Best Camping in Texas: Our Top 10 Spots to Camp

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Best Camping in Texas: Our Top 10 Spots to Camp

Everything is bigger in TX, and that surely includes the camping possibilities – check out our guide to the 10 Best Camping spots in Texas. You’ll find something for everyone…

Brian Connelly
Brian Connelly
Last Updated: August 3, 2020

Looking for the Best Camping in Texas?

You’re in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • Identify 10 of the best places to go camping in TX
    • Rundown what activities & facilities the local campsites offer
    • Suggest local and state park visits to add to your itinerary.

Covering almost 300,000 square miles of forest, beaches, deserts, and rivers, Texas is rich in both natural and cultural beauty. Visitors flock here every year to see world-famous landmarks, including the Alamo, the Space Center, and Sea World and take in the beauty and majesty of nature in the state’s national parks. There are bustling cities, too, where you’ll find some memorable nightlife, excellent cuisine, and a cosmopolitan vibe.

And that famous southern hospitality has visitors returning to Texas time and time again!

Whether you want to spend your vacation relaxing at a luxury RV campground with every modern convenience or prefer the idea of getting back to nature under canvas on a primitive campsite near the beach, the Lone Star State has precisely what you need for the perfect camping vacation. 

Best Camping in Texas: Our Top 10 Campsites

In this guide, we’ve tracked down ten of the best spots to camp in Texas We think we’re found something to suit every taste, so dive in and find your perfect vacation location right here!

fishing pier Inks Lake Texas
Photo by Mark Collins / CC BY 2.0

Inks Lake State Park, Burnett County

Inks Lake State Park is located (here) in beautiful Burnett County.

Here, you and your family can enjoy lots of fun activities, including boating, swimming, hiking, geocaching, birding, and more. There’s even a cliff-diving experience to be had at the Devil’s Waterhole area of the lake. 

Fishing is permitted here, and you don’t need a license. You can also rent a boat and fishing gear if you don’t have your own. Cast a line from one of two fishing piers or launch from the boat ramp and go in search of sunfish and bass that are abundant in the lake.

There are 22 cabins and 200 campsites here, some of which are ADA-accessible. Many of the sites are lakeside or have effortless access to the water. Most of the sites have picnic tables, water, a fire ring or grill, 30/50-amp hookups, showers, and restrooms close by.

There are sites suitable for RVs up to 26 feet, tents, and primitive camping too. 

Note that the primitive sites are accessible only via a 1.58-mile hike. There is no water available at the sites, and there’s only a primitive toilet available on the trail. You can’t have a ground fire, and pets are not allowed on these sites, although they are permitted elsewhere in the state park. 

Cypress-Slough-Big-Thicket-National-Preserve-Texas
Photo by faungg’s photos / CC BY-ND 2.0

Big Thicket National Preserve, Kountze

Big Thicket National Preserve is located (here) and is part of the Pineywoods region of the Lone Star State.

If you love nature, then you absolutely must come to see this place! The site sprawls across 112,500 acres of land. It is popular with visitors who enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits on offer, including mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding.

The area is known as “the biological crossroads of North America,” being a transitional zone where deciduous forests, pine savannas, swamps, plains, and sandhills meet. There are many species of creatures that share the environment here, including reptiles, insects, birds, and 60 mammal species, not to mention hundreds of plants, trees, and grasses. 

Keep an eye out for armadillos, skunks, white-tailed deer, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, and even the occasional black bear!

There are plenty of primitive campsites to choose from spread out among the cypress-lined bayous and longleaf pine forests. Although you do need a permit to camp or hunt here, there’s no charge. Permits can be obtained from the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center or by calling (409) 951-6700. 

Colorado Bend state Park Texas
Photo by Randall Chancellor / CC BY-SA 2.0

Colorado Bend State Park, Bend

Colorado Bend State Park (here) is one of the primary outdoor attractions in the state and provides visitors with the perfect blend of outdoor fun activities and mind-blowing views. 

The park is located a couple of hours’ drive from Austin and is well worth the journey. There are drive-up campsites, primitive sites, and backpack sites all available in this stunning setting. The hike-in and drive-up sites all have water nearby but no hookups. There are composting toilets provided at one trailhead and close to the main camping area, and there’s an open-air, rinse-off shower right by the campground.

