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Texas Camping

Camping In Texas

As the largest state in the continental US, Texas offers a broad and diverse expanse of camping opportunities and outdoor activities. Camping in Texas is available year-round in most areas, although we generally recommend your Texas camping trip take place in early Spring or late Fall to avoid hot summer temperatures.

Best Texas State Parks & Campgrounds

These are some of the best places to camp in Texas based on our own experience and top 10 lists from around the web. Use the links below to learn more about each area.

6 Popular Places to Camp in Texas

  • Big Bend Ranch State Park
  • Matagorda Bay Natural Park
  • Caprock Canyons State Park
  • Enchanted Rock Natural Area
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park
  • Guadalupe River State Park

Where: Near the Texas-Mexico border, about 5 hours from El Paso

A more secluded but equally stunning wilderness area, Big Bend Ranch State Park is located adjacent to Big Bend National park in southwest Texas. The entire area features river canyons, desert, and mountain landscapes, with geological marvels like the Santa Elena Canyon, abundant wildlife, and historic ruins. The State Park is quiet, remote, and well-worth a visit. Visitors should be aware the roads to the interior of the park can be rough. High clearance vehicles are recommended, although not required.

When To Visit
The most popular time to visit is spring (March to May), when the desert blooms and days are warm and sunny. Evening temperatures are moderate and dark night skies offer visitors a chance to see thousands of stars. Summer (June to August) can be hot and there's a higher chance of rain through October. Snow is a rare possibility in winter.

Book a Site:
Big Bend Ranch State Park, TX

Where: On the Gulf of Mexico, about 2.5 hours from Corpus Christi

Matagorda Bay Nature Park, with both Gulf of Mexico and Colorado River views, has been rated one of the best in the country for bird watching because of its hundreds of acres of coastal marshes and dunes. In addition to bird watching, visitors can also partake in abundant fishing, water sports, and generally soaking up the relaxing coastal views. Several of the campsites are even situated along the Colorado River.
Matagorda also offers a very unique feature - 2 modernized, rentable Airstreams! The Airstreams can be booked the same as the park's other campsites.

When To Visit
Early Spring and late Fall are the best time to visit in order to escape the summer heat and humidity.

Book a Site:
Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX

Where: Northern Texas, 1 hour and 45 minutes from both Amarillo and Lubbock

Over 90 miles of trails (mountain bikes allowed), roaming bison, and an incredible red-rock canyon landscapes lure travelers from all over. Caprock Canyons State Park is a gem of northern Texas. While it's a hiker's and biker's paradise, visitors of Caprock Canyons State Park can also enjoy fishing, swimming, paddling, and relaxing at the lake. Another thing we love about Caprock Canyons is the number of primitive sites offering more seclusion and unplugging for those who choose it. But don't worry, there are an equal number of sites with modern amenities, as well as one rentable cabin.

When To Visit
Like most other Texas State Parks and campgrounds, we recommend visiting in early Spring or late Fall, because Summer can get very hot. If you do visit during the summer, plan to lay low during the hottest parts of the day and do your outdoor exploring in the evening or early morning.

Book a Site:
Caprock Canyons State Park, TX

Where: Central Texas, about 2 hours from Austin

Enchanted Rock State Natural area is home to a massive pink granite dome that rises above Central Texas. Campsites include walk-in campsites and primitive campsites. Activities include camping, hiking, backpacking, bouldering, and rock climbing. Biking and swimming are not allowed. Fauna includes rock and fox squirrels, armadillos, white tail deer, rabbits, and other small animals. Birders will find an abundant collection of different species.

When To Visit
The area is relatively temperate, making any time of year enjoyable to visit. However, in the summer, crowds are much greater and the park often hits its vehicle maximum, meaning you could be waiting in long lines or be turned away. Winter months averages lows in the high 30's (Fahrenheit) and Summer months can get as high as 94, so camping and hiking is generally more comfortable in the Spring and late Fall.

Book a Site:
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, TX

Where: Northern Texas, 30 minutes from Amarillo

Home to the 2nd largest canyon in America, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is located in the north of the Texas Panhandle near the cities of Amarillo and Canyon. Activities include camping, cabins, riding stables, picnicking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and miles of hiking. The views inspire the nickname, 'The Grand Canyon of Texas' and the park also offers musical theatre Tuesdays through Sundays during summer months at the Pioneer Amphitheater in the park. Campers can choose from campsites with water and electricity, primitive drive-up sites, equestrian sites, or backpack camping areas. You can also stay in one of three cabins on the canyon's rim or four limited service cabins on the canyon floor. There is also a pavilion available to rent for weddings, reunions, or other events.

When To Visit
Summertime temperatures can be brutal in the canyon. Temperatures often range from the 90s to 115 degrees. It is always advisable to engage in activities in the morning or late evening due to the high heat. Fall tends to bring more tolerable temperatures for camping.

Book a Site:
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Where: Central Texas, about an hour from San Antonio

Guadalupe River State Park offers a plethora of both land and water activities, including swimming, fishing, paddling, hiking, and mountain biking. The 13 miles of trails in the park offers a few short hikes to scenic overlooks, great for families. A few select campsites are right along the river, so if you book early, we recommend trying to snag one of these waterfront sites.

When To Visit
We recommend a Spring or Fall trip to avoid the Texas heat, and also avoid the summer crowds. If you do visit in summer though, plan on getting in plenty of cooling-off time in the river!

Book a Site:
Guadalupe River State Park, TX