Camping near Austin

Escape the city to soak in the emerald rivers and waterfalls just outside Austin city limits.

97% (5562 reviews)
97% (5562 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Austin

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Camping near Austin guide


State capital, cultural hub, camping hotspot—Austin, Texas has everything going for it. Head out of the city to behold the vistas of Pedernales Falls State Park with its waterfalls and limestone cliffs, or wander into the woods of Lost Pines—an uncommon pine-oak forest—in Bastrop State Park. Other options include heading to the hills for mountain biking around Pace Bend Park’s trails, or setting up camp in your RV at Inks Lake State Park with full hookups and picnic tables. Glamping near Austin is also popular thanks to rustic cabins and yurts. There’s more to Austin than tacos and music festivals, though Hipcampers can enjoy those while camping, too.

Where to go

Texas Hill Country

Texas Hill Country may just be the most popular offshoot destination for those looking to escape Austin. Here, campers can spelunk through underground caves and explore thousands of vast caverns—just don a headlamp and watch your step as you descend deeper and deeper into the Earth, surrounded by columns, flowstone, and even skinny tubes of dripping calcite. Afterward, sit back and unwind at one of the dozens of wineries and vineyards in the area. Hipcamps on private lands offer serenity and space, while the walk-in primitive campgrounds at Hill Country State Natural Area allow for a quick getaway from modern life with access to more than 5,000 acres of awe-inspiring canyons, rocky hills, and flowing springs.

Guadalupe River State Park

This Texas park is named for its river for good reason. Go fishing along the four miles of Guadalupe River frontage (with plenty of launching points for tubing and canoeing, too), or hit the 5-mile Guadalupe River State Park Paddling Trail. From the park’s tent camping area set within the 5,000 acres of preserved natural land, head out on one of the dozen hiking trails, many family-friendly and easy to complete in just a couple of hours—not including snack breaks and wildlife spotting, of course.

McKinney Falls State Park

Less than half an hour from downtown Austin, McKinney Falls State Park is home to a couple of (justifiably) popular swimming holes. Chill in the gently flowing waters of Onion Creek at one of two locations: The Upper Falls has deeper water, so families with younger kids will want to stick to the Lower Falls. Water shoes are a good idea, too. McKinney Falls camping spots come with electricity, water hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. Don’t forget to visit Old Baldy while you’re there—at 103 feet tall and more than 500 years old, it’s one of the oldest bald cypress trees in Texas!

Lake Travis

On an overhead map, Lake Travis looks more like a salamander-shaped river than a lake. This man-made reservoir on the Colorado River was built in 1942 to contain floodwaters, but today, it’s a wildly popular spot for countless outdoor recreation opportunities—from ziplining to scuba diving. For the more daring, Hippie Hollow Park near the eastern end of Lake Travis is the only legal clothing-optional park in Texas, where you can let it all hang out, au naturel.

When to go

For the most comfortable camping experience, stick with the spring and fall months for camping near Austin. During this time, daytime highs are usually in the 70s, and overnight lows rarely dip below the 40s—so you won’t be sweltering on day hikes, and the cool evenings are ideal for campfires and s’mores. With more moderate weather and abundant food, wildlife is most active during spring and fall, too—look for white-tailed deer, armadillos, raccoons, and more. Some campers may want to avoid the crowds, heat, and humidity of summer—temps get well into the 90s in July and August.

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