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17 Best State Parks For CAMPING In Texas 🏕

It’s time.

Time to say goodbye to the sounds of the city and say hello to gorgeous starry nights under the Texas sky. ✅

But there are 89 state parks, historic sites and natural areas in Texas.

So how do you choose which to camp out at?!

Well, today we’re revealing the best state parks for camping in Texas.

Hidden waterfalls, vast canyons, desert landscapes, magnificent sunset vistas, and crystal clear rivers.

This list really has it all.

And we’ve got you covered no matter WHAT kind of camper you are.

Watersports, families, hikers, stargazers, or those who like to fish…

Everyone is catered to on this list.

best state park camping texas google map graphic
Google Maps

Make sure you stick around to the end where we outline the top picks for different categories!

🚨Campground facilities and regulations can change over time and closures can be enforced due to unforeseen weather patterns. Always check with the relevant organization for the most up-to-date information before you plan a trip.

1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Where rugged beauty meets epic adventures in Texas’ own “Grand Canyon.”

If you’re looking for an epic camping adventure in Texas, you’ve got to check out Palo Duro Canyon State Park!

palo duro canyon

Located in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo, this park is home to the second-largest canyon in the United States, making it a jaw-dropping spot you won’t want to miss.

Imagine waking up in your tent or RV to incredible views of multicolored rock layers that tell stories from millions of years ago.

palo duro canyon

You can spend your days exploring over 30 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.

Don’t miss the Lighthouse Trail, a must-see hike that leads you to an iconic rock formation resembling a lighthouse.

palo duro canyon lighthouse formation

Plus, the park often hosts outdoor plays in a natural amphitheater, giving you a chance to enjoy some culture under the stars.

And when it comes to setting up camp, you’ve got options ranging from developed sites with water and electricity to primitive spots for a more rugged experience.

With over 140 designated campsites along with additional primitive camping, there’s plenty of choice here.

More Information:

2. Caprock Canyons State Park

Discover ancient landscapes and bison roaming free in the heart of the Texas Panhandle.

Ready for a wild adventure?

caprock canyon

Head over to Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas Panhandle.

This amazing park lets you explore the stunning red and orange canyons that are a playground for hikers and mountain bikers.

caprock canyon bison

Check out the Upper Canyon Trail for breathtaking views, or take a stroll on the Eagle Point Trail to spot the majestic bison roaming freely in the park – yes, real bison!

If you love to fish then you need to check out Lake Theo, it’s teeming with catfish and bass.

For a truly unique experience, explore the park at night for some of the best stargazing in Texas.

caprock canyon stargazing

With a range of camping options, from primitive sites to ones with full hookups, your perfect outdoor escape is waiting.

There are 112 designated campsites with additional primitive campsites to choose from.

More Information:

3. Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Climb, hike, and kayak amidst scenic rock formations and tranquil waters.

In the heart of Texas, just an hour west of Fort Worth, Lake Mineral Wells State Park is a gem for outdoor lovers.

This park is famous for its 20-mile trailway, perfect for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding, so bring your bike or your horse for some scenic exploring!

Rock climbers flock here to tackle the park’s challenging routes, and the lake itself is a perfect spot for fishing and boating, with catfish, sunfish, and bass ready to bite.

lake mineral wells state park texas

Don’t miss a chance to paddle in the tranquil waters or enjoy a picnic by the lake.

After a day full of adventure, settle down in one of the park’s campsites, offering both water and electric hookups for a comfortable stay.

Overall there’s about 108 designated campsites with additional primitive camping.

Plus, the park’s unique history as a former 1900s spa resort adds an intriguing twist to your visit.

More Information:

4. Lake Whitney State Park

A serene location for water enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering pristine camping spots.

Lake Whitney State Park, located in Central Texas between Fort Worth and Waco, is a true oasis for water enthusiasts and nature lovers.

lake whitney texas

This picturesque park sits on the shores of Lake Whitney, known for its clear blue waters and excellent fishing.

You can catch a variety of fish, including striped bass, white bass, and catfish, making it a fisherman’s dream.

The park offers more than just fishing; with hiking trails that offer serene lake views and spots for bird watching, you’re sure to find something you love.

Bring your RV or tent and choose from a variety of campsites, from waterfront spots to secluded areas among the trees.

The park also has a sandy beach perfect for a day of swimming and picnicking under the Texas sun.

There are about 167 campsites to choose from in total.

More Information:

5. Eisenhower State Park

Lakeside relaxation meets outdoor excitement, perfect for family getaways. 

Eisenhower State Park, located on the shores of Lake Texoma in North Texas, is a perfect place for anyone looking to dive into outdoor fun.

This park offers a unique mix of activities, from exploring rocky cliffs to relaxing on sandy beaches.

