Texas if full of natural reserves, canyons, and wildlife sanctuaries. You could put a roof over the state and it would be one giant national park. There are only so many hiking trails one has time to do, but here is a comprehensive list of the best camping sites in the Lone Star State. So watch some log fire tutorials, dig out the acoustic guitar, and add these to your Google Maps destinations.
Located in Brownsville, Brazos Island State Park is lined along the Gulf Coast about 45 miles away from downtown Houston. On top of playing in the fresh clear water, the state park has the popular Creekfield Lake Trail, a five mile walk along wetlands with all sorts of wildlife to gawk at, and that includes alligators. There are also a wealth of hiking trails, bike trails, and an option to horse ride too.
This camping site is located along the Colorado River and stretches along 40 acres. The site offers the classic Texan camping experience with huge pecan trees acting as canopies, ring fires, and grills, making Camp Creek one of the most family friendly campsites in Texas. It’s possible to get lost in the forest, so make sure you use the pristine waterfalls as map indicators for your way back. Also on offer are a bunch of recreational water activities including canoeing and kayaking.
Throughout this sandy Pilot Point location there are several different campsites that overlook lakes and shores. The park is well known for fishing, as campers have caught bass, crappie, and even catfish at the site. The record for the heaviest fish on site is a 14 pound bass. Besides the park’s impressive variety of fish, you can also rent boats and even jet skis on the marina.
With over 20 campsites, this El Paso location is known mostly for its history as it has been hiked across for thousands of years. The park is known as the Sacred Desert Sanctuary’ as people visited the rainwater pools that were caused by natural rock basins. On top of it’s beauty that makes you imagine back to thousands of years ago, the park is also known for bird watching and stargazing.
The Bob Sandlin State Park is full of fascinating foliage, and the place makes you realize how small we are as human beings with its enormous trees, five foot tall grass, and plants and wildlife you can’t find anywhere else. The park is one of the most picturesque camping sites in Texas as eagles soaring through the sky is the norm.
Enchanted Rock is named after the giant mountain that is the center piece of the park. At the top of the mountain are the best views of Hill Country in the whole of Texas, and it is home to the strangest and most spectacular rock formations in the world, not to mention that the dome is hot pink colored granite!
If you’ve ever wanted to go skinny dipping with the devil, Inks Lake State Park is the place to camp, as a short hike away is a beautifully clear blue lake ironically named Devil’s Waterhole. This state park used to be a Native American hunting ground and it has the greatest views of the Houston sunset that you could possibly find. The park includes nine miles of hiking trails and you can even rent scuba diving equipment.
Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the whole of North America, and it’s history is as rich and colorful as the rocks. Numerous bike paths and hiking trails will lead you to some fantastic secret areas. As well as camping, the park also has a site for glamping, and there is even an amphitheatre in the park that hosts outdoor musicals.
Located in Corpus Christi, the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre separating shore is 70 miles long and is full of dunes and prairies. There are almost 400 different species of birds that occupy the shore and it is home to the Ridley sea turtle. On top of the beautiful vistas and bird watching, the shore holds a ton of history, being the home of the Spanish shipwrecks in 1554.
Garner State Park is the most popular state park in the whole of Texas for camping. Though the park may not have the most uplifting history, as it was turned it to a state park to give depressed men work, Garner has gone on to be loved for its bald cypress trees growing over 100 feet, and the spry wildlife such as deer and squirrels that look like they’ve bounced right out of a Disney movie.
Being one of the largest parks in Texas, encompassing more than 1000 miles, you’ll feel like you’re in a Sergio Leone western movie looking out at the massive Rio Grande canyon. Not only that, but there are some fun geographical features such as dinosaur bones and sea fossils found in the park. There are over 1200 species of plants in the park and over 450 different types of birds.
Known as another Native American hunting ground, this south Texan national park is commonly referred to as the “biological crossroads” of North America, and has over 40 miles of hiking trails and lakes open to canoeing and kayaking. During the Ice Age, ecosystems converged creating the hardwood forests, Midwest prairies, and Gulf coastal plains that make up Big Thicket, one of the world’s most interesting National Reserves.
The Four Best Tents
Kelty Discovery 4
The last word you want to hear when shopping for tents is the word budget, as when camping in the wilderness you don’t want to cut corners on comfort. But the Kelty Discovery 4 is cheap, comfortable, and easy to set up. The tent is just $150, fits four people, and holds its own against heavy winds.
Marmot Limestone 4P
If money isn’t too much of a burden but you do need a quality tent that will withstand strong wind, heavy rain, storms, and other rough weather, the Marmot Limestone 4P is top of the range for weather resistant tents.
MSR Hubba Hubba NX
The Hubba Hubba is the all-rounder, it is well known for being the most durable tent on the market right now, and it has even been called the “Holy Grail” of camping tents. Best of all, despite its durability, the Hubba Hubba is much lighter than you would expect.
REI Kingdom 6
Though the REI isn’t a budget tent, it’s very reasonably priced for one so big. The grandiosity of the tent provides a ton of comfort and fits six people with plenty of room for fishing gear and everything else you could possibly need. The tent has loads of features including a center divider that can split the tent in to two living areas.