Texas offers visitors a variety of ways to spend time outdoors. For those visitors who never want to be indoors, Texas has a number of excellent spot to pitch a tent and spend the night under the stars. Because Texas is such an expansive state and encompasses so many geographical regions, campers can also choose from a variety of ecosystems and terrains in which to camp.
So, whether it is a state park, national park, a sandy stretch of beach, or a natural reserve, Texas offers campers a vast variety of areas to choose from. Here are some of the very best places to camp in Texas.
Designated as an International Biosphere Reserve, Big Bend offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities in a primitive setting. Backpacking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, hiking, nature watching, camping—you name it, if it can be done outdoors, it can be done in Big Bend.
There are three campgrounds within Big Bend, all at an elevation of 1,800 feet or higher. Although there are a number of sites within each of these campgrounds, they fill fast and reservations are required. If you can't get a reservation, be sure to spend a day at Big Bend National Park.
Tent Camping at Big Thicket National Preserve
Covering nearly 100,000 acres, Big Thicket National Preserve was the first such preserve in the United States. The Big Thicket NP is home to a diverse group of plants and animals and plays host to thousands of nature enthusiasts annually.
While camping is allowed, there are no prepared campsites in the Big Thicket, so be prepared to make your own. But, for the DIY camper, Big Thicket National Preserve is an ideal location to spend a tent vacation.
Located just north of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Enchanted Rock is one of the largest natural rock formations in the United States, with a dome that rises 425 feet above the ground (1825 feet above sea level).
Designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1970, Enchanted Rock is also part of the Texas State Parks System and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Walk-in sites with tent pads and water are available, as are primitive hike-in campsites.
Padre Island National Seashore stretches from Corpus Christi south some 75 miles to the Port Mansfield Cut—offering some of the most remote seashore to be found anywhere. For campers wishing to get away from the crowd, Padre Island National Seashore is an ideal location.
Semi-primitive campsites are available at Malaquite Beach and provide toilets, rinse-only showers, and picnic tables. Primitive camping with no facilities is available at both North and South Beach.
It can be difficult to figure out how to get to Padre Island, so be sure to plan ahead for that.
Hueco Tanks offers a variety of outdoor activities, most notably camping and rock climbing. However, one of the biggest draws to this historic site is the prehistoric pictographs that dot the cave walls there. Visitors and campers must make reservations at least two days prior to visiting.
Pictograph tours are also available by advanced request, giving campers a wide variety of unique ways to spend their days while camping at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site.