Best Campsites in Texas

by Emily Morgan
best-campsites-in-texas

When you think of the Lone Star State, you probably think of The Alamo, cowboys, and barbeque. There’s nothing wrong with that, however, the state’s sprawling landscape doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. As the second biggest state in the country, these campsites in Texas’ stunning landscape have something for everyone.

From the panhandle to the coast to the central regions, Texas also boasts a variety of geographical areas perfect for your next camping trip. With 70 national and state parks, you’ll have access to rugged mountains, forested valleys, peaceful lakes, and rocky shorelines. In addition, the state has unique features you won’t see in other parts of the country, such as spring-fed swimming pools, winding rivers, and centuries-old caverns.

To prepare you for your next Lone Star adventure, we’re giving you our top picks of the best campsites in Texas. From primitive tent camping to beautiful beachfront retreats to family-friendly sites, Texas is truly a haven for all who want that quintessential American camping trip.

Chisos Basin Campground

For those who want to camp in Texas’ most iconic national park

Location: Big Bend National Park in West Texas
Campground Contact:  (432) 477-1121
Park Hours: Open year-round
Campground Website

As one of the most sought-after campgrounds, Chisos Basin Campground sits at an altitude of 5,400 feet in the craggy Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park. The campground is also surrounded by looming, rocky cliffs and is ideally located near some of the park’s most spectacular sights.

Big Bend National Park also offers panoramic views of mountains, canyons, and the area’s ancient limestone. As one of the largest national parks in the United States, there are undoubtedly endless ways to spend your time here. With over 800,000 acres of national land to explore, visitors can kayak the Rio Grande, go fishing, hike, and also mountain bike. In addition, the park is also home to over 4,000 species of animals, so wildlife viewing is also a great way to spend time. However, if this campsite seems like your perfect fit, make sure you prepare properly as reservations are required.

Campground Breakdown:
• 56 Tent-Only Sites: $16 per night
• Each site accommodates eight people and two cars

Chisos Basin Amenities: Staff on site, camp store, ice for sale, flush toilets, potable water, amphitheater, food storage lockers, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Chisos Basin Campground Here

Mustang Island State Park

For those who want to camp on the Texas coastline

Location: On the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, in Corpus Christi
Campground Contact:  (361) 749-5246
Park Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Campground Website

Wake up to the sound of crashing waves and pelicans cawing as you camp along the Gulf of Mexico at Mustang Island State Park. This campsite features a stunning coastline that is over five miles long, algae-covered tidal flats, and mesmerizing flora. If you’re a wildlife lover, go from April through July if you want to get a glimpse at the endangered sea turtles as well as a wide variety of native birds. You can also spend your days kayaking, frolicking on the beach, and stargazing at the vast Texas sky.

Campground Breakdown:
• 48 Sites with Electricity: $20 per night
• 50 Drive-up Primitive Sites: $10 per night
• Each site accommodates eight people

Mustang Island Amenities: Camp store, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, showers, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Mustang Island Campsite Here

Cedar Sage Campground

For those who want both water and land activities

Location: Inside the Guadalupe Mountains National Park an hour north of San Antonio
Campground Contact: (830) 438-2656
Park Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Campground Website

With nearly 2,000 acres and a four-mile river to explore, the Guadalupe River State Park is the perfect place to experience all the grandeur of the Lone Star State. Here, you can settle yourself and your tent near the water or you can also search for a secluded spot if you want to take in a more tranquil setting.

In addition, the park is also a great destination during any season. However, visitors often come in the autumn months to see the picturesque fall foliage. You’re also a short drive from San Antonio and Austin. With miles of riverfront, obviously, the Guadalupe River takes center stage here. You can spend your days swimming, fishing, and also kayaking. You’ve also got miles of hiking and biking trails for those who prefer land activities.

Campground Breakdown:
• 37 Sites with Electricity: $20 per night
• Each site accommodates eight people
• 30 amp hookups available

Cedar Sage Amenities: Picnic tables, tent pads, potable water, lantern posts, fire rings with grills, restrooms, showers, park store, playground, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Cedar Sage Campground Here

Enchanted Rock State National Area

For those who who want to rock out

Location: Fredericksburg, Texas
Campground Contact: (830) 685-3636
Park Hours: Open daily from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Campground Website

Nestled right outside of Llano in central Texas, the Enchanted Rock State Natural area is famous for its pink granite rocks and is also one of the largest natural rock formations in the country. The area’s name comes from the mystical powers Native Americans believed it possessed; hence the word ‘Enchanted.’ Here, you can choose between walk-in and primitive hike-in campsites, where you’ll have ample shade and views of the hill country. Visitors also spend time rock climbing and hiking through the 11 miles of trails.

