State Park campgrounds in Texas.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes its diversity of state parks.
The largest state in the contiguous United States has more than 80 state parks and natural areas protecting a vast diversity of landscapes—everything from piney woods to arid deserts to sandy gulf beaches. Within the Texas Parks and Wildlife system, you can camp near the childhood home of a former US president, hike the rugged mountains of Big Bend Country, or get outRead more...
The largest state in the contiguous United States has more than 80 state parks and natural areas protecting a vast diversity of landscapes—everything from piney woods to arid deserts to sandy gulf beaches. Within the Texas Parks and Wildlife system, you can camp near the childhood home of a former US president, hike the rugged mountains of Big Bend Country, or get out on the water at Texas’ numerous lakes and rivers. Spring, fall, and winter are perfect for camping across the state, while the summer months are best spent near a beach or lakeshore.
The state parks dotting the Gulf of Mexico are playgrounds for beaches, birding, fishing, and boating. Camp on the beach at Mustang Island State Park, or pitch a tent by the bay at Galveston Island State Park. Parks like Brazos Bend and Sea Rim offer camping within easy driving distance of Houston.
Many campers come to the arid deserts of West Texas to experience Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande, but the region’s state parks are no less spectacular. Experience dark skies, rugged mountains, hiking trails, and a sense of solitude at Big Bend Ranch, the largest state park in Texas. Go hiking in Davis Mountains State Park, cool off in the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool at Balmorhea State Park, or go rock climbing at Hueco Tanks State Park near El Paso.
Texas Hill Country
You’ll find some of the Lone Star State’s most popular state parks within the rolling Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio. Get out on the water at Guadalupe River, Garner, Pedernales Falls, or Inks Lake state parks, or get a dose of presidential history at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park. Head to McKinney Falls or Colorado Bend State Park for some of the state’s best waterfall hikes, or Lost Maples State Natural Area for autumn leaf peeping.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, in the remote Texas Panhandle, protects the second-largest canyon in the US—a paradise for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. Nearby, spot bison and bats along the miles of trails at Caprock Canyons State Park, or spend some time in the rugged terrain of Copper Breaks State Park for lake fun and stargazing.
You don’t have to stray far from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to find a travel-worthy state park. Many of the parks in this Central Texas region focus on lakes, including Possum Kingdom, Bonham, Lake Mineral Wells, and Eisenhower state parks. Walk or go horseback riding in the fossilized footsteps of dinosaurs at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Cedar Hills State Park features 12 miles of biking trails, ranked as some of the best in Texas.
The pristine forests and moss-draped swamps of the Texas Pine Curtain have some of Texas’ most inviting campsites. The bald cypress forests of Caddo Lake State Park invite paddling by kayak or canoe (keep an eye out for alligators), while towering trees dominate the landscapes of Tyler, Daingerfield, and Atlanta state parks in the northeast corner of the state. Visit the historic site of an abandoned Spanish mission at Mission Tejas State Park.