6 Best Tent Camping Spots in Texas

6 Best Tent Camping Spots in Texas

Texas is one of the most diverse states in the US. You will find so many different cultures and experiences throughout the state. When it comes to camping it’s no exception. There are tons of fun things around the state to add to the bucket list to see on your camping trips.

Hopefully this list helps you narrow down your search on the best places to go camping this year! We have yet to see all of these places so if you have a suggestion or comment please let us know! We love all the feedback we can get.

How Do I choose the best campsite?

There is alot of factors that play into choosing the correct campsite for you. The main criteria in Texas for tent camping is going to be vastly different than tent camping in other states. Obviously every state is completely different, but from what we’ve experienced Texas can be a different beast to navigate.

How’s the Weather in the Area?

When you’re looking in advance to book your campsite, the weather is what can make or break your camping experience. If you don’t do extensive research on this, it can make your vacation miserable.

Start by figuring out what season you’ll be going camping. Ideally winter and fall are the best times to camp in an unconditioned tent in Texas. If you’re planning on tent camping in Texas in the summer, be prepared to sweat or go to a place that isn’t crazy humid. (Stay as far from the coast as possible)What amenities does my campsite offer?

Shower and Bathroom

If you’re tent camping in Texas, please go to a place you can shower off after sweating all day… A campsite with a nice bathroom and shower is the main thing to look for when browsing through potential spots. Also, make sure your campsite isn’t a mile from the closest bathroom.. at midnight a mile walk to go pee is not on the list of fun things to do.

Electricity

Some sort of power/electricity is a nice benefit, but if you’re planning on roughing it for a couple of days stay away from this one. Sometimes unplugging from the world is nice, but if it is unexpected its a nightmare.

Fun Activities Nearby

Whether you’re fishing, hiking, mountain biking or just hanging out in the woods, make sure your campsite is close by. If you end up camping in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do you might not like your experiences with camping much. If you pick the right place, tent camping in Texas can be one of the best vacations you’ve ever taken. Check out Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more fun things to do around the state: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/parks/things-to-do

6 Best Spots for Tent Camping in Texas

  1. Big Bend National Park

  2. Palo Dura Canyon State Park

  3. Garner State Park

  4. Perdenalas State Park

  5. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

  6. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Pros and Cons:

Big Bend National Park

  • Pros: Located in the remote Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend National Park offers stunning landscapes, including mountain ranges, canyons, and rivers. The park offers a variety of tent camping options, including primitive sites and developed campgrounds. The Chisos Basin campground is particularly popular, with sites nestled in a forested area surrounded by mountains. The park is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, and coyotes.

  • Cons: The park's remote location may make it difficult to access for some visitors. Additionally, the park can experience extreme weather conditions, including high temperatures during the summer months.

  • Special features: Visitors to Big Bend National Park can explore over 150 miles of trails, including routes through the desert and along the Rio Grande. The park also offers a variety of ranger-led programs, including stargazing and wildlife viewing.

    For more info go to: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

  • Pros: Palo Duro Canyon is the second-largest canyon in the United States and offers breathtaking views of vibrant red rock formations. The park has a variety of tent camping options, including backcountry sites and developed campgrounds with amenities like showers and electricity. The park also offers a variety of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Cons: The park can get crowded during peak season, which may impact the camping experience. Additionally, the summer months can be hot, with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Special features: Visitors to Palo Duro Canyon State Park can attend the outdoor musical drama "Texas" during the summer months, which tells the story of the state's history.

    For more info go to: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/palo-duro-canyon

Garner State Park

  • Pros: Garner State Park is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country and offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, swimming, and tubing. The park has a large number of campsites, including both primitive and developed options. The park is also home to the Frio River, which is a popular spot for swimming and fishing.

  • Cons: The park can get crowded during peak season, which may impact the camping experience. Additionally, some campsites may be located close to roads, which can result in noise.

