Best Camping in Texas: Top 10 Places to Go

Camping · Lifestyle ·
Best Camping in Texas: Top 10 Places to Go

The top camping places in Texas provide breathtaking scenery to sleep alongside, from rustic tent camping to ideal settings to park an RV. Fantastic camping places are throughout the Texas Panhandle, Texas Coast, South Texas, Central Texas, and Western Texas. Some unique characteristics include spring-fed bathing pools, untamed rivers, and old tunnels.

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The top camping places in Texas provide breathtaking scenery to sleep alongside, from rustic tent camping to ideal settings to park an RV. Fantastic camping places are throughout the Texas Panhandle, Texas Coast, South Texas, Central Texas, and Western Texas. Some unique characteristics include spring-fed bathing pools, untamed rivers, and old tunnels.

camping in texas

Texas is a remarkable fusion of the rural and the urban, so if you want to take full advantage of everything it offers, pack a tent and go camping. Enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and kayaking before cuddling up to a warm campfire and admiring the starry sky.

The vast and stunning landscapes of Texas are home to over 70 national and state parks that provide a variety of outdoor and recreational interests. These parks comprise steep mountains, thickly forested valleys, calm lakes, and rocky shorelines. The top 10 places to go camping in Texas are listed below; many parks feature first-rate campgrounds and campsites.

Top 10 Places to Camp in Texas

Some of the perfect tent camping in Texas are Colorado Bend State Park, Big Bend National Park, and more. Located close to Austin, the neighboring Guadalupe River State Campground has a great RV park. Both state parks are located in the Texas Hill Country, close to Central Texas, a popular tent and RV camping area. Most of the state's top caves are in the Texas Hill Country.

Texas is a melting pot of different tastes and a popular destination for campers and vacationers. When you are here, there is something to do every day. The best part about visiting Texas State Parks is that almost all of them have excellent camping and accommodation options. Let's look at the top 10 places to camp in Texas.

1. Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Location: Chihuahuan Desert, Texas, United States, TX 79834

Phone: 432-477-2251

Website: Big Bend National Park  

When to visit: Fall & spring

Big Bend National Park in West Texas provides expansive mountains, canyons, and old limestone views. There are several things to do in one of the biggest national parks in the United States. There are three campgrounds plus many backcountry spots to set up the tent if you like to be tucked away in a quieter region. It is the best roadside and basic camping in Texas.

Within the park, the National Park Service manages four established campgrounds. It comprises the 25 full-hookup sites at the Rio Grande Village RV Campground. The three additional Big Bend campgrounds are designed for tent and dry RV camping.

The Rio Grande Village Campground is the largest tent campground in Big Bend National Park, with approximately 100 sites adjacent to the river. At Rio Grande Village Campground, half of the sites can be reserved in advance. Every campsite is a short stroll from a camp store and a bathing house. Private campgrounds abound around Big Bend and offer a respite from the park's crowds.  

"A beautiful drive into the mountains where everything cools down. It's quite amazing. There is a straightforward walk, and the views are superb."

2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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

Phone: 086-488-2227

Website: Palo Duro Canyon  

When to visit: March-May

Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers campsites with a view and is also referred to as the Grand Canyon of Texas. The camping areas in this state park in the Texas Panhandle are dispersed across Palo Duro Canyon. The Juniper, Sagebrush, and Hackberry Campgrounds are located on each end of the state park and offer electricity-powered campsites. The Sagebrush and Hackberry Campgrounds include parking spots for RVs up to 60 feet long.

A half-mile hiking track is the only way to get to the exclusive rustic campsites at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Campers choose where to set up their tents in this undeveloped part of the park because there are no specified sites. Palo Duro Canyon also offers cabins and group camping. Every campsite offers miles of Palo Duro Canyon vistas.

While exploring the 30 miles of trails in the canyon area, stay at camps that include water and electricity if you have an RV, equestrian sites with horse pens, basic campsites with picnic tables, shade shelters, fire rings, or a hike-in rural area.

"We loved the park. Palo Duro is beautiful. Our family had campers in Hackberry and Juniper. We stayed in Juniper. It's very nice, but we will not stay there again because the caretakers were very unfriendly & major rule enforcers."

