The Absolute Best Camping Near San Antonio

Published: July 20, 2022
© Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock.com
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There are many reasons to visit the city of San Antonio, Texas. Whether you’re interested in taking in city sights or learning about the history of the Spanish colonial missions that took place in San Antonio, there is definitely something for you here.

However, perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of this city is that there are some amazing camping sites nearby. Keep reading to find out the locations of the absolute best camping near San Antonio!

Absolute Best Camping Near San Antonio:

1. Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe State Park Texas
Guadalupe River State Park is known for the clear, beautiful river flowing through, long hiking trails, and diverse fauna.

©Richard A McMillin/Shutterstock.com

This park is extremely popular all through the year, particularly because of the gorgeous, clear, four-mile river flowing through it. You can go swimming, fishing, canoeing, or even tube the rapids.

If you enjoy hiking and biking, there are 13 miles of trails along each side of the river. People who want to visit the 2,293 acres of the Honey Creek State Natural Area can sign up for guided two-hour walks on Saturday mornings. 

If you want to see the amazing wildlife of the area, you can go hiking on the Painted Bunting trail. Some of the fauna of the area include coyotes, whitetail deer, skunks, gray foxes, possums, raccoons, armadillos, and bobcats. If you don’t know what camping gear to get, you can simply rent some from the park and set it up.

Guadalupe River State Park
Driving Time to Downtown San Antonio45-55 minutes
LocationNorth of San Antonio
Price$15 to $24 per night, depending on whether there is electricity in the rented space; $7 entrance fee
Water and Electric Campsites85
Walk-in Tent Sites9
AmenitiesCamping and fishing equipment rental available, park store, Discovery Center to give you a better look at nature
ReservationsYes
What Makes It the Absolute BestHas a beautiful clean river flowing right through it and miles of trails

2. Government Canyon State Natural Area

Dinosaur Footprints
Government Canyon has dinosaur tracks (pictured above are tracks from another location).

©iStock.com/stockdevil

Here, you’ll have the chance to enjoy 12,000 acres of wilderness. You can take the Johnston Route to the 19th-century Zizelmann House. You can check out dinosaur tracks from the Sauroposeidon and Acrocanthosaurus that have been around for 110 million years. Local wildlife in this area include whitetail deer, bobcats, javelinas, cottontail rabbits, butterflies, snakes, coyotes, ringtails, and raccoons.

There is some very interesting landscaping in this park, with canyons of the Edwards Plateau, forest, and broad plains. This area is meant to protect the drinking water of San Antonio.

Government Canyon State Natural Area
Driving Time to Downtown San Antonio40 minutes
LocationNorth of San Antonio
Price$18 per night for up to eight people and $40 for up to 16 people for a campsite with water; $6 entrance fee
Water and Electric Campsites0
Walk-in Tent Sites23
AmenitiesTent pad, fire ring, and picnic table at every campsite; pets allowed on Frontcountry trails; park store; guided hikes and programs
ReservationsYes
What Makes It the Absolute BestGreat location for birdwatchers, scenic overlooks on steep trail slopes

3. Blanco State Park

blanco state park
Blanco State Park is a great retreat for those trying to get away from the Texas heat.

©tim j smith/Shutterstock.com

This park is located on the banks of the cool Blanco River, making it a great retreat for anyone looking to escape the Texas heat. Not only go camping, but also fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking. You can rent kayaks and tubes from the park store as well. If you’re interested in fishing, the waters are full of channel catfish, rainbow trout, sunfish, and bass.

There are also two trails where you can go on a brisk nature hike alongside the life-long stretch of river.

Blanco State Park
Driving Time to Downtown San Antonio55-65 minutes
LocationNorth of San Antonio
Price$20 to $30 per night, depending on whether you get a regular campsite with electricity, full hookup campsite, or screened shelter; $5 entrance fee
Water and Electric Campsites12
Walk-in Tent Sites17
AmenitiesWater equipment rental available, pavilion and picnic area available for reservation, ranger programs available for groups 
ReservationsYes
What Makes It the Absolute BestAdjacent to the town of Blanco, which is very helpful to people who don’t have a lot of camping experience; great site to go fishing

4. Garner State Park

Garner State Park, Texas
Garner State Park allows you to enjoy the land and water, as well as a museum and summer dances.

©Richard A McMillin/Shutterstock.com

Even if it is about an hour and a half from San Antonio, this is one of the most popular camping sites in Texas. There are over 16 miles of hiking trails that you can enjoy, in addition to the chance to swim and do all sorts of other fun water activities in the 2.9 miles of Frio River.

You can also go to the Briscoe-Gardner Museum during the daytime and join a Frio Bat Flight tour if you’re around in the summer, in order to see the nightly exodus of a Mexican free-tailed bat colony. There are also summer dances in the park’s concession building.

Garner State Park
Driving Time to Downtown San Antonio100-110 minutes
LocationWest of San Antonio
Price$22 per night for a site with electricity; $8 entrance fee
Water and Electric Campsites211
Walk-in Tent Sites124
AmenitiesMiniature golf course, regular dances in the summer, water equipment, ranger-led nature hikes, nearby Briscoe-Garner Museum, Frio Bat Flight tour
ReservationsYes
What Makes It the Absolute BestMany area attractions, far away from the city for those who want a peaceful getaway

5. Palmetto State Park

Palmetto State Park Texas
Palmetto State Park can give you a tropical vacation camping experience without leaving Texas!

©Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock.com

This park is a nice getaway for anyone who doesn’t want to drive too far but wants to leave the city. You can enjoy the Oxbow Lake and San Marcos River, in addition to the five miles of hiking trails available for you to explore. You can look out at all of the swampland in the surroundings as well.

Because of the multiple sources of water here, there is an amazing variety of animals and plants. There are over 240 species of birds alone! In fact, you can even say this is a little bit like a tropical vacation right in Texas.

Palmetto State Park
Driving Time to Downtown San Antonio60-70 minutes
LocationEast of San Antonio
Price$12 to $20 per night for campsites and $65 for cabins; $3 entrance fee
Water and Electric Campsites0
Walk-in Tent Sites36
AmenitiesArtesian well, kayak and paddle board rentals, picnic pavilion
ReservationsYes
What Makes It the Absolute BestHas many surrounding towns and attractions, and gives visitors a taste of the tropics!


The Featured Image

Palmetto State Park Texas
© Tricia Daniel/Shutterstock.com

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