The Best Camping Near Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas

The Best Camping Near Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas

Peep the wildflowers in the spring, cool off in the river in summertime, and hike or horseback ride in the fall and winter on a Pedernales Falls State Park camping trip. Campgrounds near Pedernales Falls State Park offer all the amenities and access you need for a stress-free getaway.

Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas
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About Camping Near Pedernales Falls State Park

Featuring the cascading falls of the Pedernales River, campgrounds near Pedernales Falls State Park are the perfect launch point for a vacation full of fun in the sun. Most areas of the river are calm enough for swimming and wading with the whole family. Cast a line or hop in a tube to explore the river further while camping near Pedernales Falls State Park! On land, there’s plenty of unique flora and fauna to observe alongside the limestone riverbank, all waiting to be discovered on foot or horseback. 

Top Campgrounds Near Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas

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Pedernales Falls State Park Camping FAQs

Just outside of Austin and not a far drive from San Antonio is one of the more popular parks in the Texas state park system, Pedernales Falls. Pedernales Falls State Park—located near the city where former president Lyndon B. Johnson lived, Johnson City—offers some of the best hiking and biking trails in the Texas Hill Country.

What’s the Best Time of Year to Go Camping Near Pedernales Falls State Park?

Like all of Texas, spring and fall are the best times to visit Pedernales Falls State Park. Winter here can get down towards freezing overnight, though daytime temperatures are comfortable and in the low 60s. Summer hits the mid-90s and offers enough humidity for travelers to consider visiting during other seasons.

However, when the weather is good, the Texas Hill Country is a fantastic place to be. Springtime temperatures hover from the low 70s to mid-80s during the day, and nights see anywhere from the mid-40s to the low 60s. Springtime is also wildflower season here, with beautiful displays of native plants starting in March and going until roughly the end of April. That also means an increase in crowds as photographers head out in search of Texas bluebonnets.

Fall is more of a suggestion in the Texas Hill Country, as temperatures don’t really start to drop off until around mid to late October most years. September temperatures still touch 90 degrees routinely, though by late October, expect comfortable daytime highs in the upper 70s, perfect for late-season hiking. Fall has many of the benefits of spring (minus the wildflowers) with the added perk of smaller crowd sizes.

Hikers and campers can even stretch their travel plans into winter here, as daytime temperatures are comfortably warm all year long. However, RV travelers will have an easier time than tent campers overnight when the temperatures drop into the mid-30s.

Tips for Camping Near Pedernales Falls State Park

Reservations Aren’t Required, But You Want Them Anyway

You’re right next to Austin and not too far from San Antonio either, so expect weekends to be crowded, especially during summer break and any weekend with good weather. Check out the park’s website for more information on reservations, and strongly consider them if you’re visiting on a weekend. Alternatively, you’ll have a lot more leeway if you can travel mid-week instead.

You Can Swim in Certain Areas of the Park, But Not All of Them

Pedernales Falls is a hotbed for water sports. However, like all outdoor activities, you want to take proper precautions. While you don’t have to worry about wildlife, you do have to be aware of currents. Underwater currents can pull inexperienced swimmers, especially since the body of water still looks calm. Follow all posted signs and only swim in designated areas, even if you’re a strong swimmer.

Consider a Texas State Parks Pass

Pedernales Falls State Park is in a really great location, so you should really consider seeing some of the surrounding Texas state parks. Alternatively, if you live in the Austin or San Antonio areas and want to plan a weekend trip to Pedernales Falls, the entrance fees can add up. If you’re going to visit three or more parks (or enter Pedernales Falls multiple times), an annual state parks pass is going to save you money.

What Are the Top Outdoor Activities Near Pedernales Falls State Park?

There’s a wide variety of outdoor activities to take part in. Since it’s on the water, any waterfront activity is going to be popular. Floating, swimming, and kayaking are all a ton of fun here, but be sure to follow all posted signs and ask the visitor center about currents and water conditions. Beyond the water sports, there’s great hiking, camping, and biking in the park. There’s even a network of equestrian trails here for locals coming with horses.

The Best Camping Near Pedernales Falls State Park

Ranch 3232

The Ranch offers a great balance of rugged Texas Hill Country living and comfortable accommodations. There are several unique stays to choose from, including cabin rentals, a glamping tent, and a wagon. Of course, Ranch 3232 also offers a variety of RV spots and tent sites with a number of amenities and comfort levels. The best offering here though is easily the direct access to undeveloped land in this section of the state.

Sun Outdoors Lake Travis

While it’s a great spot year-round, summertime travelers should strongly consider setting up camp on the water. Summer gets quite warm out this way, so being right next to Lake Travis is going to make your stay significantly more enjoyable.

Those wanting to see Austin and take in the Live Music Capital of the World will enjoy proximity to the state capital. Those wanting to spend a quiet vacation at Sun Outdoors Lake Travis won’t have to leave the grounds for anything they need. The park is filled to the brim with amenities, including outdoor sports, a clubhouse, and several swimming pools.