If you’re into fishing, Lake Texoma is known for its striped bass – so don’t forget your fishing gear!

For the adventurous, there are plenty of trails for hiking and biking, plus a special area for off-road motorcycle and ATV riding.

You can also take a dip in the lake or enjoy a peaceful kayak journey.

Camping options range from tent sites within the woods to full hookup sites for RVs, ensuring a comfortable stay for all.

There are 154 campsites in total to choose from.

Plus, the park’s namesake, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was born nearby, adding a touch of historical significance to your visit.

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6. Caddo Lake State Park

Immerse yourself in a mystical world of Spanish moss-draped cypress trees and bayous.

Caddo Lake State Park, situated in East Texas near the Louisiana border, offers a magical escape into a world of cypress swamps and bayous.

caddo lake

This mysterious and beautiful park is a paradise for paddlers, with a maze of waterways to explore by canoe or kayak, where you can glide under towering cypress trees draped in Spanish moss.

Fishing enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to catch largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish in the shadowy waters.

caddo lake bird

The park’s hiking trails offer a chance to spot local wildlife, including alligators and over 200 species of birds.

For an unforgettable experience, stay overnight in one of the historic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, or set up camp at a tent or RV site.

Nearby, you can visit the charming town of Jefferson, known for its antique shops and historic homes.

caddo lake

Caddo Lake’s enchanting scenery and rich biodiversity make it a must-visit for nature lovers and photographers.

💡Caddo Lake is home to the largest cypress forest in the world.

Overall there are 46 campsites to choose from at the state park.

More Information:

7. Monahans Sandhills State Park

Experience the surreal beauty of rolling sand dunes under endless Texas skies.

Monahans Sandhills State Park is like a desert oasis in West Texas, where vast sand dunes create a landscape that feels more like the Sahara than Texas.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

This unique park offers the chance to surf the dunes on sand disks, a fun and unusual activity that’s a hit with all ages.

While the park may seem barren at first glance, it’s home to a surprising array of plant and animal life, adapted to the harsh, sandy environment.

There aren’t traditional trails, but you can hike anywhere on the dunes, creating your own path through the shifting sands.

The park also provides a unique camping experience, with RV sites and primitive campsites that let you sleep under the stars surrounded by dunes.

Be sure to visit the park’s interpretive center to learn more about the area’s natural history and the creatures that inhabit this sandy wonderland.

Whether you’re sliding down sand dunes or stargazing in solitude, Monahans Sandhills State Park offers an unforgettable adventure.

There are 25 designated state park campsites here.

More Information:

8. Colorado Bend State Park

Trek through rugged terrain to hidden waterfalls and cave systems in this natural gem.

In the heart of Texas Hill Country, Colorado Bend State Park is a hidden gem with something for everyone.

gorman falls colorado bend state park

This park is famous for its breathtaking waterfall Gorman Falls, a lush, 70-foot cascade that feels like a slice of paradise.

Adventurers can explore over 35 miles of hiking and biking trails, or go spelunking in some of Texas’s coolest caves on a guided tour.

The Colorado River offers prime spots for fishing, with bass, catfish, and perch in abundance, or you can paddle the serene waters to see the park from a different angle.

For campers, Colorado Bend offers a variety of sites, from primitive spots deep in the wilderness to others closer to the water.

At night, the lack of light pollution makes stargazing an unforgettable experience.

This park’s natural beauty and rugged landscapes make it a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

There are 43 walk-in and drive-in primitive sites with further hike-in primitive sites. There are also 3 group camp sites.

More Information:

9. Inks Lake State Park

Serenity on the shores of crystal-clear waters, ideal for outdoor adventures.

Inks Lake State Park, located in the scenic Texas Hill Country, is a popular hub for outdoor fun and relaxation.

View of Walking Trail Through TExas Inks Lake Park With Lake in the background (1)

This park is perfect for water lovers, with its sparkling blue lake that remains at a constant level, ideal for swimming, boating, and fishing.

You can catch bass, catfish, and sunfish, making for a perfect day on the water.

The park’s scenic hiking trails offer beautiful views and a chance to explore the rugged terrain.

Don’t miss out on Devil’s Waterhole, a family favorite where people come to enjoy a refreshing dip in the water.

With both water and electric campsites available, as well as cabins for a more comfortable stay, Inks Lake caters to all kinds of campers.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the park’s vibrant wildflowers in spring, adding a splash of color to your adventure.

Texas Bluebonnets along Trail at Inks Lake State Park (1)

Whether you’re cooling off in the lake or enjoying a peaceful hike, Inks Lake State Park is a wonderful escape into nature.

There are 177 designated state park campsites to choose from here.

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10. Lake Livingston State Park

Lakeside bliss awaits with fishing, boating, and camping in a peaceful setting.

