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30 of the Best Places for Camping in Texas

Camping in Texas is incredibly diverse and always enjoyable.

From the hill country to the rugged desert, the Lone Star State is incredibly diverse. And then you need to add in rivers, pine forests, prairies, beaches, and mountains.

No matter which part of the state you wish to explore, there’s a Texas campground perfect suited for you.

The Best Tent Camping in Texas

Follow in the footsteps of cowboys and Comanches by tent camping out under the starry night skies.

New to camping? Use our family camping checklist to make sure you have all the right gear.

Oxford Ranch Campground

Beautiful purple bluebonnet blooms in Texas at sunrise.

Located in Llano, Texas, this family-run campground is situated in the middle of a 160-acre cattle ranch. Go in early spring to see the blooms of bluebonnets.

Drive right in and choose your site. They all come equipped with a fire pit and picnic table. There are also showers and restrooms on site.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Camping in Dinosaur Valley State Park Texas

Dinosaur Valley State Park lives up to its name with unique displays of fossilized dinosaur footprints on the Paluxy River bed.

This unique Texas campground offers campsites with electric and water hookups for RVs as well as primitive walk-in campsites with fire rings and lantern posts.

There are also backcountry sites for those exploring the many trails in the area. Bring your horse and explore the more than 100 acres the park has to offer on horseback.

Garner State Park

Camping in Beautiful Garner State Park, Texas

If you’re looking for the best camping in Texas, the breathtaking landscapes at Garner State Park make it hard to beat.

Come enjoy the Frio River and go tubing, canoeing, and fishing. Or, enjoy the numerous hiking trails available. Take advantage of equipment rentals like paddle boats, kayaks, and inner tubes to hop on the river. Or, stick to the barbecue pits at your campsite. Head over to the dance pavilion for their very popular jukebox dance on summer evenings.

This Texas state park also has screened shelters and cabins for rent. The campsites offer picnic tables, grills, fire rings, potable water, lantern posts, and nearby restrooms with hot showers.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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Nestled in the Texas panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon State Park is home to the second-largest canyon in the entire country.

Stay at one of their many campsites that offer water and electric if you have an RV, equestrian sites with horse pens, basic campsites with picnic tables, shade shelters and fire rings, or a hike-in primitive site while you explore their 30 miles of trails in the canyon area.

The campsite can be your base camp while you explore the canyon by foot or on horseback, either with your own horse or on a guided tour.

Big Bend National Park

Rock Formations at Big Bend National Park in Texas

Big Bend National Park is located in the southwest portion of the state and offers some of not only the best camping in Texas, but in the entire world.

Littered with pictographs, fossils, historic sites, mountains, and river canyons, Big Bend is a must-see on your next trip to the Lone Star State.

The three developed campgrounds in the park mostly use self-registration and are all first-come, first-serve. However, there are a few campsites that you can reserve ahead of time during certain times of the year. These front-country sites offer restrooms and water to their visitors.

The park also allows backcountry camping and primitive roadside campsites with a permit that must be obtained ahead of time. The park offers over 150 miles of hiking trails, 100 miles of scenic drives, horseback riding, mountain biking and river trips by canoe or kayak. There is really something for everyone here.

Check out our full guide to camping in Big Bend National Park to learn more.

Huntsville State Park

Camping in Huntsville state park, TX

If you’re looking to escape into the woods, then head to Huntsville State Park located within the Sam Houston National Forest. The park is just a short drive from the Houston area and is part of the East Texas Pineywoods.

Enjoy fishing, swimming, or kayaking on 210 acre Lake Raven or hike part of the Lone Star Hiking Trail. Stay at one of their many shaded campsites among the pines. Restrooms are located on site.

Huntsville State Park even has a camp store that sells supplies and groceries.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park 

El Capitan of Guadalupe Mountains National Park at sunrise

If you want to experience the true Texas wilderness, look no further than Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

Over 80 miles of hiking trails meander through canyons, forests, and even to the top of Guadalupe Peak. Be sure to visit in the fall when the leaves are at their most vibrant.

The campsites here are all first come, first serve. There is potable water, a utility sink, and restrooms, but all cooking must be done on a stove or contained grill – no campfires are allowed.

Padre Island

Texas beach and ocean views

If you’re looking to camp on a secluded beach under the stars, Padre Island is for you. The island is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is home to several sea turtle species.

