Best Places To Camp In Texas
Written by Brad LaneJun 23, 2020
From primitive tent camping to awesome spots to park an RV, the best places to camp in Texas offer stunning landscapes to sleep near. The Texas Panhandle the Texas Coast and the south, central, and western parts of the state all feature great places to go camping. Unique features of a few include spring-fed swimming pools, wild rivers, and ancient caverns.
Places like Colorado Bend State Park offer some of the best tent camping in Texas. The nearby Guadalupe River State Park features an excellent RV park close to Austin. Both state parks are within Texas Hill Country, near Central Texas, which is a prime destination for RV camping and places to pitch a tent. Texas Hill Country is also home to many of the best caverns in the state.
Great places to camp can be found in every corner of the state. Palo Duro Canyon is a beautiful state park and place to camp near the Panhandle. Padre Island, off the Texas Coast, features incredible beach camping on an undeveloped coastline. Cypress swamps define places to camp in East Texas, and rugged mountains offer a scenic backdrop in West Texas.
During school breaks and other peak times it’s best to reserve a site in advance. You can make campsite reservations at most state parks.
While all campsites have their unique differences, each place to camp shares the same spectacular Texas sunsets and sunrises. Lay claim to your site today with our list of the best places to camp in Texas.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
Campers can walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs at this unique state park near Fort Worth. An hour drive southwest of the city, dinosaurs left their tracks in the limestone bed of the Paluxy River here. During the summer months, when the water is low, visitors can explore the dinosaur trackway and spend the night in the campground nearby.
Dinosaur Valley State Park offers 44 campsites with electricity, as well as 15 primitive sites. The state park also features two group campgrounds that accommodate up to 40 people. Half the primitive sites require a one- to three-mile hike to reach. Alongside the dinosaur tracks, campers also come to Dinosaur Valley to ride horses in the 100-acre South Primitive Area.
Address: 1629 Park Rd 59, Glen Rose, Texas
Guadalupe River State Park
This river-centered state park features nearly 100 campsites less than an hour north of San Antonio.
Campsites at Guadalupe River State Park are split between three campgrounds. The Turkey Sink and Cedar Sage Campgrounds host a majority of campsites at the state park. These campsites feature full electric hookups and are popular for Texas Hill Country RV Camping. Campsites require a two-night stay on the weekends . Campsites in Turkey Sink and Cedar Sage are close to flushing restrooms and shower facilities.
The state park also features nine primitive sites at the Wagon Ford Campground, which require a short walk from a parking area. These walk-in campsites have immediate access to the Bald Cypress Trail and adjacent Guadalupe River. Campers at Wagon Ford Campground have access to restrooms but no showers.
Address: 3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, Texas
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Can You Camp Anywhere In Texas
While there are certainly many opportunities for free camping available in public lands, national forests, and other locations, you cant camp anywhere in the state. Much of the land in Texas is privately owned by citizens or corporations, and camping on private property without permission is trespassing.
Its always a good idea to double-check that you are in a spot where you can take advantage of dispersed camping in Texas legally. Lets talk about the places where you can take advantage of free campingsafely and legally.
Obtain A Texas Parks And Wildlife Limited Public Use Permit
You cannot camp on WMA lands without a Limited Public Use Permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife division that oversees all WMAs. This permit enables both Texas residents and non-residents to camp and fish on WMA lands.
A WMA Limited Public Use Permit is good for six months at any of the WMA lands in Texas. Thankfully the cost of buying a permit is negligible compared to paying for campgrounds. As of today a permit will only set you back $12.
If youre not a hunter, youre a birdwatcher or just a nature lover, you can spend that twelve dollars and youve got access to all of these areas,says TPW public hunting coordinator Vickie Fite. At times when hunting is allowed, you have to be careful and wear your hunter orange. But youve also got access to this property at any other time also. For just doing the nature watching type things. Over a million acres of land. Ready. Right there. Waiting for you to come out and spend an afternoon watching nature.
You can purchase a WMA Limited Use Permit online, or at any number of sporting goods throughout the state.