Perhaps the highlight of this location is spectacular Gorman Falls, where water cascades down 65 feet into a fern-shrouded grotto. On hot summer days, you can cool off in one of the many pretty swimming holes here. 

The park provides visitors with ample opportunities to enjoy the Great Outdoors from paddling the river, fishing, mountain biking, and hiking around 35 miles of trails. While you’re here, why not get down and dirty and take a guided cavern tour?

Fishing here at Colorado Bend is reputedly some of the best to be found in Central Texas, and you don’t need a fishing license to cast a line here. There is a boat ramp in the park, enabling you to travel downstream to Lake Buchanan. You can bring your own craft or rent double or single sit-on-top kayaks right here at the park.

Big Bend National Park Texas
Photo by G. Lamar / CC BY 2.0

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is located (here) in the southwest of the Lone Star State. 

The park takes in the whole Chisos mountain range and encompasses a large swathe of the Chihuahuan Desert. Take the Ross Maxell Scenic Drive to see the ruins of Sam Nail Ranch, now the home of many fascinating species of desert creatures. Check out the spectacular limestone canyon of Santa Elena, carved over millennia by the Rio Grande. You must also pay a visit to historical Langford Hot Springs, where you can see the foundations of an old bathhouse and pictographs depicting scenes of desert life in times past.

The park extends for 114 miles along the Rio Grande and offers visitors the best primitive and roadside camping experience in the entire state of Texas. Experienced backpackers will relish the challenge of tough hiking trails that ascend to almost 8,000 feet, where incredible panoramic vistas can be enjoyed in total isolation.

Families will love the dinosaur fossil experience, and there are over 4,000 species of creatures and insects to watch out for too. You can take a canoe or kayak and go paddling down the Rio Grande through Mariscal and St Helena Canyons, taking in some of the most beautiful, memorable views of nature at its best in the whole of the state.  

Enchanted Rock State Park Texas
Photo by sheffieldb / CC BY-ND 2.0

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Llano

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (here) is located just outside of Llano in the central area of the state. 

The area is probably most well-known for its colossal piece of pink granite rock, which is one of the largest known natural rock formations in the U.S. There’s lots to do here, making for a full and fun-packed vacation.

The area has almost 11 miles of hiking trails (although biking is not permitted.) You can even take a midnight hike to see the incredible display of brilliant stars against the velvet-black summer sky without the interference of urban light pollution. Experienced rock climbers will find a challenge in scaling the pink granite cliff faces here, and there’s plenty of desert wildlife for the kids to spot too.

Although dogs are allowed in day-use areas, in the campgrounds, and on the Loop Trail, you can’t bring Fido if you want to go primitive camping, and he must be kept on a leash of fewer than six feet at all times.

Fredericksburg’s town is within reach for those who fancy taking in a taste of German culture with a Texas Hill Country twist. Here, you can dine, shop, and check out museums and other outdoor activities. You might also want to visit Llano, “Deer Capital of Texas,” for music, museums, and lots more. 

There are 35 walk-in campsites here, all of which are equipped with picnic tables, grills, water, tent pads, fire rings, and restrooms with showers. Sites cost $18 per night at the time of writing, plus the daily $10 entrance fee per person.

If you prefer to keep things super-basic, there are 20 primitive, hike-in campsites scattered around Moss Lake and Walnut Springs, accessible via a one to three-mile hike across rugged terrain. There’s no water available here, and ground fires are not allowed. Sites cost $14 per night at the time of writing.

There’s also a group primitive campground that will take 75 people. The site has a private entrance and composting toilets but no water.

Fredericksburg Texas
Photo by sheffieldb / CC BY-ND 2.0

Fredericksburg RV Park, Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg RV Park is located (here) within the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg.

The park is conveniently situated close to many local attractions and boasts plenty of on-site amenities that are sure to keep campers happy. The facilities here are excellent, including free hot showers, an on-site laundry room, a spacious clubhouse, and delightfully landscaped gardens. And your pets are welcome too!

There’s so much to do here, right on your doorstep! Check out the local farms, including Wildflower Ridge Alpaca Ranch, Warm Winds Trail Rides, and Wildseed Farms. Alternatively, take a stroll around the town’s museums and historical sites. 

The RV sites here are built to handle the biggest rigs and include full hookups, long, flat back-In or pull-throughs, and large concrete patios. All sites have 30/50-amp electricity, free cable TV and Wi-Fi, and good cell reception.