There are no reservations for campsites, so get there early and make sure to get a camping permit. Enjoy swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and so much more on this beautiful barrier island. 

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Tree at the summit of the Enchanted Rock, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas.

This scenic park has breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country.

You can go hiking, rock climbing, and birding. The campsites are all walk-in or primitive backpacking sites. There are picnic tables, grills, fire rings, and nearby water, restrooms, and showers at the front-country sites.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is also excellent for group backpacking trips.

Colorado Bend State Park 

Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park, in the Texas Hill Country

Colorado Bend State Park will bring out the adventurer in just about everyone.

You can take a kayak trip down the river, find one of the spring-fed swimming holes, or hike around the beautiful waterfalls.

If you’re looking for something a little different, try a tour of one of over 400 caves in the area.

There are both drive-up and walk-in tent sites available here with picnic tables, fire rings, and nearby restrooms with running water.

The Best RV Camping in Texas

If you just can’t camp without the comforts of home, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are a ton of great Texas RV parks to choose from.

Check out our full guide to the best RV parks in Texas for even more options!

Mustang Island State Park

Pier on Mustang Island State Park in Texas

Just off the coast from Corpus Christi, Mustang Island offers 50 amp hookup sites only 50 yards from the water. While there are no fire rings at the sites, you can have a campfire right on the beach.

The campsites are all equipped with a grill, water, a table, and shade shelter. Restrooms with flush toilets are nearby. And all for only $20 a night.

Go swimming at the beach, hiking, fishing, or take a kayak trip on their paddling trail.

Davis Mountains State Park 

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If you want to see a truly wide-open night sky while enjoying some of the best RV camping in Texas, stay at Davis Mountains State Park.

They have a wide variety of RV campsites with full hookups that are suitable for all sizes of rigs. Dump stations are also located on site.

Spend the day hiking through the mountains of west Texas or bring your horse and take a rugged ride through the area.

Big Oak River Campground 

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There’s plenty to do for adults and children at the Big Oak River Campground in Camp Wood, Texas.

They offer 20/30/50 AMP hookups with concrete pull-thru, dump stations, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, bbq pits, and fire rings.

You’ll have no trouble staying occupied with their on-site playground, basketball hoops, and volleyball courts.

If you’re looking to get out of the heat and onto the river, then try river tubing, fishing, kayaking or snorkeling.

Big Oak River Campground also offers fully-stocked log cabin rentals with full kitchens and bath amenities as well as air conditioning.

Indian Springs Campground and RV Park

 Big Thicket National Preserve

Indian Springs is the best of both worlds: a rustic, wilderness ambiance with all the comforts of home.

Enjoy 30/50 AMP hookups, double slide out sites, a laundry room, and a dump station.

This year-round campground also offers plenty of recreation activities like fishing, swimming, biking, hiking, and ATV trails, making it one of our favorite RV parks in Texas, hands down.

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas

Known both for the ancient petroglyphs and for exceptional rock climbing areas, Hueco Tanks State Park is a great destination for anyone looking for a little bit of adventure.

Their campsites have both water and electric. They accommodate RVs up to 70 feet.

Balmorhea State Park

Camping in Balmorhea State Park, Texas

Balmorhea State Park is home to one of the largest spring-fed swimming pools in the world. The pool is 25 feet deep and has delightfully cool temperatures and beautifully clear water.

The campsites offer water, electric, and cable hookups as well as picnic tables with sunshades and nearby restrooms.

Goose Island State Park

Bird flying over the water at Goose Island State Park in Texas

Goose Island State Park offers some of the best camping in Texas. It’s home to one of the largest live oak trees in Texas. Goose Island State Park is located in between the St. Charles and Aransas bays.

Enjoy, fishing, swimming, and boating during the warmer months. Visit in winter to see endangered whooping cranes at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge.

Most of the sites that have water and electric hookups are located on the waterfront. They have nearby restrooms, picnic tables, and outdoor grills.

Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma RV Camping in Texas

Just north of Dallas, Lake Texoma RV campground offers both open-air camping and a number of amenities like a swimming pool, laundry facilities, a playground, and even a marina.

This shady Texas campground has easy access to Lake Texoma, one of the largest reservoirs in the country. It’s perfect for fishing, swimming, and boating.

Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway

Camping in Caprock Canyons State Park, Texas

Rugged trails, red rock canyons, and wild bison abound at Caprock Canyons State Park in the heart of the Texas panhandle.