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Wayne Russell Municipal Rv Park
If you find yourself passing through the area of Floydada, the Wayne Russell Park is an awesome option. Here youll find free water and electricity, as well as a dump station.
RVers are allowed to stay two nights for free at this park. Once those are done, you can extend your stay for only $10 a night.
Wayne Russell Park. Photo via Campground Reviews
Prep For The Heat Sun And Mosquitoes
Sunscreen is necessary on Texas beaches year round.
You may be able to forget sunscreen and survive from November to January, but we do not recommend this.
Make sure to pack a high quality waterproof sunscreen with high SPF and remember to reapply it every few hours.
Pack a kid-friendly sunscreen for the little ones.
Mosquitoes are abundant on the Texas Coast during the summer think huge swarms that keep coming back!
Carrying an insect repellent is a must if you want to sleep soundly at night.
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Bra Area #5 Bug Beach
2760 Frontier Unit RoadGraford, Texas 76449 Located off FM 2951 take third paved road left after Public Use Area #4S. Approximately 100 campsites, boat ramp will accommodate all boat types, accessible at higher lake levels, courtesy dock, picnic areas with tables and grills/fire pits, swimming area, restrooms. No fee required. Open year-round.
Best Camping On The Beach In Texas
Beach camping in Texas is an amazing and beautiful experience.
You can hear nothing but the sound of the ocean at night. The time spent in nature washes away all worries and aches.
Beware, the sand gets everywhere in the tent, in your clothes, in the car but hey, thats the fun of a beach trip, isnt it?
After all, You can shake the sand from your shoes but not from your soul!
And with that, lets introduce you to some of our favorite beach campsites in Texas:
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Bra Area #1 Scenic Cove
3401 Scenic Point RoadGraford, Texas 76449 Located off Park Road 36, turn south on LaVilla Road. Approximately 30 campsites, boat ramp will accommodate all boat types, accessible at higher lake levels, courtesy boat dock, picnic areas with tables/shelters and grills, swimming area, and restrooms. No fee required. Open year-round.
Carry All Supplies To The Campsite
Take everything that you will need including water, ice, food, and firewood.
Or buy the essentials at the camp store before you set up your campsite, especially if its remote.
Most of the beach campsites are far from amenities and stores.
The last thing you want to do is to drive back for something just after you have arrived.
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Ray And Donna West Rv Park
The Ray and Donna West RV Park is run by the city of Muleshoe and is one of the best free campgrounds in Texas with hookups. Its right off the highway and near plenty of fast food locations. Not only that, but the park offers full hookups at every site. Campers must limit their stay to 3 nights.
Ray and Donna West Free RV Parking Photo via Campground Reviews
Waylon Jennings Rv Park
A small park in a small town, Waylon Jennings RV Park is an excellent place to stop for a bit. There are plenty of RV sites and each one has water and electric hookups. There are a few sites that even include sewer, and a dump station is available toward the back of the park. Stay a full four nights completely free of charge. After that, the cost is only $20 a night.
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Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite
Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.
Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.
This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
South Padre Island Beach Camping
South Padre Island camping on the beach is as good as it gets!
From here you can experience stunning sunrises and sunsets and have a relaxing time on the beach.
Tent camping on South Padre Island is our favorite activity but there are also many RV parks which are perfect for all types of equipment.
Some of the top South padre Island RV parks on the beach include Isla Blanca Park and Andy Bowie Park.
From Beach Access #5 to any place north of the island, camping is free.
You will need to pay for a permit to drive on the beach.
The first couple of miles is good for 2WD vehicles while only 4WD vehicles are safe the further north you go.
You can have bonfires here too.
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Free Camping Spots In Texas Near You
One of the options for a unique outdoor experience is to visit the superb campgrounds in Texas to have a rich time of expression with Texas’s warm and welcoming air. Perhaps you want primitive camping in Texas or the best tent camping in Texas there is always enough fun and options to go around.
A special perk of Texas state parks camping is that you can have an incredible experience at no cost since there are free camping spots that you can access and have a time of a lifetime with a cool camping experience.
These places to camp in Texas are not hard to find. If you have ever asked for hiking and camping near me or overnight camping near me in Texas, we have provided a cut down on the time you spend in discovering them. These campsites in Texas will leave you with a thrilling experience you will never forget.