Camp Huaco Springs

It’s always better to be on the waterfront when you’re in the Texas Hill Country. Camp Huaco Springs puts visitors right on the banks of the famous Guadalupe River. Campers will be near the cozy town of New Braunfels should they need anything, but with an on-site general store, you won’t have to leave unless you want to.

The RV sites here are massive and easy to maneuver, so first-time RVers will be stress-free while moving about the campground. Those who came by car or plane should consider a night in the river access cabins or tent sites for a tranquil riverfront stay.

Rio Guadalupe Resort

What’s better than one way to stay on the Guadalupe River? Two ways! Rio Guadalupe Resort has 25 acres of land right up against the Guadalupe River and has been a long-time favorite of travelers and locals on weekend trips. There’s no better way to spend a fishing weekend than right on the banks of the Guadalupe. For a change of pace, head onto the river on a kayak or a float and watch the day slowly go by.

Camp Fimfo Texas Hill Country

This might just be the best stay in all of Texas. Camp Fimfo took third in the category Top Campgrounds for Families and second in Top Campground Design at the 2022 Campspot Awards and is routinely a fan favorite. It’s got all the best elements of summer camp with seemingly endless ways to get outside on land or in the water. If you want a trip where the campground is the destination itself, book a spot at Camp Fimfo!

Are There National Parks Near Pedernales Falls State Park?

While there aren’t any national parks in the area, there are a pair of National Park Service (NPS) sites within a short drive that tell visitors more about the history of the Lone Star State.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

(20 minutes)

Just a short drive from Pedernales Falls State Park is the LBJ Ranch. This area was a well-loved home of former president Lyndon B. Johnson and has been kept in top shape by the NPS since its designation as a national historical park. The park interprets the story of the native Texan and 36th president of the United States to travelers, though visitors can also stroll around the grounds to experience the area at their own pace.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

(1.5 hours)

No, the Alamo is not technically a part of this historical park, though it is nearby. Whether or not that was your first question, there’s the answer. Still, for visitors wanting to see the Alamo, a stop at this national historical park is in order. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park preserves four of the five Spanish missions and explains the story behind the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas.

Which State Parks Are Near Pedernales Falls State Park?

Blanco State Park

(30 minutes)

Here’s another riverfront park to add to the list. Located on the Blanco River, this park spans just over 100 acres and offers easy access to fishing, swimming, and hiking. If you’re fishing from the shore, there’s actually no license required, so novice anglers can cast a few lines for free. The Blanco River has a fascinating history that visitors can experience through events and tours, though there are also plenty of activities to enjoy for those wanting a more active pace.

McKinney Falls State Park

(1 hour)

This is another ultra-popular park near Austin. Like Pedernales Falls, you can expect weekends to be crowded here, especially when the weather is good. Consider purchasing your day pass in advance if you’re here on a weekend or holiday because admission is limited, and when you’re only 13 miles from one of Texas’s biggest cities, demand is high. Once you get into the park, though, there are tons of opportunities to hike, camp, bike, and even rock climb.

Guadalupe River State Park (1 hour)

If you didn’t book a campground on the Guadalupe River, you don’t have to miss out on one of Texas’ best features. The park has four miles of river frontage so visitors have plenty of space to spread out and appreciate the peace and quiet of this state park. With 13 miles of multi-use trails, there’s plenty of room to explore.

What Are the Top Attractions Near Pedernales Falls State Park?

Science Mill

The name isn’t just a fun title; this place is actually a repurposed old mill. Now, it’s the center of activities in Johnson City for those with young children. The Science Mill has plenty of family-friendly activities and exhibits for budding scientists to expand their curiosity.

The Texas White House

This is actually a specific section of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. It’s the center of the LBJ Ranch here in Johnson City and is really worth a visit all on its own. Though the whole grounds are interesting, the Texas White House was the main part of the former president’s home and draws the greatest number of visitors.

Texas Hill Country Wineries

Johnson City is actually known as the gateway to Texas’ wine country. While many travelers may be unaware, Texas has a long history of wine production and is in the top five of all wine-producing states in the country. There is a wide selection of local wineries to stop into. The Texas Hill Country Wineries have their own website focused on the Texas Wine Trail, where visitors can find the wineries nearest them.

Where Is Some of the Best Food Near Pedernales Falls State Park?

Pecan Street Brewing

Pecan Street Brewing is easily the most popular brewery in Johnson City. While a small town, Johnson City actually has several local brewing companies. They’re all worth a visit, but Pecan Street is by far the most loved and has a wide selection of craft brews, Texas wines, and bar foods.

El Charro Restaurant

It would be a crime to visit Texas and not sample some of the local Mexican restaurants’ offerings. This easygoing local business is a great lunch spot and has a traditional and relaxing ambience that makes visitors feel at home. While there’s some Tex-Mex flair in here, El Charro has a wide selection of more traditional-style dishes.

Johnson City Coffee Co.

This local coffee spot is a ton of fun and serves up great coffee in a modern setting. You can get a light breakfast here alongside some delicious local coffee, but the atmosphere here is really the biggest draw.

Pedernales Falls State Park is truly in one of the most ideal locations in the state. While you’re a short drive from some of Texas’ biggest and most exciting cities, you’d never know it by how secluded this spot feels.

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