3. Colorado Bend State Park

Colorado Bend State Park

(Image Source: Pixabay)

Location: 2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, TX 76824

Phone: 325-628-3240

Website: Colorado Bend State Park  

When to visit: Early spring & late fall

One of the top state parks in Texas, Colorado Bend offers several camping options. Self-contained RVs frequently gravitate toward the park's 15 drive-up campsites. Twenty-eight walk-in campsites are available in the park for tent camping. At Colorado Bend, potable water and bathrooms are open to all campers (no showers are available).

Three group campsites with potable water, fire rings, shared showers, and composting toilets are available in the park, along with two rustic camping spots. Almost everyone will find their inner explorer in Colorado Bend State Park. You can trek around the lovely waterfalls, visit one of the spring-fed bathing holes, or take a kayak tour down the river. 

"I enjoyed the quality time. We had so many things to do there, like hiking, swimming, fishing, etc. I suggest everyone go there and enjoy the beauty of nature with their friends, family, and pets."

4. Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Location: 1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, Texas

Phone: 254-897-4588

Website: Dinosaur Valley State Park  

When to visit: March - November

In addition to 15 rustic campsites, Dinosaur Valley State Park provides 44 electric grounds. Two group campgrounds in the state park may house up to 40 persons each. A one- to three-mile journey is needed to access half of the rustic sites. In addition to seeing the dinosaur footprints, visitors to Dinosaur Valley also come to ride horses in the 100-acre South Primitive Area.

For history buffs and campers alike, Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas is a beautiful camping spot where you may travel back in time. You can step in dinosaur footprints in the limestone Paluxy River bed, showing what the world was like 113 million years ago when these enormous animals roamed the earth.

Campers can trace dinosaurs' paths at this distinctive state park near Fort Worth. Dinosaurs left their footprints in the limestone riverbed of the Paluxy River, an hour's drive southwest of the city. Visitors can explore the dinosaur trackway during the summer when the water is low and stay the night nearby at the campground.

"We made a brief stop at this park on a hot, dry day. The park has a fascinating small museum and a good place to start a visit."

5. Garner State Park

Garner State Park

Location: 234 RR 1050, Concan, TX 78838

Phone: 830-232-6132

Website: Garner State Park  

When to visit: Summer

With 1,774 acres of breathtaking Hill Country, Garner State Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The 11 kilometers of trails in the park, traversed by the Frio River, provide stunning panoramas for intrepid visitors. Tent camping, screened-in shelters, and on-site cabins are all options for campers in this park.

It's a favorite activity in the Texas Hill Country, where you may spend the day tubing, kayaking, and hiking, and it is ideal for a leisurely weekend vacation. Swimming and tubing in the Frio River are great ways to cool off on warm summer days, and the park's concession building frequently offers jukebox dances in the style of the 1940s.

"This is one of the most famous and family-friendly state parks in a beautiful remote corner of the Hill Country. The campsites are (mostly) within walking distance to the Frio River for afternoon swimming."

6. Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park

Location: 3630 Park Road 4 W, Burnet, Texas

Phone: 512-793-2223

Website: Inks Lake State Park  

When to visit: Summer

Inks Lake State Park has almost 200 campsites and is less than two hours northwest of Austin. Each camp is near the park's named feature, and Inks Lake has 125 sites with electrical hookups for RVs. These electric campsites, exclusive to Inks Lake, offer weekly and monthly pricing. As a result, Texas Hill Country RV camping is very popular at Inks Lake State Park.

The rocky terrain and outdoor activities at Inks Lake State Park are diverse. Campers can enjoy the nine kilometers of beautiful hiking paths, which feature a stunning landscape with glistening blue waterways and vibrant rock outcrops.

Relax in one of the 22 cottages or campsites beside the water after a dip in the cooling Devil's Waterhole. Over nine miles of lovely hiking routes wind over rocky hills and shady trees on the land. There are also 200 campsites with potable water, electricity, sewerage hookups, and rustic cottages where you can camp overnight.   

"Hiking was the trip's primary purpose - I hiked most of Lake Trail, Pecan Flats Trail, part of Woodland Trail, and the Connecting Trail between Pecan Flats and Woodland."

7. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Location: 16710 Ranch Rd 965, Fredericksburg, Texas

Phone: 830-685-3636

Website: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area  

When to visit: Before 11 AM

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, situated in central Texas just outside of Llano, is best renowned for its gigantic chunk of pink granite rock, one of the country's most naturally occurring rock formations.