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Lamesa Rv Parking Area
Like many others, this free camping area is located in a park, meaning playgrounds and plenty of space for afternoon walks. Public restrooms are available onsite. Hookups include water and 30-amp electric at each of the 10 sites, as well as a dump station.
The free stay limit here is 4 nights. There is a $20-per-night fee for any nights stayed after that.
Free Campgrounds In Texas With Hookups
Weve mentioned before that Texas is a great place to go RVing if youre looking to travel on a budget. The state park system here is fantastic, and by purchasing a state park pass, you can save a ton of money. On top of that, there are plenty of free things to see and do in this beautiful and diverse state.
All that said, the best money-saver of all is something weve yet to write about: the free campgrounds.
Many people are completely unaware of the fact that most states offer a handful of free RV parking locations for travelers to enjoy as they pass through. Often, these are found in smaller communities, and usually, they are nothing more than an empty parking lot.
Texas is different from many other states, in that rather than having just a few of these RV parking areas, it hosts a huge number of them. Not only that, but many of these little campgrounds even feature electric hookups and water! In some cases, there is even a sewer dump.
Obviously, finding such a gem is great for the budget, and finding a whole collection of them is incredible. In order to help you camp on a budget, were going to use this article to share all of the free campgrounds in Texas with hookups that we know of. This will allow you to tour the state without spending a dime on lodging, something many campers would never even dare dream of.
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The Best Free Camping In Texas
You have dozens upon dozens of options for free camping in Texas.
Not only is free camping a great way to save money on your next outdoor adventure, but many of the best free campsites in Texas are quiet, remote, secluded, and supremely beautiful.
These free campsites are located all throughout the region,including the plains of the Texas Panhandle,down near BigBend National Park, in beautiful TexasHill Country, and across the rest of this great state. Many are found innational forests, wildlife management areas, and on other public land.
Heres everything you need to know about free camping inTexas.
How Do I Find Places To Camp Legally
Texas is one state that is particularly difficult to find free places to camp. This goes back to when the United States wanted Texas to join the union.
Texas would only comply if they were allowed to keep most of the unsettled land owned by the Republic of Texas. This means that on most stretches of land, you are on the property of others.
However, below are three ways to find legal spots for free, or next to free, camping in Texas:
Look For Wildlife Management Areas – Wildlife Management Areas are operated by the Wildlife Division of Texas Parks and Wildlife.
There are over 47 Wildlife Management Areas, encompassing some 714,094 acres of land. 21 of these WMAs offer overnight camping. Its important to note that some WMAs in Texas dont offer parking for RVs. A full list of WMA camping sites can be found here.
Talk to a Ranger – The very best way of ensuring peace of mind is to speak with a ranger in the local area. Oftentimes there can be free parking in BLM managed lands or Forest Lands.
However, your best bet is to call or drop into a National Forest or BLM office. The rangers there will be happy to give advice and point out areas where you can camp legally.
Search Online – Free camping or searching for free camping has become quite the hobby in recent years. There are many resources online dedicated to helping campers find free camping areas. Check out FreeCampsites.net or Campendium to compile your own list.
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The Popular And Free Camping Areas In Texas
- Amanda Williams
Being the second-largest state in the United States, Texas is vast and consists of 78 state parks, 47 Wildlife Management Areas, and 10 national forests and grasslands.
Camping in the Lone Star State is a truly unique experience, with prairies, deserts, mountains, marshes, seashores, and everything in between.
There are many dispersed camping sites for tent camping, RV camping, backpackers, and hikers. If you are looking for a free or cheap place to camp in Texas, this post is for you.
Free Camping In Texas Spots Youll Love
Searching for the best free camping in Texas? Youve come to the right place.
Despite the size of the state, Texas doesnt have many free campsites. Were not talking Walmarts or interstate rest stops were talking about great campgrounds meant for recreation.
We have 7 free sites to share with you today. In addition to location and amenity info, each site will have a unique Camping in Texas Vibes score to give you an overall rating.
Lets dive in!
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