's throw from the thriving metropolis of Houston, the park offers several hiking trails, including the 40-Acre Lake and Elm Lake trails, which provide excellent opportunities for alligator spotting. The park features a variety of camping, fishing, and day-use facilities, as well as about 25 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, a Nature Center with nature exhibits, and an observatory.
40-acre Lake Trailhead, Brazos Bend SP, Needville, Texas
2.Buescher State Park
Buescher State Park is 1,016-acre state park located just north of Smithville that offers a variety of activities ranging from camping, hiking, fishing in a well-stocked lake and mountain biking, as well as non-motorized boating, geocaching, and interpretive tours. Buescher State Park is linked to the nearby Bastrop State Park by a scenic 12-mile paved road that is ideal for cycling, and the park also includes several miles of hiking and mountain trails through beautiful woodlands. Buescher State Park offers 24 full-service campsites with water, electricity and sewerage hookups, as well as restrooms with flush toilets, showers, and a dump station.
100 Park Rd 1-C, Smithville, TX 78957, Phone: 512-237-2241
3.Caddo Lake State Park
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Named after the lake that encompasses, Caddo Lake State Park is a state park and wildlife management area in eastern Texas that is home to 8,253 acres of beautiful landscapes and several natural lakes, including Caddo Lake. The park features a variety of camping options, including overnight cabins, full-service campsites with water, electricity and sewerage hookups, screened shelters and halls for group gatherings. Park amenities and facilities include a visitor and nature center, restrooms with hot showers, a playground, and a park store, and activities range from boating, fishing, camping, hiking, geocaching, mountain biking, and picnicking.
245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, TX 75661, Phone: 903-679-3351
4.Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
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Set along the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado in Briscoe County, Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway is a 15,314-acre state park and the third largest in Texas. Located 100 miles southeast of Amarillo, the Caprock Canyons Trailway stretches from South Plains on top of the Caprock Escarpment to Estelline in the Red River Valley and is open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders. The trail passes through the Clarity Tunnel, one of the last working railroad tunnels in Texas and home to a vast colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. There are primitive campsites for up to four people along the trail for overnight stays.
850 Caprock Canyon Park Road, Quitaque, TX 79255, Phone: 806-455-1492
5.Colorado Bend State Park
Set along the Colorado River in the Hill Country region and home to the magnificent 65-foot Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park is a 5,328.3-acre state park that is renowned for its beautiful karsts, caves, sinkholes, and springs. The park has a standard campground, two primitive camping areas, and three group campsites, which include potable water, fire rings, communal showers, and composting toilets. Activities in the park include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, and non-motorized boating.
2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, TX 76824, Phone: 325-628-3240
6.Copper Breaks State Park
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Located in approximately 12 miles south of Quanah in Hardeman County, Copper Breaks State Park is a 1,898.8-acre park with over ten miles of hiking trails and two small lakes which provide water-based activities. Once the realm of the Comanche and Kiowa Native American tribes, the region features important ceremonial sites of Comanche Indians and the site of the famous Pease River Battle Site. The park has tent and RV campsites with water, electricity and sewerage hookups, restrooms with showers, picnic tables, and barbecue pits, fire rings, and grills. Amenities and facilities include boat ramps, nature and visitor centers, and activities range from boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife watching.
777 State HighwayPark Rd 62, Quanah, TX 79252, Phone: 940-839-4331
7.Davis Mountains State Park
Set high in the Davis Mountains in Jeff Davis County, Davis Mountains State Park is a 2,709-acre state park with an elevation of between 5,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. The park is situated next to the Fort Davis National Historic Site and connected by a four-mile network of hiking and mountain biking trails. The park features an adobe motel known as the Indian Lodge, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s and offers comfortable overnight accommodations. Other activities in the Davis Mountains State Park include excellent bird-watching, wildlife observation, and horseback riding, with several equestrian trails in the Limpia Canyon Primitive Area.
TX-118, Fort Davis, TX 79734, Phone: 432-426-3337
8.Davy Crockett National Forest
Spanning Houston and Trinity Counties, the Davy Crockett National Forest is a vast terrain of more than 160,000 acres of East Texas woodlands, meandering streams, pristine wildlife habitat, and recreation areas, east of Crockett. Named for the legendary pioneer, the park is centrally located within the Neches and Trinity River basins and is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. The Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area in the park offers primitive camping facilities with pit toilets and showers, as well as picnicking, an interpretive forest trail, a swimming beach and bathhouse, and an amphitheater. Recreational activities include boating, fishing, hiking, and picnicking with panoramic views.
