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Our Guide To The 12 Best Places To Go Camping in Texas

Texas is the second largest state in the U.S., stretching across diverse landscapes from coasts to forests to the open prairie. (Deserts—perhaps surprisingly—make up just 10% of the state’s geography.) But it’s not simply large in total area, the Lone Star State has a lot of people too with some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas.

Nonetheless, in a state this size, it’s not hard to get away from it all. Whether you want to pitch a tent on a beach or park your RV in a canyon campground, here’s some of the best camping in Texas.

Coastal Camping

The southeast corner of Texas offers miles of scenic Gulf Coast shoreline. Although this region is well-known for its tourists and resorts, it has quieter, less developed sections too.

Sea Rim State Park

Bring your kayak and binoculars to this seaside state park. It covers more than 5 miles of coastline and 4,000 acres of marshland. Paddling, birding, and beach-combing opportunities abound.

Sites: 84 (Including 1 floating campsite that’s boat-in only!)

Reservations accepted? Yes

Padre Island National Seashore

Unlike it’s tourist-packed neighbor to the south, North Padre Island is a 70-mile stretch of land that’s been preserved from development. Camping is allowed in separate camping areas within the national seashore.

Sites: 100+ (Some of the park’s camping areas don’t have designated sites.)

Reservations accepted? No

Mustang Island State Park

This state park boasts one of the most secluded beaches in the state and plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, paddling, and more. Half the sites include electrical hook-ups, so bring your tent or RV!

Sites: 98

Reservations accepted? Yes

Matagorda Bay Nature Park

This park and nature preserve lies at the junction of two worlds: the mouth of the Colorado River and the Gulf of Mexico. Take to the ocean or wetlands to catch a glimpse of the park’s abundant wildlife.

Sites: 70 (Plus 2 Airstream campers available for rent.)

Reservations accepted? Yes

Quintana Beach County Park

This oceanfront country park offers RV-only camping, an event center, and cabins to rent. Enjoy the water from the beach or the park’s fishing pier.

Sites: 56

Reservations accepted? Yes

Inland Camping

Ocean aside, the rest of Texas is full of canyons, forests, hills, and some beautiful lakes and rivers.

Big Bend National Park

The mighty Rio Grande River carves through Big Bend National Park—and forms the international border with Mexico. Dramatic canyons and a bewildering number of plant and animal species fill this park.

Sites: 184

Reservations accepted? Yes

Colorado Bend State Park

Just two hours north of Austin is one of the state’s most popular state parks. Don’t miss its biggest draw—a 2.6 mile (round-trip) hike to Gorman Falls.

Sites: 43 (plus backcountry and groups sites)

Reservations accepted: Yes

Garner State Park

Deep in the Texas Hill Country, this state park offers river adventures (tubing, paddleboats, paddling) and more than 15 miles of hiking trails. (Note: This is an incredibly popular park and will close to additional visitors when it reaches capacity.)

Sites: 300+

Reservations accepted? Yes

Guadalupe River State Park

The beautiful Guadalupe River is the perfect river for a relaxing float or swim. (Four miles of it wind through Guadalupe River State Park.) There are also 13 miles of hiking and biking trails that are worth exploring.

Sites: 94

Reservations accepted? Yes

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Known as “the Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro Canyon is actually the second largest canyon in the United States. (We’ll let you take a guess at the first!) In this state park, you can explore the canyon on 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

Sites: 121 (plus group and primitive sites)

Reservations accepted? Yes

Caddo Lake State Park

Picturesque Caddo Lake, with its ancient cypress trees and hidden bayous, is the perfect place to explore by boat—with a fishing rod in hand of course. (The lake has more than 70 species of fish!)

Sites: 46

Reservations accepted? Yes

Lost Maples State Natural Area

This state natural area is beautiful year-round but it really draws the crowds in the fall when its colors are at peak. The perfect place for exploring canyons, seeing wildflowers, and fishing.

Sites: 80

Reservations accepted? Yes

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