  • Special features: Visitors to Garner State Park can attend the nightly summer dance at the park's pavilion, which has been a tradition for over 80 years.

    For more info go to: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/garner

Pedernales Falls State Park

  • Pros: Pedernales Falls State Park is located in the Texas Hill Country and is home to the Pedernales River, which features a series of waterfalls and pools. The park has a variety of campsites, including primitive options and developed sites with electricity and water. The park also offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, swimming, and fishing.

  • Cons: The park can get crowded during peak season, which may impact the camping experience. Additionally, the river's water flow can be unpredictable and may impact swimming and fishing.

  • Special features: Visitors to Pedernales Falls State Park can explore over 20 miles of hiking trails, including routes that offer views of the river and waterfalls.

    For more info go to: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

  • Pros: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is located in the Texas Hill Country and is home to a massive pink granite dome. The park has a variety of campsites, including primitive options and developed sites with amenities like showers and water. The park also offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking and rock climbing.

  • Cons: The park can get crowded during peak season, which may impact the camping experience. Additionally, the park does not have a river or lake for swimming or fishing.

  • Special features: Visitors to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area can hike to the top of the granite dome for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The park is also home to a variety of unique plant and animal species, including the rare golden-cheeked warbler.

    For more info go to: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

  • Pros: Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in western Texas and offers a variety of camping options, including developed campgrounds and backcountry sites. The park is home to the highest peak in Texas, Guadalupe Peak, as well as a variety of hiking trails that lead to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and desert.

  • Cons: The park's remote location may make it difficult to access for some visitors. Additionally, the park can experience extreme weather conditions, including high winds and snow during the winter months.

  • Special features: Visitors to Guadalupe Mountains National Park can explore over 80 miles of hiking trails, including routes that lead to ancient rock formations and historic ranching sites. The park is also home to the world's largest Permian fossil reef.

    Overall, each of these tent camping spots in Texas offers unique features and experiences for camping enthusiasts. Big Bend National Park and Palo Duro Canyon State Park are particularly stunning destinations for those looking for dramatic natural landscapes, while Garner State Park and Pedernales Falls State Park offer a variety of recreational activities for families and groups. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Guadalupe Mountains National Park are ideal for hikers and outdoor adventurers looking for unique geological formations and challenging trails.

  • For more info go to: https://www.nps.gov/gumo/index.htm

Tips and Tricks

Safety tips and regulations to keep in mind:

  • Always check the weather forecast before embarking on a camping trip and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.

  • Follow all park regulations, including rules regarding campfires, trash disposal, and wildlife encounters.

  • Be aware of any potential hazards in the area, such as poison ivy or venomous snakes.

  • Always let someone know your itinerary and expected return time.

  • Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during hot summer months.

  • Use proper food storage techniques to avoid attracting wildlife to your campsite.

Equipment recommendations:

  • Invest in a high-quality tent and sleeping bag to ensure a comfortable and safe night's sleep.

  • Bring a camping stove and cooking utensils for preparing meals.

  • Pack appropriate clothing for the season and weather conditions, including warm layers for cooler evenings and rain gear in case of precipitation.

  • Don't forget essentials like a first aid kit, insect repellent, and sunscreen.

  • Bring a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries for navigating around the campsite at night.

Recommended activities and attractions near each campsite:

  • Big Bend National Park: Hiking, stargazing, river rafting, and wildlife viewing.

  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park: Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and attending the outdoor musical drama "Texas."

  • Garner State Park: Swimming, tubing, hiking, and attending the nightly summer dance at the park's pavilion.

  • Pedernales Falls State Park: Hiking, swimming, fishing, and birdwatching.

  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Hiking, rock climbing, and exploring unique plant and animal species.

  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Hiking, backpacking, and exploring ancient rock formations and historic ranching sites.

    Overall, tent camping in Texas offers a variety of opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration. By following safety guidelines, packing appropriate equipment, and taking advantage of nearby activities and attractions, campers can have a memorable and enjoyable experience in the Lone Star State.

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