18551 Texas 7, Kennard, TX 75847, Phone: 936-655-2299
9.Dinosaur Valley State Park
Located just northwest of Glen Rose, Dinosaur Valley State Park is a 1,500-acre state park that offers an abundance of outdoor opportunities from hiking and biking to camping. Close to the Paluxy River, the park features day-use picnic areas, a group picnic pavilion with picnic tables and a fireplace, and tent and RV camping sites with water, electricity and sewerage hookups. Other facilities in the park include a trailer dump station, an interpretive center, an outdoor amphitheater, and outdoor recreational amenities include over 20 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails and over 100 miles of horseback riding paths. Visitors can also enjoy archery, fishing, boating, swimming and ranger-led wildlife watching in the park.
1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, TX 76043, Phone: 254-897-4588
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10.Eisenhower State Park
Eisenhower State Park is a 423.1-acre state park on the shores of Lake Texoma in Grayson County. Located northwest of Denison, Eisenhower State Park was opened in 1958 and is named after the 34th U.S. president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was born in the nearby town of Denison. The park offers a wealth of recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, water-skiing, picnicking, and camping. Several nature programs are offered throughout the year, and there are excellent bird-watching and wildlife observation around the lake. Public facilities in the park include picnic sites, campsites, children’s playgrounds, a recreation hall, an amphitheater and open-air pavilion for special events, a boat dock and lighted fishing pier, a 10-acre ATV/mini bike area, and more than 4 miles of hiking and biking trails. The park is also home to the private Eisenhower Yacht Club.
50 Park Rd 20, Denison, TX 75020, Phone: 903-465-1956
11.Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Spanning the Gillespie and Llano Counties, north of Fredericksburg, the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is home to the second-largest batholith in the country and offers an array of outdoor and recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, hiking, rock climbing, and birdwatching. Named after the spiritual powers Native Americans believed it harnessed, Enchanted Rock, the park is a nature-lover’s paradise and offers full camping setups for up to four campers with setup and takedown services on the weekends only. Camping equipment packages include a six-person tent, sleeping bags and pads, fleece sheets, cooking stoves, cooking utensils, and lamps.
16710 Ranch Rd. 965, Fredericksburg TX 78624, Phone: 830-685-3636
12.Garner State Park
Set along the banks of the Frio River within the community of Concan in Uvalde County, Garner State Park is one of the most popular parks for overnight camping in the Lone Star State. Beloved by families for generations, the Texas Hill Country park offers easy access to the Frio River for water-based activities and many miles of hiking trails. The campground has over 500 campsites, as well as group camping and rustic cabins and facilities include potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, restrooms with flush toilets, barbecue grills, campsite tables, fire rings, and a camp store. Outdoor activities include non-motorized boating, fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, mini-golf, and wildlife viewing.
234 RR 1050, Concan, TX 78838, Phone: 830-232-6132
13.Goliad State Park & Historic Site
Located along the San Antonio River on the edge of Goliad, Goliad State Park and Historic Site is a 188.3-acre state park that is renowned for being home to three historic sites, namely the reconstructed birthplace of Ignacio Zaragoza, the ruins of Mission Nuestra Señora del Rosario, and the reconstructed Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga. The park has several different camping options ranging from full hookup campsites with potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings with removable grills to basic campsites with freshwater, nearby restrooms, picnic tables, and fire rings.
108 Park Rd. 6, Goliad, TX 77963, Phone: 361-645-3405
14.Goose Island State Park
Surrounded by St. Charles and Aransas Bays on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Goose Island State Park spans 321.4 acres north of the city of Rockport. Established on private land in the early 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the park is home to the famous Big Tree – a magnificent 44-foot tall Southern Oak tree that is thought to be over 1,000 years old. The park has several campsites with potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, picnic tables, and grills, and welcomes more than 60,000 overnight campers each year. Activities in the park include boating, fishing, kayaking, birding and wildlife watching.
