The summer season brings warmer weather and the burning desire to get out of the house and experience the nature and beauty Texas has to offer. With the large number of parks and nature areas to camp in Texas, how will you choose? We’re all about saving you time and money, so don’t hire a travel agent – check out our list of the must-see camping destinations in Texas. So get out there and enjoy the clear, blue skies and wide open country that is Texas.
1. Inks Lake State Park
A short drive from the bustling city and cozy suburbs of Austin and into the gorgeous nature of the Texas Hill Country lies a hidden gem with activities the whole family can enjoy. Inks Lake State Park is a popular favorite among families native to the area and each summer it’s filled with visitors who occupy one of the 200 campsites or 22 cabins. Spend your summer days here kayaking, swimming or canoeing in the brisk Colorado River.
What makes Inks Lake a family favorite? There something for everyone and any age! Along with water activities, you can also spend the days fishing for sunfish, catfish and bass. Swim or hike to the legendary scenic spot, the Devil’s Waterhole. Daring cliff divers flock to this stunning spot and when the Valley Spring Creek is running, head upstream to experience and explore scenic waterfalls you won’t find anywhere else.
2. Colorado Bend State Park
This destination is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. Colorado Bend State Park is a prime spot for “primitive” camping – you know, where you build and sleep in your own tent. Spend time pursuing traditional outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing or join one of the guided tours they offer in the park. If those don’t hit your sweet spot for adventure, explore underground caves on one of the Wild Cave Tours offered. You can crawl, slide, and climb through tight crevices and experience canyons few people have visited before. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and possibly drenched on these tours – they aren’t kidding about the crawling!
If you plan to stay above ground during your visit, join the Gormal Falls Tours. A two-hour guided tour includes a 1.5 mile round-trip hike through the rugged, yet beautiful canyonlands to the stunning main attraction of the state park, where chilly water spills over a limestone cliff and into a serene grotto. It’s a quiet, one-of-a-kind spot you can’t miss!
3. Possum Kingdom State Park
If you’re all-about a camping destination that doubles as a water lover’s paradise, you need to spend time this summer at Possum Kingdom State Park. With both cabins and regular campsites available, the 300 miles of shoreline and scenic covers offer an abundance of water activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling and more. This state park regularly rents out boat slips, wakeboards, kneeboards, water skiis and tubes to campers, so you won’t have to pack additional gear. Fishers at heart will swoon over the on-site boat launch, fishing pier and a fish cleaning station – so you can eat what you catch right at your campsite.
The activities available at this park aren’t exclusively limited to the water. Land activities also include camping, hiking, picnicking, biking and studying nature. Those who visit here should be aware that the lake water is non-potable and campers must bring their own water. If water activities feed your fancy, take a trip to Possum Kingdom State Park this summer.
4. Padre Island National Seashore
You may enjoy camping, but do sand, seashells and the sound of ocean waves sing your true calling? The Padre Island National Seashore in Texas is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world – and you can camp there! Separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre, the park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats all teeming with life from the land and sea. Camping here, you can be a part of protecting the Kemps’ Ridley Sea Turtle – which attempt to escape over the sandy beach and to the sea when they hatch.
Campgrounds here are open year-round and are first-come, first-serve, so be sure and arrive early! Campers here can “get away from it all” with the feeling of seclusion, because there are no RV hookups in this park and the nearest amenities are located 12 miles away. Summer nights here are best spent stargazing and enjoying a warm campfire along the sandy beach.
5. Big Bend National Park
Perhaps one of the more well-known camping destinations in Texas includes Big Bend National Park. With 150 miles of hiking trails, spectacular vistas, canyons and rugged desert mountains, there’s so much to see and do in this park. Kayak, canoe or raft the Rio Grande River, take a one-hour or multi-day horseback riding adventure or enjoy scenic bicycling and mountain biking. Big Bend has it all – even when the sun goes down. This national park has the least light pollution of any other National Park in 48 states, which makes it an excellent place for stargazing.
6. Garner State Park
Float through the clear, cool Frio river that winds through 1,774 acres of scenic, colorful Hill Country landscape. In Garner State Park, you can swim, hike, and camp surrounded by 11 miles of scenic trails along the 2.9 mile Frio River. This park offers screened shelters, cabins and campsites to visitors who may also rent paddle boats, kayaks and inner-tubes for river activities. During the summer, enjoy a tube shuttle and putt-putt golf course as well...
Garner State Park offers a truly unique experience along the clear, chilly river where you can participate in the summer dance – a long-standing tradition that began in the 1940’s when young people gathered in the heat of the summer evenings for a jukebox dance. Sound like fun? Make sure if you put Garner State Park on your list, arrive early or make a reservation ahead of time because the park often reaches max visitor and camper capacity as early as 10 a.m. on weekends in the summer.
7. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Desire an experience unlike any other yet want to stay within the state borders? The Palo Duro Canyon State Park boasts the second largest canyon in the country and is often referred to as “The Grand Canyon of Texas.” Located in the Texas Panhandle, enjoy the rough, rugged beauty by foot, mountain bike, horse or car. Here, you can find 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails – although, you’ll have to bring your own horse for that adventure.
Campsites here have water and electricity sites offered, as well as primitive sites, drive-up sites, back packing and equestrian sites available to meet the needs of any campers who find themselves spending a summer night in this park. During the summer, you can even see a show right in the park! Witness the outdoor musical drama TEXAS only during the summer season.
From the coast to the panhandle, Texas boasts an abundance of parks with limitless activities and fun for the entire family. With an abundance of scenic parks and treasure to be found within, Texas should be at the top of your list for best camping destinations to visit this summer. Camp in one of Texas’s best camping destinations and have the best summer ever! If a move is also in your plans this summer, be sure and contact us today to find out how we can help you move into a brand new home while saving time AND save you thousands of dollars in the process!