Chisos Basin At Big Bend National Park
Image from the Dyrt campers Steve & Ashley G.
Big Bend National Park just goes to show that bigger is better in Texas. Nestled high in the Chisos Mountains in the southwest of the state, the Chisos Basin campground is one of the most prized camping locations in Big Bend National Park. Rugged and remote, this lonely mountain range is subsumed by empty desert and just waiting to be explored.
Big Bend National Park offers athletic adventurers and car cruisers alike unique opportunities for outdoor excursions. Paved highways and dirt roads offer all manner of scenic drives. Fossil exhibits offer geological education about the parks history, and 800,000 acres of backcountry allow equestrian enthusiasts, kayakers, canoeists, rafters, hikers, and cyclists a chance to explore to their hearts content.
Chisos Basin campground doesnt skimp on creature comforts, either. It serves as a perfect hub for hikers. Available for reservations year-round, this campground is ADA accessible and features firewood for sale, water hookups, showers, drinking water, a campground market, toilets, sewer hookups, and a sanitary dump. In addition, both booze and pets are permitted.
The campground also boasts trail access to the parks highest summit, Emory Peak .
Great Camping Spots To Scope Out In The Texas Hill Country
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Camping is the best way to experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country. The air is cooler, water clearer, and you can spend all night gazing at the endless starry sky. Weve compiled a list of our favorite spots to pitch a tent in the Hill Country. These primo campgrounds offer opportunities to go fishing, swimming, hiking, kayaking, bike riding, rock climbing and just about anything else you can do outdoors. Is there anything better than friends firing up their propane smokers and enjoying a tasty meal while camping?
Of course, you should do a little research before you pack your tent and go. Be sure to check weather and water conditions, research the best tent for heavy rain, and dont forget to inquire about campground pet policies. Also be aware of the difference between primitive and improved campgrounds, so you can be prepared. Here are our 10 best camping spots in the Hill Country. Additionally, one resource for learning more about RVs and motorhomes is outingxpert.
1. Garner State Park Concan, TX
Look For Wmas Around The Lone Star State
Every location is different, with site-specific rules and regs, but in general what youll find is that WMAs:
- Are often located in remote, rustic areas
- Only offer dry camping, with designated sites for small to medium-sized RVs
- Can make your stay more comfortable with basic amenities like vault toilets, picnic tables, shelters, and fire rings
- Attract hunters and anglers
- Offer great wildlife viewing
- Lack reliable cell and broadband connectivity
Each WMA offers a unique experience to visitors depending on the time of year. Some WMAs lock their gates during certain months to protect rare and endangered species. Other WMAs are open year-round, but with tight restrictions on where you can walk, bike, or drive within the area.
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Caddo Lake State Park
One of the best places to camp in East Texas, Caddo Lake State Park is less than 10 miles from the Louisiana border. This expansive state park lends easy access to the bayous of Caddo Lake and features a variety of campsites. Eight RV-exclusive sites with full hookups are available, as well as 18 partial hookup sites where visitors can also pitch a tent.
Caddo Lake State Park features an additional 20 sites close to the water that cater exclusively to tent camping and small pop-up trailers.
Navigating the several paddling trails at Caddo Lake is a very popular activity, and the state park has canoe rentals available.
All campers have access to flushing toilets and showers. The state park also features screened shelters to spend the night.
Address: 245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, Texas
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Exploring the Outdoors in Texas: For some underground adventures in the Lone Star State, our guide to the top caverns in Texas feature guided tours and breathtaking speleothems. For anglers, our guide to the best fishing lakes in Texas will have you landing a big one in no time. Other attractions in the state include the top waterfalls in Texas. While it’s a rare and special sight to see, if you’re dreaming of a white winter, our guide to Where to See Snow in Texas can send you in the right direction.
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Making Reservations For Tent Camping In Texas
Almost all reservations for Texas state parks are not site-specific. Most parks operate on a first come first serve basis. You can place a site on hold but the park will only allocate the site upon check-in. A reservation does guarantee you a site ahead of those that do not make reservations however. When you make a reservation, the parks will require a deposit. This amount equates to the site fee for the first night of each site reserved.
Reservations for most campsites can be done online here. However, there are exceptions as some reservations must be done over the phone. These include group facilities and most ADA facilities. Once you have decided what state park you will be staying in, it is good practice to look up if a camp pass is required in advance and also if reservations can be done online. The last thing you want is niggly issues to be taking away from what should be an amazing camping adventure.
