The largest state in the Lower 48 features no shortage of places to pitch a tent.
They say everything’s bigger in the Lone Star State, and that includes the variety of options for campers, whether you're looking for an RV park, tent camping, or a primitive camping backcountry adventure. Beat the summer heat on sandy Gulf beaches, or head inland to the arid deserts of Big Bend Country in winter for some of the nation’s darkest skies and best nighttime views. Spring and autumn offer the best weather for wine tasting in Texas Hill Country, hiking the canyons of the Panhandle, or paddling the bald cypress forests of the Texas Pine Curtain.
Remote West Texas boasts some of the most pristine landscapes in the state. Explore the hiking trails of Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend national parks, raft through narrow canyons along the Rio Grande River, go rock climbing in Hueco Tanks State Park near El Paso, or hit the dunes in Monahans Sandhills State Park. The quirky communities of Marfa, Terlingua, and Marathon serve as convenient gateways to desert adventure.
Known for its wineries, whiskey distilleries, swimming holes, and rich German heritage, the rolling hills of this central Texas region extend between Austin and San Antonio, with plenty of small towns to explore along the way. Springtime brings bluebonnets to the roadsides of the region. In fall, head to Lost Maples State Park for some of the state’s best leaf peeping. Soak up panoramic views from Enchanted Rock, venture deep into the Caverns of Sonora or the Cave Without a Name, or take a leisurely float along the Guadalupe River.
The Texas Gulf Coast stretches for more than 600 miles along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and includes the Padre Island National Seashore. Sun seekers will find plenty of sandy beaches with warm Gulf waters (plus opportunities for beach camping), while the natural areas along the coast feature some of the best birdwatching in the nation. Houston, Galveston, South Padre Island, and Corpus Christi are among the most popular areas to stay.
The plains of the Texas Panhandle comprise one of the largest regions in the state. Here you’ll find America’s second-largest canyon within Palo Duro Canyon State Park, as well as the iconic Cadillac Ranch car sculpture along road trip-worthy Route 66.
Lakes, forests, and swamps dominate the landscape of the lesser-known Piney Woods of East Texas. Step back in time at Mission Tejas State Park, straddle the state line in Texarkana, pitch a tent among the gargantuan pines of Daingerfield, or make the 835-mile camping trip along the Texas Forest Trail. If you want to get out on the water, it's hard to beat a kayak in Caddo Lake State Park.
This region sweeps down through the center of the state from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Waco, Bryan, and College Station (home of Texas A&M University). You don’t have to drive far to find a lakeside campground or on-the-water activity, thanks to the area’s 17 Texas state parks and one national wildlife refuge.