Texas Destinations for Outdoor Adventures

Big Bend National Park
••• Big Bend National Park. David Hensley / Getty Images

Texas is a big state, with plenty of room to roam. Due to its varied terrain and wide-open expanses, Texas offers visitors a tremendous variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

  • 01 of 10
    Hueco Tanks State Park, near El Paso, Texas, USA
    ••• Witold Skrypczak / Getty Images

    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.

  • 02 of 10
    Big Bend National park
    ••• David Hensley / Getty Images

    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.

  • 03 of 10
    Padre Island National Seashore
    ••• Carol Polich Photo Workshops / Getty Images

    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. 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.

  • 04 of 10
    Main Dome at sunrise, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, in Hill Country near Fredericksburg.
    ••• Witold Skrypczak / Getty Images

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Devils River 2, Val Verde County, Texas
    ••• Nicolas Henderson/ Flickr/CC 2.0

    Located just north of Del Rio on Texas' famed Devil's River, the Devil's River State Natural Area offers a variety of outdoor activities in a remote setting. Canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and swimming are just a few of the many activities available.

  • 06 of 10
    Garner State Park
    ••• Donovan Reese/Getty Images

    Located on the Frio River in Concan, Garner State Park is one of Texas' most popular summer getaways. Whether it's swimming, fishing, paddling, or tubing, most visitors to Garner find a way to get on or in the water. However, there are also "dry" activities such as miniature golf, birding, nature trails, hiking and more.

  • 07 of 10
    Lake Amistad
    ••• Travis Swicegood/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    A town which is named after the river it is built near, Del Rio serves as the hub for water sports on the upper stretches of Texas' Rio Grande River. In addition to the traditional water sports, many tourists head out of Del Rio in search of adventure aboard a houseboat.

  • 08 of 10
    San Padre Island, Texas
    ••• Richard Stockton/Getty Images

    With miles of shallow, calm water in the Lower Laguna Madre and strong winds coming off the Gulf of Mexico, South Padre Island is a windsurfer's dream. Additionally, kiteboarders, surfers, ​and anglers all find plenty of reason to spend time on this narrow bay between Port Isabel and South Padre Island.​

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Lake Buchanan Texas
    ••• Jessica Lynn Culver/Getty Images

    Located in the scenic Texas Hill Country, Lake Buchanan offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including kayaking, hiking, camping and more.

  • 10 of 10
    Palo Duro Canyon
    ••• Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Known as the 'Grand Canyon of Texas,' Palo Duro Canyon is 120 miles long, 20 miles wide and 800 feet deep. Palo Duro is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the country. Horseback riding, mountain climbing, camping, and hiking are also popular activities.