The Best Camping In Texas

The Best Camping In Texas

Gorgeous red canyons, wildlife-rich seashores, and tranquil lakes characterize camping in Texas. Start your next adventure by browsing this list of Texas campgrounds.

Check In – Check Out
2 Adults

About Camping in Texas

From the otherworldly Caddo Lake to larger-than-life Colorado Bend State Park, the natural attractions in Texas are simply unparalleled. Water-lovers find plenty to explore between Padre Island National Seashore and watering holes like Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, while hikers get their fill at Palo Duro Canyon and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Choose your own adventure with a Texas camping trip!

Top Campgrounds In Texas

View More

Explore Campgrounds Near Cities

Explore Campgrounds Near National Parks

Explore Campgrounds Near State Parks

Texas Camping FAQs

Texas is known for many things, but the outdoor scene isn’t usually at the top of the list. Those who are in the know, though, are aware that camping in Texas is an under-appreciated experience. As the second largest state in the country, Texas houses almost any terrain and experience you’re looking for if you’re willing to make the drive.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Go Camping in Texas?

Like other states in the South and Desert Southwest, Texas summer is hot and often oppressive. Even the cities in Texas with the coolest weather year-round still see temperatures into the 90s in summer.

Camping in Texas is possible during the summer if you’re prepared. However, spring and fall are your best choices. Certain places are great to camp in during winter, but the extremes of the desert mean colder overnight temperatures than you might expect.

What Are the Top Outdoor Activities for Texas?

Texas has ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and anything on the water. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you’ll want to spend time on lakes and oceanfront areas in the Gulf and Hill Country. While the state is often thought of as a barren desert, camping in Texas offers an incredibly diverse array of experiences, with ample sites in the desert, in the forests, and on the oceanfront.

Certain areas in Texas get quite cold in the winter, but there’s rarely any usable snow, even in the Guadalupe Mountains at more than 8,000 feet. While you might (but likely not) be able to do some skiing in certain years, don’t expect the powder here to be good enough to travel for.

What Are the National Parks in Texas?

There are only two national parks in Texas and a surprising shortage of federally managed land in general. There’s plenty of history behind this, but the short version is that it was a term of Texas’s entrance to the Union in the mid-19th century. Texas kept its public lands when it became a state, and now less than 2% of the land here is run by the federal government. Free camping in Texas is limited because of this, but it’s not impossible to find.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend is the (lone) star of hiking and camping in Texas. Campers tend to flock here starting in the fall as the weather cools down from the sweltering summer heat. Fall is the best time to visit this Texas national park by far.

Winter is a decent time to come, but expect the overnight temperatures to drop into the 30s with decent regularity. Spring brings the wildflowers and visitors on vacation, so expect extra crowds during the week of spring break.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park doesn’t get the recognition of its older brother but is truly a sight to behold. If you’re looking to test your fitness, the Guadalupe Mountain Range gets up well over 8,000 feet of elevation. The range’s crown jewel is El Capitan Peak (no, not that El Capitan). While Alex Honnold isn’t filming a movie here, it’s still worth the hike if you can handle it.

Sam Houston National Forest

Like many things in Texas, this national forest sports the name of Texas historical figure Sam Houston. Just outside of Sam Houston’s final resting place is this 160,000-acre section of forest in South Texas.

Located within driving distance of Houston itself, travelers who stop in Houston can enjoy some of the best camping in the eastern half of the state here. If you’re looking for free camping in Texas, national forests are your best bet, with Wildlife Management Areas being a close second.

Angelina National Forest

Located near Nacogdoches (pronounced “na-kuh-DOW-chuhs,” if you were wondering), the oldest city in Texas, is the Angelina National Forest. If you want to visit the national forests of Texas, this is the perfect stop since it’s right next to the Davy Crockett National Forest.

The Piney Woods region of East Texas doesn’t always get the love it deserves. If you want to properly appreciate the Texas outdoor scene, you’ll see just how green this state can be by traveling east.

What Are Some of the Most Popular State Parks in Texas?

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Don’t get this Texas state park confused with Big Bend National Park. While they’re in the same area, Big Bend Ranch is operated by the state and offers a much more rugged experience for those wanting primitive camping in Texas—meaning camping without man-made structures and amenities like bathrooms, trash cans, and tables. There are almost no paved roads in the park, and all camping is primitive. If you want to feel like an old-time cowboy without actually working on a ranch, you can always cowboy camp in Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon holds some of the most incredible colors in all of Texas. Those who love the color palette of desertscapes will not be disappointed here. Located just south of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle, Palo Duro Canyon State Park has been called the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” This is the second largest state park in Texas, just behind Big Bend, and features 30 miles of multi-use trails.

Guadalupe River State Park

The Guadalupe River is one of the hallmarks of Texas. If you’re looking to spend a day on the river, the Guadalupe River has ample opportunities for watersports and relaxation. When you’re ready to head into the city, you’ll be less than an hour from San Antonio.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

There are few spots (if any) for camping in Texas more unique than this. Want to walk in the footsteps of the dinosaurs? If you didn’t before, you probably do now! Dinosaur Valley is one of the most unique parks in the Texas State Park system. While there are plenty of hiking and camping opportunities, the dinosaur history is easily the biggest draw to the park and perfect for family trips.

Camp Guides