Camping in Texas: 30 Of The Best Campgrounds You Need To Visit

Camping in Texas: 30 Of The Best Campgrounds You Need To Visit 2

From the hill country to the rugged deserts of the southwest, Texas is as diversified a state as they come. Bordered by the Rio Grand, the Red River, and the Sabine, the state’s landscape is a mix of desserts, pine forests, prairies, beaches, and mountains.

Interested in tent camping? RVing? Or do you want to escape into the solitude of the prairies, forests, and deserts of the Lone Star State? No matter how you are traveling, these are hands down the best places to camp in Texas.

The Best Camping in Texas

Texas has always been about roughing it. Follow in the footsteps of cowboys and Comanches and camp out under a starry night sky. Tent camping in Texas is the perfect place to let out your inner adventurer.

Want to make sure you don’t forget anything? Check out our Family Camping Checklist.

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-in and choose your site that comes equipped with a fire pit and picnic table. There are also showers and restrooms nearby.

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 and 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.

Garner State Park

Camping in Beautiful Garner State Park, Texas

If you’re looking for the best camping in Texas, the landscapes are breathtaking at this scenic Hill Country park.

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

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

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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Nestled in the Texas panhandle, this park is home to the second-largest canyon in the country. Stay at one of their many campsites that offer water and electric, 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 world. Teaming with pictographs, fossils, historic sites, mountains, and river canyons this park is a must-see on your next trip to the Lone Star State.

The three developed campsites in the park mostly use self-registration and are 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.

Huntsville State Park

Camping in Huntsville state park, TX

If you’re looking to escape into the woods 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 that have picnic tables, fire rings, lantern posts, nearby restrooms and water hookups. They even have a camp store that sells supplies and groceries.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park 

El Capitan of Guadalupe Mountains National Park at sunrise
El Capitan of Guadalupe Mountains National Park at sunrise

If you want true Texas wilderness, look no further than Guadalupe Mountains National Park. With over 80 miles of trails through canyons, forests and even to the “Top of Texas”, Guadalupe Peak. Be sure to visit in the fall when the leaves are at their most vibrant. The campsites 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.

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 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.
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. This area is also excellent for group backpacking trips.

Colorado Bend State Park 

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

Colorado Bend State Park will bring out the adventurer in 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 with picnic tables, fire rings, and nearby restrooms and water.

The Best Camping In Texas For RV Lovers

If you love bringing the comforts of home with you when you travel to the best campgrounds in Texas, you’re in luck. The best way to see all the sites this beautiful state has to offer is to hop behind the wheel of your RV or camper and get moving. We created an even bigger list of the best RV parks in Texas that you can check out.

Don’t have an RV but want to try it out? Check out our guide on Renting Your First Camper or go straight to our camper rental page.

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 sites are equipped with a grill, water, a table and shade shelter and nearby restrooms. 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 the best camping in Texas, stay at Davis Mountains State Park. Their hook-up sites offer. You can spend the day hiking through the mountains of west Texas or bring your horse and take a rugged ride through the area. The sites have amenities like a picnic table, fire ring, nearby restrooms and water, sewer and even cable TV hookups.

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, and bbq pits and fire rings.

You’ll have no trouble staying occupied with their onsite playground and basketball and volleyball courts. If you’re looking to get out of the heat and onto the river you can try river tubing, fishing, kayaking or snorkeling. They also offer fully-stocked log cabins for rent with full kitchen 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.

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas

Known both for the ancient petroglyphs and for their exceptional rock climbing areas, Hueco Tanks State Park is a great destination for anyone looking for a little bit of adventure. Their sites have both water and electric with drive lengths up to 70 feet. The unique sights here make Hueco Tanks State Park one of the best places to go camping in Texas.

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 sites 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 and is 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 offering water and electric hookup 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 a marina. This shady campground has access to Lake Texoma one of the largest reservoirs in the country, 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. Caprock Canyons State Park will take you into the heart of the Texas panhandle. You can enjoy 80 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking as well as water sports and fishing on Lake Theo.

The 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 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.

Thinking about buying your first RV? Check out our post Buying An RV: Everything You Need To Know.

10 More Free Campgrounds For The Best Camping in Texas

Camping doesn’t have to break the bank. Try a free trip across Texas and stay at quiet county parks, secluded lakes, and off-the-beaten-path beaches.

Interested in finding more free camping sites? Check out our guide on Free Camping in the US or check out our post on the Best Free Camping In Texas.

Camp Creek Recreation Area

Lake Travis During Sunset with Clouds in the Sky
Lake Travis During Sunset with Clouds in the Sky.

Camp Creek Recreation Area is located on the north shore of Lake Travis and allows overnight camping. 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.
Pier or dock at sunrise or sunset at Millers Creek Reservoir near Munday, Texas.

Save money and enjoy some of the best camping in Texas. At Mills Creek Resiviour, you can camp by the water or in the shade of nearby trees.

Enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming and feel free to stay up to 14 days. This 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 park comes with all of the amenities you would never expect from a free camping area. It offers RV sites with hookups and tent sites, 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
Lake Murvaul in Carthage, Texas at dusk.

There are several access sites around Lake Murvaul that offer free camping. The campsites include 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.

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 the best camping in Texas all for free. There are trash receptacles available on the beach and toilets and showers nearby.

Bryan Beach

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

Bug Beach


Contrary to the name, Bug Beach is awesome! Enjoy a river beach site at Bug Beach that has 10 sites available 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 – Lake Whitney

Sunset at Lake Whitney
Sunset at Lake Whitney

This shady camping area has 10 camping sites with fire rings, picnic tables, a pavilion, boat ramp, and restrooms. It is opened 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.

More Of The Best Campgrounds In Your State

We showed you our picks for the best camping in Texas, now share below if we missed your favorite camping destination! And make sure to check out our picks for the best camping in other states.

2 thoughts on “Camping in Texas: 30 Of The Best Campgrounds You Need To Visit”

  1. 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!

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