202 S Palmetto St, Rockport, TX 78382, Phone: 361-729-2858
15.Guadalupe River State Park
Set on the banks of Guadalupe River in Kendall and Comal Counties, Guadalupe River State Park boasts four miles of river frontage and offers beautiful scenery in which to enjoy camping, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and tubing. The park features 85 campsites with potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, and nine walk-in tent sites with necessary facilities and Texas Park Outfitters provides camping equipment rental and setup. Recreational outdoor activities include over 13 miles of scenic hiking and mountain biking trails, canoeing and kayaking on the Guadalupe River, and tours on the Honey Creek, and other facilities include a Discovery Center with hands-on discovery boxes and exhibits with binoculars, magnifying glasses, and microscopes, and a park shop.
3350 Park Rd 31, Spring Branch, TX 78070, Phone: 830-438-2656
16.Huntsville State Park
Huntsville State Park is a 2,083.2-acre wooded recreational area in the Sam Houston National Forest. Located six miles southwest of Huntsville in Walker County, the park offers a variety of recreational amenities and facilities, including 160 campsites with potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, screened shelters and group pavilions. Activities in the park include over 21 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, picnicking, and geocaching, and a bird blind and nature center and several playgrounds entertain all ages. The 210-acre Lake Raven offers water-based activities include fishing, boating, swimming, and paddling, with equipment rentals, a boat ramp, fishing piers, and fish cleaning stations.
565 Park Road 40 West, Huntsville, TX 77340, Phone: 936-295-5644
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17.Inks Lake State Park
Lying next to the Inks Lake on the Colorado River in Burnet County, Inks Lake State Park is a state park with beautiful hilly landscapes covered with large oak and cedar trees, yuccas and prickly pear cacti and colorful rock outcrops. Located just an hour northwest of Austin, the Hill Country gem offers a wide variety of both land and water-based activities all year round, including boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, scuba diving, and fishing. On land there is volleyball, picnicking, wildlife watching, and over nine miles of pleasant hiking trails that wind through rocky hills and shady forests, and overnight camping at 200 campsites with potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, and rustic cabins. Several campsites have playgrounds; there is also a youth group camping area and a camp store.
3630 Park Rd 4 W, Burnet, TX 78611, Phone: 512-793-2223
18.Kickapoo Cavern State Park
Named for the 1,400-foot-long Kickapoo Cavern in the heart of the park, Kickapoo Cavern State Park is a state park straddling the Kinney and Edwards county line that is famous for its fascinating caves and other geological features. Located 22 miles north of Brackettville, Kickapoo Cavern State Park offers camping, cave exploration, hiking and mountain biking, geocaching, birdwatching and seasonal bat flight viewing in the evenings. The park has five full hookup camp¬sites, tent campsites with water only, and a 30-person group camp, and wild cave tours are offered every Sat¬ur¬day.
20939 Ranch to Market Road 674, Brackettville, TX 78832, Phone: 830-563-2342
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19.Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway
Named after the Lake Mineral Wells, Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway is located along a large tributary of the Brazos River called Rock Creek in the heart of cattle country and protects part of the Western Cross Timbers and the Mineral Wells Trailway. Renowned for being an early home to Native American tribes including the Comanche, the area in which the park is situated boasts scenic landscapes and offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and water-based sports on the lake. The Mineral Wells Trailway runs for over 20 miles and draws hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders, and the park features 20 equestrian campsites, as well as standard campsites with basic facilities and screened shelters.
100 Park Rd 71, Mineral Wells, TX 76067, Phone: 940-328-1171
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20.Lost Maples State Natural Area
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Home to rolling hills and steep canyons on the upper Sabinal River in the Edwards Plateau Region, the Lost Maples State Natural Area is designated a Natural Area that was established to protect and maintain the property's natural state. The area is well known for its spectacular landscapes of the scenic Sabinal River and shorelines filled with colorful wildflowers and offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, birding, wildlife watching, and stargazing. The park features over 10 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as 30 campsites with potable water, electricity and sewerage hookups, and primitive campsites for backpacking and tent camping.
37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885, Phone: 830-966-3413
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21.McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park is located the confluence of Onion Creek and Williamson Creek in Austin just 13 miles from the state capitol. Administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the park is home to an early Texas homestead, and an old rock shelter and visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, road biking, bouldering, rock climbing, geocaching and picnicking. Onion Creek winds its way through the Hill Country woods and offers fishing and swimming, and 81 campsites with water and electric hookups and six newly remodeled cabins and a primitive youth group area offer overnight camping.
