Texas is almost like a country all its own. Depending on where you go in the state, you will encounter a variety of terrains and weather conditions.
Do you prefer a stunning desert landscape? Check out the Big Bend area in west Texas. Or maybe thick forests and fishing are more your style, in which case the piney woods of east Texas are just what the doctor ordered. If you prefer to camp close to the accommodations of city, there are beautiful spots in close proximity to urban centers such as Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas that will make you forget that the big city is just a short drive away.
Here are our picks for best campgrounds in Texas.
Big Bend National Park is one of the most remote national parks in the US. The park’s unique combination of desert and mountain landscape, along with the wide variety of plant and animal species that thrive there, make it like no other place on earth. Learn more.
2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park – Canyon
The second largest canyon in the country lies in the heart of the Texas Panhandle. Visit Palo Duro Canyon State Park; experience the canyon’s rugged beauty and enjoy its colorful history. Choose from campsites with water and electricity, primitive drive-up sites, equestrian sites, or backpack camping areas. Learn more.
3. Garner State Park – Concan
Fun traditions and beautiful scenery bring people back to Garner State Park time after time. Besides easy access to the Frio, the park offers many miles of hiking trails and camping options. Learn more.
4. Davis Mountains State Park – Fort Davis
Davis Mountains State Park offers a unique and remote destination for all sorts of adventures. Here you can hike, backpack, mountain bike or ride your own horse, take a scenic drive through the mountains, go camping, stargaze, geocache and study nature. Learn more.
5. Double Lake Recreation Area – Coldspring
Double Lake Recreation Area was built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers a little of everything, including camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking and simply relaxing in nature. A variety of tent, RV and group campsites are available. Learn more.
6. Colorado Bend State Park – Bend
The park currently provides the outdoor enthusiast with opportunities for primitive camping, hiking, mountain biking, caving, fishing, swimming, paddling, birding and wildlife viewing, as well as guided tours. The trail system offers 32 miles of multiuse routes with something for explorers of every skill level, but no equestrian access. Learn more.
7. Guadalupe River State Park – Spring Branch
With four miles of river frontage, the Guadalupe River takes center stage at the park. Step away from the river to find the more peaceful areas. On the river, you can swim, fish, tube and canoe. While on land, you can camp, hike, ride mountain bikes or horses, picnic, geocache, and bird watch. Learn more.
8. Padre Island National Seashore – Corpus Christi
Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, one of a few hypersaline lagoons in the world. The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life. It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle and a haven for 380 bird species. It also has a rich history, including the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554. Learn more.
9. Big Thicket National Preserve – Kountze
Life of all types abounds in the Big Thicket. This national preserve protects the incredible diversity of life found where multiple habitats converge in southeast Texas. Hiking trails and waterways meander through nine different ecosystems, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. It is a place of discovery, a place to wander and explore, a place to marvel at the richness of nature. Learn more.
10. Palmetto State Park – Gonzales
A little piece of the tropics lies just an hour from Austin and San Antonio. With multiple sources of water (including the San Marcos River), Palmetto State Park is a haven for a wide variety of animals and plants. Look for dwarf palmettos, the park’s namesake, growing under the trees. Learn more.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in South Dakota that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.