Padre Island National Seashore Texas

Padre Island National Seashore, Corpus Christi

Padre Island National Seashore is located (here) in Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast.

If you love the beach and the sound and smell of the ocean, this could be the perfect getaway location for you. The seashore extends for almost 70 miles, separating the Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico by an expanse of wild dunes, prairies, and coastline.

According to the U.S. National Park Service, this is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier islands in the world, and it’s the ideal place to come if you need a peaceful location where you can unwind and let the salty breeze carry your worries away. The tidal wind flats here are teeming with a kaleidoscope of life, including over 380 species of birds, and the area is also a save haven for the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.

There are five official campgrounds here, all of which are open year-round. Camping is on a first-come, first-served basis, and no reservations are accepted. However, you do need a camping permit, which can be obtained at the entrance to each campground. Note that there are no RV hookups anywhere in the park, although there is an RV dump station and water available for everyone who camps here. Primitive camping is possible right along the coastline.

Grand Texas RV Resort, New Caney

Grand Texas RV Resort is situated (here) in New Caney.

If you’re looking for a wonderful family vacation resort where everyone’s guaranteed to have a good time, look no further than the Grand Texas RV Resort in vibrant, hospitable New Caney. The resort is located right on the highway and is handy for you to get into Houston too. The park has excellent facilities, and there’s so much to see and do, your only problem will be deciding where to start! 

This is a Good Sam Club affiliated campground and is complete with a jacuzzi hot tub and brand-new swimming pool. There’s super-fast Wi-Fi, and you can chill out in front of cable TV, too, if you want to. There’s a fully-fenced kids’ playground and a clubhouse where you can grab a coffee, play ping-pong, have a game of billiards, or watch a movie with your family. 

Even the family dog is catered for with the fenced dog run where Fido can romp and frolic to his heart’s content with his newfound furry friends. Shady picnic sites are scattered around the resort, all of which have grills that are free to use.

Every site is super-spacious and has full, modern hookups, including water, sewer, and enough power for the biggest rigs. Also, there’s free garbage pickup, modern showers, and immaculate restrooms.

lost maples state natural area Texas

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool

Lost Maples State Natural Area is located (here) in Vanderpool. 

Visitors come to Lost Maples during the fall when the glowing colors of the turning leaves are especially vibrant, and you can almost smell the seasons changing. The best time to witness this spectacle is from mid-October through mid-November.

The area is also a fantastic place to spend a camping vacation. Just two hours northwest of San Antonio, nature lovers will marvel at the wildlife and the towering rock walls that frame the tranquil Sabinal River. Here, you can enjoy scenic hiking along 10 miles of trails, fishing and swimming in the river, geocaching, birding, and stargazing without the interference of urban light pollution. 

You can also visit the nearby towns of Bandera and Utopia, go swimming or fishing in Medina Lake, or check out the wildlife on the Rio Frio Loop of the Great Texas Wildlife Trail.

You’ll find over 30 campsites here, each offering water and electricity, and charged at $20 per night plus the park entrance fee. Alternatively, if you want to get far from the crowds, you can backpack to one of six more secluded primitive sites, which cost $10 per night plus the entrance fee.

Dellanera RV park Texas
Photo by Allen Sheffield / CC BY 2.0

Dellanera RV Park, Galveston

Dellanera RV Park is situated (here) in the town of Galveston with its many attractions.

This site is ideal for those who want a base from which to explore the Gulf Coast. The site is newly renovated and offers 65 full hookup sites, many of which have ocean views right out across 1,000 feet of beautiful sandy beaches. All the campsites provide water, sewer, and electricity, and all have their own picnic table and barbecue pit.

On the beach at Dellanera, you’ll find a pavilion with showers, laundry facilities, and a gift shop. There are picnic sites along the beach, and you’ll also enjoy free Wi-Fi, weather permitting. Pets are also allowed. Rates start from $41.

The Best Camping in Texas – In Summary

Texas is the perfect location for a camping trip. Whether you enjoy a beach vacation, hiking through a rugged landscape, or dipping a line in a lazy river teeming with bass, you’ll find something to suit you in this incredibly diverse state.

If you vacation here during the fall and summer months, you’re almost guaranteed hot, sunny days, and warm, sultry nights. Imagine sitting around a glowing campfire, sipping something cold, and watching the stars coming out above you. What are you waiting for? Camping in Texas has it all!

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