The one thing Texas offers is a multitude of ways to spend time outdoors! For most of the year you can find a number of excellent spots to pitch a tent and spend a few nights out under the starry skies. Texas offers campers a wide variety of areas to choose from whether it’s a natural reserve, a state park, a sandy stretch of beach or a national park. Here are the top 5:
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. Visitors and campers must make reservations at least two days prior to visiting. Pictograph tours are also available by advanced request.