Along with rustic hike-in campsites, walk-in campsites with tent pads are also available. With plenty of shade and breathtaking Hill Country vistas, these campsites make the perfect spot for a picnic and some downtime after an action-packed day.

There are 35 tent-only campsites with water available in this state natural reserve. A short distance separates the parking lot from the campgrounds. Every location has access to restrooms and showers; some also include a contemporary shade structure. Many campers take advantage of this proximity by going on a magnificent trek around sunset.

"Visited for the first time late Nov. The weather was perfect but windy at the top of the summit. We had many steep grades descending but took our time and zig-zagged our way down."

8. Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore

Location: 20420 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

Phone: 361-949-8069

Website: Padre Island National Seashore  

When to visit: September

Padre Island National Seashore protects the world's most extended undeveloped barrier island on the Texas coast. This 130,000+ acre wilderness area bordering the Gulf of Mexico offers a variety of exciting camping opportunities. Visitors take advantage of Padre Island's extensive beach camping options.

Camping overnight on Padre Island National Seashore is a distinctive experience along the Gulf Coast and the ideal getaway for beach enthusiasts. The 70 miles of coastline, dunes, and plains that divide the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre provide excellent opportunities for seeing the sea, the sand, and wildlife.

The Malaquite Campground and the Bird Island Basin Campground have developed camping spots. Forty-eight semi-primitive campsites with access to showers and flushing toilets are available at the Malaquite Campground.

"We enjoyed visiting this beach, the museum, and the bookshop. Great place for someone to bring their kiddos to let them frolic in the water."

9. Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve

Location: FM 420, Kountze, TX 77625

Phone: 409-951-6700

Website: Big Thicket National Preserve  

When to visit: Mid-April to Mid-May

Big Thicket National Preserve, a part of Southeast Texas's Piney Woods region, is a must-visit for nature lovers. Man has given this place the moniker "America's Ark," Visitors may go horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, biking, and camping on its 112,500 acres of land.

You can visit Big Thicket, the first such preserve in the United States, to see a variety of plants and animals, including longleaf pine forests and bayous with cypress trees. You may set up a tent and wake up in this diverse area, which is ideal for an overnight excursion.

"Big Thicket, as large as it is, feels tucked away from real-life worries. It's a nice retreat regardless of how much time you have or how much you may be "into" the details of its nine ecosystems."

10. Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park

Location: 245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, Texas

Phone: 903-679-3351

Website: Caddo Lake State Park  

When to visit: November

An extra 20 waterfront campsites in Caddo Lake State Park are designated only for tent camping and tiny pop-up trailers. Caddo Lake State Park, one of the nicest camping areas in East Texas, is not far from the Louisiana border - about 10 miles.

The bayous of Caddo Lake are easily accessible from this sizable state park, which also offers a selection of campgrounds. There are 18 sites with partial hookups where guests can also set up a tent in addition to the eight RV-only sites with full hookups.

You can easily access the bayous of the charming Caddo Lake from the campgrounds. Paddling, fishing, and admiring the natural lake from a boat are all popular outdoor activities. This park offers a variety of campsites, from water-only to full hookup, as well as two to six-person historic cabins. It is also one of Texas's finest fishing spots.

"The park is beautiful, especially Mill Pond. The campsite I stayed at was very nice, with a gravel pad for the tent and water access."

Camping in Texas Essentials

Camping is a beautiful way to unwind and spend quality time with loved ones, friends, or yourself. When camping in Texas, there is always something that needs to be brought. You can stop this from happening by making a well-thought-out camping list. Here are some essential camping items you should always pack. 

- Campsite Essentials: tent, sleeping bag, table & chair, flashlight, firewood;

- Portable Power Generator: Jackery Solar Generator 500, Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

- Camp Kitchen Essentials: cooking grill, stove, knife, cutting board, coffee maker, food

- Clothes & Footwear: water-proof jacket, hiking pants, boots, gloves

- Hygiene Essentials: hand sanitizer, toothbrush, shower kit, suncream, towel

- First Aid Kit: personal medication, bandages, finger splints, eye drops

Check out this camping must-haves guide for more information. When going camping, one item is essential to bring: a portable solar generator. Even if there is no nearby power grid, a portable solar generator is a terrific method to ensure you have power wherever you need it. It is also a good idea to ensure your emergency bag has plenty of extra batteries and a way to recharge them.

