The stars at night are big and bright when you camp deep in the heart of Texas, but the sunshine is pretty nice too. Endless Perry Como song puns aside, the charm of the Lone Star state comes from its unique blend of vast nature and rich cosmopolitan culture. Visitors can be hiking one hour and relaxing in a five-star hotel the next. However, for those that want to skip the traffic and crowds, the dry and warm climate of Texas provides for almost perfect year-round camping in its beautiful and diverse landscape.

Chisos Basin Campground in Big Bend National Park

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
60 sites $7-$14 for campers
RVs allowed under 20'
Running water
Flush toilets
No showers
Some reservations available
Open year-round

 

Chisos Basin Campground
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/atbaker/

Chisos Basin Campground is one of the three front country campgrounds that operate in Big Bend National Park, the most popular place for outdoor recreation in Texas. The campground is perched up high in the rugged Chisos Mountains which natural provide ample overlooks and visitas throughout Big Bend. The campground is located in a relatively flat basin just a short walk from the Rio Grande River and several of the park's most spectacular hiking trails, making it one of the most popular campgrounds in Big Bend. Visitors scramble to get a campsite in Chisos Basin to use as a home base to hike the Window Trail, the South Rim Trail and the Pinnacle Trail as well as to set off towards the nearby Terlingua Ghost Town. Due to its elevation, the Chisos Basin is often cooler than other campgrounds, which makes its lack of showers somewhat acceptable, but it still provides running drinking water to hydrate and cool off.

While all size RVs are technically welcome, it is not recommended to take an RV or trailer larger than 20' due to the narrow, winding road that leads up to the campground.

 

Double Lake Recreation Area Campground

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
65 sites $15-$25 for campers
RVs allowed
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Reservations available
Open year-round

 

With its eponymous Double Lake and numerous streams in the area, Double Lake Recreation Area is the perfect playground for the avid angler. The lake is stocked with bass, bream and catfish with boaters and anglers able to take full advantage of the area's three piers. The Double Lake Campground is located about a mile from the lakeshore, but sits near the Double Lake Branch Creek in the surrounding forest that offers campers a reprieve from the heat. While more leisurely visitors can head up to the lake shore to take full advantage of its sandy swimming beach, those in the mood for adventure can hop on the scenic five-mile hiking trail that heads down into the Big Creek Scenic Area. For a longer trek, a short drive from the campground also offers access to the Lone Star Hiking Trail that shows off the "backcountry" of the east.

 

Bird Island Basin Campground in Padre Island National Seashore

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
50 sites $5 for campers
RVs allowed
Running water
Chemical toilets
No showers
No Reservations
Open year-round

 

Bird Island Basin Padre
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/monad68/

Located on the barrier island just outside of Corpus Christi, Padre Island National Seashore provides open beaches and white sand dunes all skirting protected wetlands. For the avid beach lover, there is no better place to visit in Texas and for the avid beach camper, the seashore provides with five diverse campgrounds. For those want something more from their Padre Island visit than just lounging around on the sand, Bird Island Basin Campground is the place to head. Located on the waters of the Laguna Madre, the water of Bird Island Basin was ranked by Windersurfer Magazine as the best flat water sailing in the continental United States. While windsurfers dominate the water, kayakers and paddle boarders also dot the shore line, with the majority outfitted by the equipment rental shop near the entrance of the campground.

Campers at the Bird Island Basin Campground sacrifice modern amenities for the abundance of activity, but this area does offer camping right up on the sand as well as behind the bluffs for shelter from the elements.

Sea Rim State Park Campground

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
35 sites $10-$20 for campers
RVs allowed
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Some reservations available
Open year-round

 

Sea Rim State Park allows visitors an up close and personal look at the diverse abundance of wildlife in Texas. Located about an hour outside of Houston, Sea Rim State Park lies along the Greater Texas Birding Trail and is sandwiched between three wildlife reserves. While the park and the areas surrounding it are a favourite stop over for migratory birds, throughout the park visitors are likely to spot American alligators, mink, river otter, muskrat, bobcats and coyotes. The Sea Rim Campground sits about a half mile from the ocean surrounded by small ponds that are perfect for fishing and wildlife spotting. The number of hiking trails that stem from the campground lead all over the park as well as into the neighboring McFadden National Wildlife Refuge.

The primitive camping sites in the campground are first come, first served, but the utility sites are available for reservation.

 

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area Campground

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
55 sites $15-$17 for campers
RVs allowed
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Reservations available
Open year-round

 

Enchanted Rocks is a large, pink granite exfoliation dome that rises 425 feet above the ground and spans 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (an underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. Due to its unique color and ease of access, it is a popular spot for hikers to climb all over like billy goats. However, many visitors also come to Enchanted Rock to view some of the more unique wildlife in Texas such as turkey vultures, armadillos and a variety of lizards. While the main walk-in campground sits in the shadow of the giant pink dome, visitors also have the option to hike one to three miles out into the wilderness to enjoy small clusters of primitive campsites. These campsites have no utilities, but offer more privacy for campers.


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