Lake Livingston State Park is a family-friendly getaway on the shores of Lake Livingston in East Texas, the second-largest lake in the state.

With its calm waters, the lake is perfect for fishing, boating, and swimming, offering a cool respite from the Texas heat.

Anglers will be thrilled with the chance to catch catfish, bass, and crappie.

The park also features over 5 miles of trails for hiking and biking, allowing visitors to explore the beauty of the piney woods.

Campers can choose from a variety of sites, including full hook-up sites for RVs and tent sites with great views of the lake.

For those interested in wildlife, the park is home to a diverse array of birds, making it a great spot for birdwatching.

Lake Livingston State Park combines the tranquility of a lakeside retreat with the excitement of outdoor adventures, making it a perfect destination for campers of all ages.

There are 143 campsites here in total.

More Information:

11. Big Bend Ranch State Park

Escape to untamed wilderness and stunning desert landscapes along the Rio Grande.

Big Bend Ranch State Park is like stepping onto another planet, with its vast desert landscapes and rugged mountains.

Rio Grand river through Big Bend Ranch state park Texas

Located in West Texas, this park is the largest state park in Texas, offering over 300,000 acres of adventure.

You can tackle challenging trails like the Closed Canyon, a slot canyon that’s a pathway to some incredible views.

Mountain bikers have miles of trails to explore, making it a paradise for riders seeking solitude and scenery.

The Rio Grande River borders the park, providing opportunities for kayaking or canoeing through scenic canyons.

Camping here ranges from primitive sites to more accessible spots with stunning vistas.

And don’t miss the chance to stargaze; with some of the darkest skies in the state, the Milky Way is truly breathtaking.

Big Bend Ranch State Park only has primitive campsites so it might not be best for people that need more amenities.

More Information:

12. Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site

Step back in time amidst ancient rock art and rugged canyons.

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site is a window into the ancient past, located in Southwest Texas about 9 miles (14 km) west of Comstock in Val Verde County.

seminole canyon

This park is home to some of North America’s oldest Native American rock art, viewable through guided tours that take you into the depths of the canyon.

Besides its history, the park offers trails for hiking and biking that provide stunning views of the Rio Grande and surrounding desert.

Nearby, the Pecos River meets the Rio Grande, offering additional scenic spots for picnicking and photography.

The Fate Bell Shelter, an overhang housing ancient pictographs, is a must-see for anyone interested in archaeology or history.

The combination of natural beauty and ancient culture makes Seminole Canyon a uniquely enriching experience.

For camping, the park has sites with water and electric hookups as well as some primitive campsites.

In total, there are 46 campsites to choose from.

More Information:

13. Garner State Park

A beloved destination for summer fun with riverside camping and dancing under the stars.

Garner State Park, located in the Texas Hill Country, is a true gem for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

 Garner State Park, Texas

This beloved park is famous for its crystal-clear Frio River, perfect for swimming, tubing, and kayaking.

And don’t forget to visit in the fall when the leaves turn red and orange and ignite the place in color.

garner state park texas

Hikers can explore over 16 miles of picturesque trails, with the Old Baldy Trail offering panoramic views of the surrounding hills.

In the summer, join the tradition of evening dances under the stars at the park pavilion—a favorite activity since the 1940s.

frio river garner state park

Don’t forget to visit the scenic overlooks at sunrise or sunset for some of the most breathtaking views in the state.

The park’s campsites range from riverside spots to cabins, ensuring there’s a perfect option for every camper.

In total, there are 347 campsites with varying amenities.

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14. Guadalupe River State Park

Tranquil river views, limestone cliffs, and abundant wildlife make for an unforgettable retreat.

Guadalupe River State Park is located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country less than an hour north of Downtown San Antonio and it’s a water lover’s dream come true.

guadalupe river state park

This park stretches along four miles of the Guadalupe River, making it the perfect spot for tubing, kayaking, and canoeing.

With clear, cool waters, it’s a refreshing retreat during the hot Texas summers.

Hikers and bikers will enjoy exploring the park’s 13 miles of picturesque trails that offer everything from easy walks to challenging terrain.

Bird watchers will love spotting the diverse species that call this park home.

Don’t forget to visit the park’s Discovery Center to learn more about the area’s natural wonders and wildlife.

Guadalupe River State Park in the fall

When it comes to camping, there are sites for tents and RVs with water and electric hookups, plus group sites for larger gatherings.

In total, there are 94 campsites to choose from and most of these (85) have electricity.

More Information:

15. Brazos Bend State Park

Encounter alligators, lush wetlands, and stellar stargazing in this amazing state park.

Brazos Bend State Park, just an hour from Houston, is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and families.

Brazos Bend State Park, Houston, Texas, USA at sunset.