Jackery Solar Generators for Camping in Texas

Camping is an excellent way to explore the outdoors - put up a temporary shelter close to nature. Unexpected conditions arise while camping in public national parks, woods, mountains, or beaches, such as the lack of access to power.

how jackery solar generators work for camping

This is why you need a trusted camping buddy to make your vacation safe, comfortable, peaceful, and unforgettable. Jackery is the perfect camping buddy. The Jackery Solar Generator combines Jackery Solar Panels with a Portable Power Station to turn sunlight into power.  

We recommend the Jackery Solar Generator 500 and 300 Plus charging most camping appliances, from mini-fridges, ovens, portable grills, lights, and coffee makers to cellphones, laptops, and tablets.

Jackery Solar Generator 500

Jackery Solar Generator 500 is the small and easiest-to-carry lithium rechargeable battery generator. The Jackery Explorer 500 portable power station and the SolarSaga 100W solar panels are being sold together. Solar PVs turn the energy from the sun into electricity, which is then stored in a portable power station for later use. This solar generator is a safe and clean way to get power for camping, RVs, or emergencies.

With 518Wh of power, it can charge most of your camping gear, like phones, cameras, portable fans, and more. It has a 500W PURE SINE WAVE AC plug that can power various AC-powered gadgets. It has three USB ports, an AC outlet, a DC output, and a carport to charge multiple devices simultaneously.

When camping in Texas, the most helpful thing about the Jackery Explorer 500 is how small it is - about the size of a football. This makes it easy to carry around. Plus, you can use it even while you sleep because the noise level is so low (37.9 dB). You don't have to worry about the noise compared to a gas generator and immerse yourself deeply in nature.

jackery solar generator 500

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

The Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus is a highly compact and visually appealing portable solar generator available in the market. It pairs the Jackery Explorer 300 Plus with the SolarSaga 40W solar panels, boasting a 288Wh capacity and 300W output. Equipped with dual PD ports that can deliver up to 100W of output power, it allows for simultaneous fast charging of multiple devices. Also, it offers various charging options, making it highly convenient for outdoor use.  

The Explorer 300 Plus is incredibly lightweight at just 11 lbs, making it a breeze on any outdoor adventure, whether backpacking or mountain biking. The MPPT charge controller technology guarantees optimal solar charging efficiency. The SolarSaga 40W is a compact, portable solution for on-the-go use. Its foldable design allows quick storage and transportation, making it convenient to carry in your backpack.

Explorer 300 Plus features a solid and long-lasting LiFePO4 battery and a self-developed BMS (Battery Management System) that provides additional protection. Furthermore, the power station is designed to withstand high temperatures by utilizing ChargeShield technology. This technology ensures optimal and reliable cell performance, even in demanding circumstances.

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

Camping in Texas Tips

The Lone Star state, which spans about 300,000 square miles of desert, woodland, rivers, and beaches, borders Mexico and the Gulf coast. This well-liked state is filled with stunning scenery and vibrant culture. Going camping is a safe way to travel and take in the outdoors.

  1. Keep an eye on the kids! Your children's security is your responsibility. Make sure you are aware of where and what your children are doing.
  1. You are a guest in the creatures' habitat. Keep your distance from animals in the wild. Despite having a cute appearance, they are dangerous and can spread disease. Be mindful of your surroundings. Plants with thorns or stickers may be present.
  1. Be cautious with fire. Ensure your campfire is extinguished before breaking camp, and never leave a fire unattended. Be sure you know how to use axes, knives, and saws before using them.
  1. Consider the other campers. Reduce the volume of the noise, especially at night. Keep the area tidy. Take out your trash, and look for any objects you might have left behind.

Final Thoughts

Texas is a melting pot of different tastes and a popular destination for campers and vacationers. When you are here, there is something to do every day. The best part about visiting Texas State Parks is that almost all of them have excellent camping and accommodation options. The top 10 camping spots in Texas are listed below; we hope you have a great time!

Using a portable power generator to charge all your devices outdoors is suggested. The Jackery Solar Generator transforms solar energy into electrical power, which is then stored for later use, for campers, RVs, or as a backup power source in case your electricity goes out. A solar generator provides a dependable and clean power source.

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