5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744, Phone: 512-243-1643
22.Palo Duro State Park
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Surrounded by the magnificent Palo Duro Canyon, a canyon system of the Caprock Escarpment located in the Texas Panhandle, the Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a 29, 182-acre state park that is home to some of the most scenic landscapes of the northernmost portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the park’s primary feature is the Palo Duro Canyon, which rests at 3,500 feet above sea level, is 120 miles long, over 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. The canyon is thought to be the second-largest canyon in the United States. Close to the cities of Amarillo and Canyon, the Palo Duro Canyon State Park is a popular recreational site for visitors who come to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and soaking up the beautiful scenery.
11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, TX 79015, Phone: 806-488-2227
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23.Sam Houston National Forest
One of four pristine National Forests in Texas, the Sam Houston National Forest spans 163, 037 acres across the Montgomery, Walker, and San Jacinto counties and is home to three developed campgrounds in the Cagle, Double Lake, and Stubblefield Recreation Areas. The pristine forest is home to a diverse variety of birds and wildlife, many of which are endangered species such as the bald eagle and the red-cockaded woodpecker, and Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston offer water-based activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, swimming, and shoreline picnicking. Land-lubbers can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, geocaching, and wildlife watching.
394 FM 1375, New Waverly, TX 77358, Phone: 936-344-6205
24.South Llano River State Park
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Nestled in the valley of the Llano River in the heart of Texas Hill Country, South Llano River State Park spans 507 acres along the south bank of the Llano River and provides refuge for birds and wildlife on the southwestern edge of the Hill Country. Outdoor recreational activities in the park include hiking, mountain biking, bird and wildlife watching, geocaching, stargazing, and water-based fun in the South Llano River. Two miles of river frontage is ideal for fishing, paddling, tubing, and swimming, and the park has several campsites with water and elec¬tric hookups, restrooms with show¬ers nearby, and six walk-in sites with potable water and nearby showers. Five prim¬i¬tive hike-in sites have a chemical toilet nearby, but no water.
1927 Park Rd 73, Junction, TX 76849, Phone: 325-446-3994
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25.Texas Renaissance Fair Camping
The Texas Renaissance Festival is an annual Renaissance fair in Todd Mission that is known for being the nation’s largest Renaissance theme park. Established in 1974, the festival offers an array of camping options ranging from spaces for RVs and campervans to sites with water and elec¬tric hookups for tent and family-friendly cabins. Facilities at the festival include permanent and portable restrooms with potable water and hot showers, trash containers and dump stations, RV dump stations, and 24-hour security. The festival also offers quiet campsites for families, a family bonfire with Saturday evening activities, food trucks, and two convenience stores.
11282 County Rd 302, Plantersville, TX 77363, Phone: 281-356-2178
25 Best Camping Spots in Texas
- Brazos Bend State Park, Photo: st_matty/stock.adobe.com
- Buescher State Park, Photo: jackfrog/stock.adobe.com
- Caddo Lake State Park, Photo: Adventures On Wheels/stock.adobe.com
- Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Colorado Bend State Park, Photo: westtexasfish/stock.adobe.com
- Copper Breaks State Park, Photo: Danil Nikonov/stock.adobe.com
- Davis Mountains State Park, Photo: Pixel-Shot/stock.adobe.com
- Davy Crockett National Forest, Photo: Mosto/stock.adobe.com
- Dinosaur Valley State Park, Photo: ericurquhart/stock.adobe.com
- Eisenhower State Park, Photo: boomeart/stock.adobe.com
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Photo: snatalia/stock.adobe.com
- Garner State Park, Photo: Lamar/stock.adobe.com
- Goliad State Park & Historic Site, Photo: Laurens/stock.adobe.com
- Goose Island State Park, Photo: cherryandbees/stock.adobe.com
- Guadalupe River State Park, Photo: cbruzos/stock.adobe.com
- Huntsville State Park, Photo: st_matty/stock.adobe.com
- Inks Lake State Park, Photo: snatalia/stock.adobe.com
- Kickapoo Cavern State Park, Photo: Brendan/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway, Photo: Brandon/stock.adobe.com
- Lost Maples State Natural Area, Photo: Martha Marks/stock.adobe.com
- McKinney Falls State Park, Photo: Martina/stock.adobe.com
- Palo Duro State Park, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Sam Houston National Forest, Photo: ©photomarque/stock.adobe.com
- South Llano River State Park, Photo: David Prahl/stock.adobe.com
- Texas Renaissance Fair Camping, Photo: luckybusiness/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Christian/stock.adobe.com