Enjoy 80 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking as well as water sports and fishing on Lake Theo.

This state park offers campsites with water and electric hookups, nearby restrooms, fire rings, picnic tables, and shade shelters.

Equestrian campsites are also available as well as primitive and backcountry sites.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

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The colorful foliage of Lost Maples State Natural Area is a must-see in fall, but the park is truly beautiful all year round.

Take a hike on one of their many trails or enjoy fishing in the Sabinal River. The campground has water and 30 amp electric hookups as well as picnic tables, shade shelters, fire rings, and nearby restrooms.

Best Free Camping in Texas

There’s no reason camping needs to break the bank. In fact, Texas has plenty of free campsites for dispersed camping and RV boondocking to save you money and take you off the beaten path.

Don’t forget to check out our full guide to free camping in the United States as well as our list of the best free campsites in Texas.

Camp Creek Recreation Area

Lake Travis During Sunset with Clouds in the Sky

Camp Creek Recreation Area is located on the north shore of Lake Travis.

While there is no potable water or electricity, there is a toilet and a free boat ramp.

There are also picnic tables, fire rings and plenty of shade to keep you cool.

Lake Limestone 

feet in a tent

Enjoy dispersed camping directly on Lake Limestone for free. There are toilets, covered picnic tables, and a boat launch available.

Millers Creek Reservoir

Pier or dock at sunrise or sunset at Millers Creek Reservoir near Munday, Texas.

Save money and enjoy some of the best free camping in Texas at Mills Creek Reservoir. You can camp by the water or in the shade of nearby trees.

Enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming. Feel free to stay up to 14 days. This free camping area has trash receptacles and a boat launch but no water or toilets. You can get water and air at the nearby water station.

Spring Creek Park

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This free campsite comes with all of the amenities you would never expect from a free camping area.

It offers RV sites with hookups, drinking water, fire rings, picnic tables, nearby restrooms, a playground, and showers.

While you’re there you can take advantage of their basketball and tennis courts and go fishing in the local creek. 

Lake Murvaul

Lake Murvaul in Carthage, Texas at dusk

There are several access sites around Lake Murvaul that offer free camping for tents and RVs. This free campground includes restroom facilities, boat ramps, and a fishing pier.

Magnolia Beach

Texas Beach

There’s plenty of room at this off-the-beaten-path beachside campsite. Set up camp steps from the water. The sites have sun shelters, tables, trash cans, and grills. This is one of the best places for beach camping in Texas.

Brazoria Beach

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Located on the Gulf of Mexico, you can pull directly onto the sand and enjoy a campfire on the beach, sounds of the ocean waves, and some of the best camping in all of Texas for free.

Bryan Beach

This barrier island beach near Freeport welcomes tents and RVs. They have trash cans and toilets and just up the road. You’ll find fresh water showers and laundry facilities for a small fee.

Bug Beach

dragonfly

Contrary to the name, Bug Beach is awesome! Enjoy a river beach site at Bug Beach that has 10 campsites with picnic tables, grills, fire rings, trash cans, and restrooms. Check out the local hiking trails, go fishing, or take advantage of the free boat launch.

Walling Bend

Sunset at Lake Whitney

This shady free camping area has 10 campsites with fire rings, picnic tables, a pavilion, boat ramp, and restrooms. It is open year-round and you can stay for up to 14 days. This site is maintained by the Army Core of Engineers and is kept very tidy.

Texas might be known for its vibrant cultural history, bustling modern cities, cattle, colleges, and Cadillacs. But it should also be known for its wealth of wilderness, river and beach-side camping.

Find Other Great Campgrounds Near You

Looking to camp near Texas? Check out some of our other guides to the best state camping:

Happy Camping!

Hiking Grandma

Tuesday 27th of June 2017

Thank you Ryan for all this great information. I am a Texan by birth and I wasn't really aware of some of the places you mentioned. They all sound fantastic. I have been to Mustang Island, the Davis Mountains State Park and Big Bend to name a few. I am a fair weather camper and hiker, and would rather be in the RV when it comes to meal time and shower time. My husband and I do like to get off the beaten path at times, because there you can find the real treasures for awesome photography. Thanks again, Ryan, I am making notes!

Luna

Tuesday 16th of May 2017

Love Texas and hope to go there as soon as I can :)