Known for its large population of American alligators, it offers a unique opportunity to safely observe these creatures in their natural habitat along with a variety of other wildlife.

The park boasts over 37 miles of trails, including the Elm Lake Loop, where you’re likely to spot alligators basking in the sun.

Brazos Bend State Park Texas

For stargazers, the George Observatory within the park is a real treat, offering public viewing nights to explore the stars through their telescopes.

If you like to fish then you can enjoy catching catfish, bass, and crappie in the park’s lakes.

With a range of camping options from primitive sites to those with full hookups, Brazos Bend accommodates all types of outdoor lovers.

In total, there are 79 campsites and most have electricity. There are 3 additional group campsites too.

More Information:

16. Goose Island State Park

Coastal camping at its finest, with birdwatching, fishing, and breathtaking sunsets.

Goose Island State Park, on the Gulf Coast near Rockport, offers a unique blend of coastal prairie, marshlands, and oak mottes.

This park is famous for its ancient Live Oak, known as “The Big Tree,” estimated to be over 1,000 years old!

If you’re into bird watching then you’ll love it here, with opportunities to see rare and migratory species throughout the year.

The park’s bayside area is perfect for fishing, with anglers reeling in redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.

You can also go kayaking and boating to explore the serene coastal waters.

Campsites range from sheltered spots under towering oaks to beachfront sites where you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves.

More Information:

17. Mustang Island State Park

Sandy shores and Gulf breezes for seaside adventures and relaxation.

Mustang Island State Park is your go-to beach destination on the Texas Gulf Coast, located just a short drive from Corpus Christi.

mustang island horace caldwell pier

This park offers five miles of pristine beaches, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building the biggest sandcastle of your dreams.

If you love fishing, you’re in luck because the surf, jetties, and even kayak fishing here are top-notch, with species like red drum, speckled trout, and flounder.

You can also explore the park by paddling along the Mustang Island Paddling Trail, which offers a unique perspective of the coastline and its wildlife.

For hikers and bikers, there’s a scenic trail that winds through the dunes, offering beautiful ocean views.

When it’s time to rest, the park has a variety of camping options, from primitive beach campsites to those with water and electric hookups for RVs.

Overall there are 98 campsites and it’s split about 50/50 between primitive campsites and campsites with electricity.

More Information:

Top Picks

Best for Hiking

Colorado Bend State Park: Trek through rugged terrain to hidden waterfalls and cave systems, making it a hiker’s paradise with over 35 miles of trails.

Big Bend Ranch State Park: Offers vast desert landscapes and rugged mountains covering an area of over 300,000 acres, including the amazing Closed Canyon.

Best for Fishing

Lake Livingston State Park: Calm waters perfect for fishing, boating, and swimming, where anglers can catch catfish, bass, and crappie.

Caddo Lake State Park: Offers a magical escape into a world of cypress swamps and bayous, perfect for catching largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish in shadowy waters.

Best for Families

Garner State Park: Riverside camping, tubing, and evening dances under the stars make this a favorite for family summer fun.

Guadalupe River State Park: Stretching along four miles of the Guadalupe River, it’s perfect for tubing, kayaking, and canoeing, with picturesque trails and diverse wildlife for the whole family to enjoy.

Best for Amenities

Inks Lake State Park: Offers water and electric campsites, as well as cabins, ideal for those seeking comfort and convenience.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park: Features campsites with water and electric hookups and offers a range of activities, including rock climbing, hiking, biking, and a lake for fishing and boating.

Best for RVs

Eisenhower State Park: Range of camping options from tent sites to full hookup sites for RVs, with activities for all ages.

Lake Whitney State Park: Offers a variety of campsites, from waterfront spots to secluded areas among the trees, with facilities perfect for RV enthusiasts looking for a serene location. Full hookup sites are available.

Best for Wildlife

Brazos Bend State Park: Large population of American alligators and over 37 miles of trails for wildlife observation.

Caddo Lake State Park: A mystical world of Spanish moss-draped cypress trees and bayous, home to a rich biodiversity including alligators and over 200 species of birds.

Goose Island State Park: Particularly good for bird watchers around springtime.

Best for Beaches

Mustang Island State Park: Five miles of pristine beaches perfect for sunbathing and seaside adventures.

Goose Island State Park: Offers a coastal experience with opportunities for birdwatching, fishing, and breathtaking sunsets on the beachfront sites.

Rockport Beach which is a ‘Blue Wave Beach’ is nearby too.

Best for Waterfalls

Colorado Bend State Park: Home to the stunning Gorman Falls, a lush, 70-foot cascade surrounded by rugged terrain.

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Tom Jackson

Tom was born in San Antonio but spent most of his childhood in Dallas, he has lived in several cities across Texas and joined the team in 2024 to create travel guides on Texas.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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