Texas Wine Country Jellystone Park Camp
The Texas Wine Country Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is located near historic Fredericksburg in the heart of the scenic and beautiful Texas Wine Country. Jellystone Park has amenities and accommodations to meet a variety of needs, with camping options ranging from garden tent campsites and comfortable cottages to pull-through RV sites and back-in RV sites by the garden, in the meadow, and along the creek. Amenities include a swimming pool, cable television, wireless internet, basketball, sand volleyball, miniature golf, fitness center, laundry facilities, pedal carts, a jumping pillow, Gaga Ball Pit, horseshoes, a splash pad, and much more.
10618 US-290, Fredericksburg, TX 78624, Phone: 830-990-2267
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Gulf Waters Beach Front Rv Resort
Nestled in Port Aransas right next to Mustang Island beach, this luxury RV resort is a great choice for campers who would like to stay by the seaside and get indulged with numerous hotel-like amenities.
There are 158 uniquely designed RV sites. They all have concrete RV pads, a tow parking spot, and a picnic area. Many of them are surrounded by lush vegetation, whereas some of them feature a paver patio, a pond-view patio, a fire pit, palapa, pergola, or a grill.
Stroll the beach, sunbathe, swim in the on-site swimming pool, or relax in the jacuzzi. Gulf Waters Beach Front RV Resort is a true paradise of the East Coast.
Camping In The Prairies And Lakes Region
Wedged in between the Panhandle Plains and Hill Country, and Piney Woods is the Prairies and Lakes Region of Texas. The names gives away the main landscape of the region. Lake Fork, Cedar Hill and Lake Ray Roberts State Park are some of the most popular parks in this area. With people coming from all over to sample for the great fishing to be had in their lakes.
However, if you are bringing children to this region, a number of our ambassadors have recommended Dinosaur Valley State Park. This state park has one of the largest collections of dinosaur footprints. Both children and adults alike can enjoy the thrill of stepping in the world renowned dino footprints in the Paluxy riverbed.
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Camping In The Piney Woods Region
The Pineywoodsof East Texas are primarily covered with thick pines and oaks, heavy bottomlands and skyhigh hardwoods. Sprawling swamplands are common, especially in the Big Thicket at the southernmost point of the region.
The natural, rich woodlands of the Piney Woods is like nothing else in all of Texas. The sheer diversity is stunning. Cut straight through the region and you will find marshes, lakes, rivers, prairies, and of course, rich forests. After reaching out to the Crua Community, some of the favourite camping destinations mentioned included the Martin Creek Lake, Martin Dies Jnr. and Tyler State Park.
Lake Bastrop South Shore Park
38 miles eastGoings-on in Austin dont seem to matter much at Lake Bastrop, where it feels like LBJ could still be president, as he was when the LCRA built a dam on Spicer Creek to create a cooling pond for a new power plant. Piney thickets surround this placid lake. The views are of dense green thickets on reed-lined banks. A low hum from the power plant is the sonic backdrop to the chucking and squabbling of coots and ducks. The lake is popular with local fishermen, as the LCRA keeps it well stocked with Florida bass, catfish, crappie, and perch. Try your luck at a pier, or rent a canoe and drift around the numerous shallow inlets. Of the two parks on Lake Bastrop, South Shore is the larger and has better camping and amenities. There are lakeside cabins, a playground, and a swimming area. The short Heron Trail loop goes from the campground around Lewis Point, and a sandy 4.5-mile track, great for biking as well as hiking, leads through the woods to the North Shore Park. Multiuse sites, cabins
Pro tips: Get a campsite with waterfront access . Some are very close togethergood for multifamily campingbut for privacy, choose No. 12.
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Campgrounds In Texas: Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park, located near Karnack, offers a wide range of outdoor recreation activities in East Texas, including camping, boating, geocaching, picnicking, hiking, paddling, and fishing. Campgrounds in the park include the Woodpecker Hollow, Squirrel Haven, the Mill Pond Campground, and Armadillo Run. Woodpecker Hollow features RV sites with full hookups and is the closest to the parks shower and bathroom facilities. Squirrel Haven and Armadillo Run consists of sites with electric and water hookups, along with fire rings, grills, and picnic tables. Mill Pond is for tent camping only and offers fire rings, grills, tables, and running water.
245 Park Rd 2, Karnack, TX 75661, Phone: 903-679-3351
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Best Camping Spots Around Austin:
McKinney Falls State Park photo by Heidi Okla
10 miles away McKinney Falls State Park has 81 campsites available. There are sites with water and electric that are $20 a night, and premium sites with water and a 50 amp hookup that are $24 a night all of which you must add the daily entry fee of $6. But, its free for kids 12 and under. They also have 6 updated cabins for $86 per night. Theres hiking, road biking, mountain biking, picnicking, fishing, swimming and wildlife observation. Map it, and map the park. Read about our last visit to McKinney Falls.