In addition, if you really want to ball out, you can arrive with your camp setup waiting for you— giving you and your tribe more time to focus on the fun stuff. The campground in the park also offers complete camping setups for a group of four, with setup and takedown services on the weekends only. Camping equipment also includes a six-person tent, sleeping bags and pads, sheets, cooking stoves, cooking utensils, and lamps.

Campground Breakdown:
• 35 Walk-In Sites: $20 per night
• 20 Hike-In Primitive Sites: $14 per night
• 1 Group Camp: $100 per night, accommodates 100 people

Enchanted Rock Amenities: Picnic tables, showers, restrooms, park store, fire rings, tent pads, grills

Reserve an Enchanted Rock Campsite Here

Colorado Bend State Park

For those who want to chase waterfalls

Location: Located in the central part of the state in Bend, Texas
Campground Contact: (325) 628-3240
Park Hours: Open daily from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Campground Website

Just two hours northwest of Austin, Colorado Bend State Park has endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as cave tours, fun on the water, and over 35 miles of hike and mountain bike trails.

In addition, visitors come from all over to visit Texas’ tallest waterfall, the cascading Gorman Falls. You can reach this 70-foot majestic landmark from a 3-mile hike. It is also at the top of the list for many outdoor enthusiasts as group primitive campsites, backpack camping sites, and drive-up sites are available. There’s also an abundance of scenic swimming holes ideal for you to cool off while enduring the brutal Texas heat. With plenty of opportunities for fishing, paddling, caving, and birding, there’s undoubtedly something here for any camper.

Campground Breakdown:
• 15 Drive-Up Primitive Sites: $15 per night
• 28 Hike-In Primitive Sites: $13 per night
• Primitive Sites (Hike-in | Backcountry River Area): $10 per night
• Primitive Campsites (Hike-in | Backcountry Windmill Area): $10 per night
• Group Camp (Grey Fox): $35 per night, accommodates up to 16 people
• Group Camp (Canyon): $35 per night, accommodates up to 16 people
• Group Camp (River Area): $75 per night, accommodates up to 48 people

Colorado Bend Amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, market, showers, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Colorado Bend Campsite Here

Dinosaur Valley State Park

For those who love both paleontology and camping

Location: Glen Rose, Texas near Ft. Worth
Campground Contact:  (254) 897-4588
Park Hours: Open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Campground Website

If you love dinosaurs, history, and camping, this is the perfect campsite. Here, you can go back in time to see what the world looked like as it was 113 million years ago when ancient giants roamed the earth. At Dinosaur Valley State Park, visitors can walk in actual Acrocanthosaurus footprints in the limestone bed of the Paluxy River, also ride horses, and have a memorable camping trip. The park also offers hike-in primitive campsites and those with electricity. However, it’s best to plan a trip here in summer when the water is low so you can explore the dinosaur trackway.

Campground Breakdown
• 44 Sites with Electricity: $25 per night
• 8 Walk-In Primitive Sites: $18 per night
• 7 Hike-In Primitive Sites: $15 per night
• 40-Person Group Camp: $60 per night
• 20-Person Group Camp: $35 per night

Dinosaur Valley Amenities: Picnic tables, showers, restrooms, fire rings, amphitheater, firewood, and ice for sale

Reserve a Dinosaur Valley Campsite Here

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

For those who want to explore the nation’s second-largest canyon

Location: Canyon, Texas near the panhandle
Campground Contact: (806) 488-2227
Park Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
• Campground Website

Did you know that Texas has its own version of the Grand Canyon? As a matter of fact, Texas’ Palo Duro Canyon State Park is the second-largest canyon in the United States. Altogether, the park is a 182-acre state park located in the northernmost portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, visitors also come from all over to see the canyon, which rests at 3,500 feet above sea level. It’s also 120 miles long, around 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet.

With multi-colored terra cotta, the canyon also looks like something straight out of a classic John Wayne Western. After taking in the scenic vistas, you can then spend time hiking or horseback riding through the canyon along its 30 miles of trails. Meanwhile, there are spots for tent camping, RV camping, and equestrian campsites. In addition, cabins are available to rent on the canyon rim and canyon floor.

Campground Breakdown:
• 18 Campsites with Electricity (Juniper): $26 per night
• 47 Campsites with Electricity (Mesquite | Sagebrush): $26 per night
• 32 Campsites with Electricity (Hackberry): $26 per night
• 8 Campsites with Water: $16 per night
• 4 Primitive Campsites (Hike-in): $12 per night
• Group Camp (Wolfberry): $250 per night, accommodates up to 72 people
• Group Camp (Youth): $50 per night, accommodates up to 32 people

Palo Duro Amenities: Potable water, restrooms, picnic tables, camp store, leashed pets allowed

Reserve a Palo Duro Campsite Here

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