The 5 Best Places to Camp in Texas this Summer

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: August 20, 2022
Image Credit Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock.com
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If you plan to spend some time in the heat of Texas this summer and you want to try camping, there are plenty of amazing campgrounds. Whether you want to camp on the beach on Padre Island or enjoy the sites of Dallas, but camp under the stars, here are the 5 best places to camp in Texas this summer!

1) Big Bend National Park

The Rio Grande river flows through Big Bend National Park Santa Elena Canyon.

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If you are visiting Big Bend National Park, you have to spend some time exploring Santa Elena Canyon. Take the 1.4-mile round trip hike to see the rock formations and watch wildlife like rabbits, coyotes, and squirrels. When camping overnight, you will want to plan one night to hike out on the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail, where you can hike out to a spot that overlooks the Rio Grande and watch a beautiful sunset! Several campgrounds are within the park, including the Rio Grande Village Campground. This campground has 93 sites, including sites with full hookups for RVs and tent sites. There is a camp store onsite as well as restrooms and hot showers. Definitely one of the 5 best places to camp in Texas this summer!

LocationIn the Big Bend National Park
Nearest CityBig Bend National Park
RV/Tent Sites93 sites
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes, and grills
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, camp store
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes, required
What makes it one of the bestHike the Rio Grande for an amazing sunset experience!

2) Padre Island National Seashore: Bird Island Basin Campground

Padre National Island Seashore
One of the 5 best places to camp in Texas this summer is on the sandy beach of Padre Island National Seashore.

Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock.com

What do you think about waking up and stepping out of your tent onto the sands of the beach at Padre Island National Seashore? There are 5 campgrounds to choose from, but one of the best is the Bird Island Basin Campground. This is the place to go windsurfing! Windsurfing Magazine has rated this beach as the best flat water sailing site in the continental USA! You can rent windsurfing boards and kayaks right at the park. Enjoy a night by the fire before waking up to the beautiful sandy beach!

LocationPadre Island National Seashore
Nearest CityCorpus Christi
RV SitesYes!
Tent SitesYes!
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesChemical toilets, blush toilets, and showers nearby at the Malaquite Pavilion Bathhouse
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsNo reservations, first come, first serve, but you do need a permit
What makes it one of the bestCamping right on the sandy beach steps from the Gulf!

3) Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake Texas
Head out onto Caddo Lake for some of the best fishing in Texas!

Daniel Mullins/Shutterstock.com

Caddo Lake State Park has some of the best fishing in the whole state of Texas! Here you can fish for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, chain pickerel, white bass, yellow bass, and sunfish. On the border with Louisiana, this 26,800 acres lake is a mix of wetlands and swamps and home to the paddlefish and, yes, alligators. But it is unlikely an alligator will visit your campsite. The campground has 8 sites equipped with full hookups for RVs, 18 electric only, and 20 sites with water. Can you imagine a relaxing afternoon of kayaking along the huge cypress trees and then heading back to your campsite to cook some hot dogs over the fire (or maybe one of the epic bass you caught earlier!)? A beautiful place in Texas to get back with nature!

LocationEastern Texas on the Louisiana border
Nearest CityKarnack, TX
RV/Tent Sites Full hookup8 sites
RV/Tent Sites Electric18 sites
RV/Tent Sites Water20 sites
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSome of the best fishing in Texas!

4) Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park
Download the GPS map to try to locate dinosaur tracks along the Paluxy River!

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Imagine putting your foot right over the footprint of a dinosaur that lived millions of years ago! You can do that in Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX. Along the riverbed of the Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park, you can see the footprints of what paleontologists identified as Acrocanthosaurus, a smaller cousin of the T-Rex. The other prints belong to a Sauroposeidon proteles, a 70-foot-long clawless dino. You can download the GPS coordinates of various areas in the park of the best places to spot them. The park also has hiking trails, mountain bike trails, horseback riding, swimming, and fishing. The campground has 44 RV/Tent sites with full hookups and nice cement patios. If you want an adventure, you can wade through the river to the other side, where you can hike to a series of secluded primitive campsites.

LocationAbout 55 miles SW of Fort Worth, TX
Nearest CityGlen Rose, TX
RV/Tent Sites44 sites with electricity
Primitive Walk-in sites8 walk-in sites, walk 1/3 to ½ mile to sites, these don’t have access to restrooms or showers, just a fire ring
Primitive Hike-in sites7 hike-in sites, hike 1-2.5 miles to the campsites, must wade through the river to get there
Picnic Tables at each siteRV and Tent sites
Fire Pit at each siteRV, tent, and Primitive Walk-in sites
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, water, electric (except for the primitive sites)
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestOpportunities for exploring multiple sites where dinosaurs used to roam!

5) Cedar Hill State Park

Joe Pool Lake
The best place to camp this summer is downtown Dallas’ Cedar Hill State Park.

Agarcia5720/Shutterstock.com

If you want the best of city life and country life, Cedar Hill State Park is the place to stay. It is right along the shores of the large Joe Pool Lake so you can swim at the beach and fish for black bass, crappie, and catfish. The park has two fishing jetties you can fish off or take out your boat. The 7,500-acre lake has lots of room for boating and paddling. There are miles of hiking trails around the lake and the DOBRA trail for biking or hiking. The park is so close to the downtown area you can enjoy the Dallas World Aquarium, take in a Rangers game, try one of the fabulous restaurants and then head back to your campsite for the night. One of the 5 best places to camp in Texas this summer!

LocationSW corner of Dallas
Nearest CityCedar Hill, TX
RV/Tent Sites350 sites all with electricity and water, 150 have full hookups including sewer
Primitive hike-in sites30 sites, chemical toilets
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, hot showers
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes, (not needed for primitive sites)
What makes it one of the bestSo close to downtown Dallas!

Padre National Island Seashore
Padre National Island Seashore
Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock.com
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About the Author

I'm a Wildlife Conservation Author and Journalist, raising awareness about conservation by teaching others about the amazing animals we share the planet with. I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Morris with a degree in Elementary Education and I am a former teacher. When I am not writing I love going to my kids' soccer games, watching movies, taking on DIY projects and running with our giant Labradoodle "Tango".

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