Emma Long Metro Park photo by Heidi Okla
13 miles away Emma Long Metropolitan Park is the perfect place to get away for a quick weekend trip as its only a short drive from home. Here youll find 3 sand volleyball courts and a half-court basketball area, for which both youll want to bring your own ball. Enjoy the swimming areas and showers during your stay, which costs as low as $10 for primitive campsites and up to only $25 for premium, waterfront campsites. Map it. Read about how we love to spend a beach day at Emma Long.
Lake Georgetown at Cedar Breaks Park photo by Heidi Okla
Lockhart State Park Photo from the Texas Parks and Wildlife website
Pace Bend photo from the Travis County Parks website
Tejas Camp Photo by Chuck Kichline
Camping at Jim Hogg photo by Jeff C. from thedyrt.com
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Oasis Rv Resort Amarillo
Address: 2715 Arnot Rd, Amarillo, TX 79124Activities:
- Dog park
Oasis RV Resort Amarillo lies down the road from the famous Cadillac Ranch and just minutes of drive from the center of Amarillo. Its proximity to Interstate 40 and the historic Route 66 makes it the right place to stop by while traveling through the area or on a road trip.
Cool down in their swimming pool or relax in the spa after a long day of wandering. Feeling hungry? Have a pizza, burger, or chicken wings at their on-site bistro. Also, the RV resort is both kids and pet-friendly, with a games room, playground, and a dog park to your service.
Stay at one of their 178 full hook-up RV sites with concrete and level pads, or rent a vacation cottage. And its not only for the great amenities and multiple lodging choices that this RV resort is so popular. Guests also often emphasize the extra cleanliness of the whole property.
A Few Things To Consider Before Setting Up Camp
There are a number of ways to find places you can legally camp in Texas. Before you do that however, there are a couple of things you should know. The first is that no matter where you stay, you are most likely going to be subject to time restrictions. Usually this means you can only stay up to 14 days in one place. Try to find out the precise restrictions for whenever you end up pitching your tent to avoid any issues.
The second point is to make sure you abide by the Leave No Trace Principles. You will have to take all trash away with you. This is definitely one to consider. Longer stays usually equate to a lot more trash than youd expect. You also must leave the place exactly as you found it. This means no taking away anything that you found and being extra cautious if building campfires etc.
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Rio Grande Village Rv Park Near Big Bend
Situated on the edge of the Rio Grande River within Big Bend National Park, this concession-operated campground offers 100 camping sites.
Consider going on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive for amazing views of the Chihuahuan Desert landscape or get an up-close look by hiking the Window Trail or Lost Mine Trail.
Learn about the first settlers in this region by joining an informative talk led by one of the park rangers.
River Road, Glenn Springs Road, Old Ore Road, and Old Maverick Road offer great back-country driving experiences for those with high-rise vehicles.
Hike through the mountain forest located along the South Rim.
Camping In Texas In The Spring
Spring, for many, is the perfect time of year for camping in Texas. The temperatures are rising but not uncomfortably so. It is busy, but not overcrowded. Texas hits a nice balance in the spring in many respects.
There is a treasure trove of activities, no matter your interest. Not only that but theres plenty cause to celebrate. Falling during the spring months are – St.Patricks Day in March, Cinco de Mayo in May and, of course, Spring Break in Easter. Thats only the tip of the fun to be had.
For all our campers, spring camping in Texas offers a huge amount. For wildlife enthusiasts, it is peak season for birding. This is mainly due to the avian migration, which brings all manner of birds through the Lone Star State. The state flower, the Bluebonnet, blooms in spring which is a brilliant attraction all in itself.
For water lovers, activities such as scuba diving, canoeing, tubing and fishing swing into action. If water sports and birding arent your thing, the warm climate is perfect for hiking, mountain biking and all other outdoor excursions. The list is practically endless. One thing is certain, you wont be left wanting in the springtime in Texas.
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Big Bend Ranch State Park
A post shared by Kate Green on Jul 4, 2017 at 11:27am PDT
- enjoy hiking, stargazing, mountain biking and more at this recreation destination in the high desert the park is ideal for tent camping
- dont forget to look up on a clear night Big Bend Ranch is a designated International Dark Sky Park, and perfect for stargazing
- dogs must be leashed please see this page for more information on where dogs are allowed in the park
- visit the park website for more details, and to make a reservation