The Absolute Best Camping Near Dallas

Written by Cindy Rasmussen
Published: September 14, 2022
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If you are visiting the Dallas, Texas area or are a local looking to do some camping, there are many options for both resort-like camping and more primitive tent camping. You will be surprised by how close to downtown you can stay and still have that natural camping in the woods experience. So spend the day exploring the Art District, Arboretum and Botanical Garden, or the Dallas Zoo, then pitch your tent (or park your camper) at one of these campsites. Read on to find out about the absolute best camping near Dallas.

1) Cedar Hill State Park

Besides the lake, Cedar Hill is a popular spot for mountain bikers, with some of the best trails in the area.

©Jesse Patterson/Shutterstock.com

Just 10 miles SW of downtown Dallas you will find the popular Cedar Hill State Park. The “Urban Oasis” sits on the shore of the 7,500-acre recreational Joe Pool Lake for swimming, boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding. The fishing on Joe Pool is excellent, with anglers coming to fish for largemouth black bass, catfish, and crappie. There is also a Perch Pond for kids to learn about fishing and try their hand at it. Besides the lake, Cedar Hill is a popular spot for mountain bikers, with some of the best trails in the area. The Dallas Off Road Biking Association maintains 1,200 acres of land with trails for beginners to experts.

The campground has a variety of sites, from full hookup RV sites to Primitive Hike-in sites. Some RV sites have lake views, so you can watch the sunset over the lake while eating s’mores around the campfire! The roomy-shaded campsites are spaced nicely apart, so you don’t feel on top of one another. For backpackers, you can hike the 2.25-mile trail into the Primitive Tent Camping area, where there are an additional 30 tent-only campsites. You can see why Cedar Hill is one of the absolute best places to camp near Dallas!

LocationSW of downtown Dallas
Distance from downtown Dallas10 miles (15 min)
RV/Tent sites with full hookups156 sites
RV/Tent sites with water and electric214 sites
Tent Only Hike-in Primitive sites30 sites, chemical toilets, non-reservable
Picnic Tables at each siteYes, most are covered
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, swimming beach, mountain bike trails, hiking trails
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes, Primitive sites are first come first serve
What makes it one of the bestEvery kind of outdoor activity is only 10 minutes from downtown Dallas!

2) Lake Park Campground

The standard sites at Lake Park Campground have water and electricity at 30 amps.

©Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock.com

Another amazing lake side campground is Lake Park Campground on Lake Lewisville northeast of downtown. The campground is situated on the shore of the lake, with some of the sites with lake views. There are only RV sites at the park with an option for a premium site which is larger and has 50 amps service. The standard sites have water and electricity at 30 amps. The sites are just a short walk to the swimming beach, playground, and boat ramps. The 18-hole golf course and the Tom “Old Man” McCutcheon Disc Golf (there must be a story behind the name) are right in the park too. Settle in for a weekend or stay for a week for time to explore Dallas and relax at your campsite.

LocationNE of downtown on Lake Lewisville
Distance from30 minutes (28 miles)
RV sitesYes, standard and premium with water and electric
Tent sitesNo, tent camping is not available
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, laundry dump station
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSwimming, boating, golfing, and hiking all at one park!

3) Dallas/Arlington KOA Holiday

©CK Foto/Shutterstock.com

There is a resort-like KOA in neighboring Arlington if you are not into “roughing it.” It is also close to Fort Worth, where you can watch the daily cattle drive of Longhorn cattle that parade through the district at 11:30 am and 4:00 pm. The campground is only 5 miles south of the AT&T stadium to catch a Dallas Cowboys game or 7 miles from Six Flags Over Texas for amusement park fun.

The campground has traditional tent camping in wooded campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, but it also has Deluxe Cabins with a full bath and kitchenette. The RV sites are spacious, and many have a nice cement patio with patio furniture. Both pull-through and back-in sites are available, with all the RV sites having full hookups. After a day of exploring the surrounding cities, you can swim in the swimming pool, take the dog to the dog park or take a ride on one of the rental bikes. Another one of the absolute best places to camp near Dallas!

LocationWest of downtown Dallas in Arlington
Distance from30 minutes (27 miles)
RV sitesYes, pull-through and back-in, all have full hookups
Tent sitesYes, picnic tables and fire pits
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, swimming pool, rental bikes
Pet FriendlyYes, dog park on site
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestResort-like amenities are centrally located.

4) Ray Roberts Lake State Park

Without a fishing license, you can fish from the fishing pier or the shore at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

©Keethisagar/Shutterstock.com

Visit the Ray Roberts Lake State Park for excellent camping and fishing. It is divided into 9 units with two areas having overnight camping: Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch. Back to the excellent fishing, the largest largemouth bass caught on the lake (and the record to break!) was 15.18 pounds, so you know there are big ones out there. Anglers also fish for white bass, crappie, and catfish. Did you know you can fish from the fishing pier or the shore without a fishing license in Texas? Sounds like a good place to start. You can also take a boat from the marina for fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, or just a day on the lake.

There are two main campgrounds in the park, one on the northern shore (Johnson Branch) and one on the SE shore (Isle de Bois). Both have RV and Tent sites with water and electricity (some with 50 amp) and Primitive walk-in sites. This is lake life at its best!

LocationNorth of downtown
Distance from downtown Dallas70 minutes (60 miles)
Isle du Bois13 sites w/50/30/20 amps, 102 sites with 30/20 amps, 53 Primitive walk-in sites
Johnson Branch11 sites w/50/30/20 amps, 93 sites with 30/20 amps, 70 primitive walk-in sites
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers (no showers at primitive sites)
Pet FriendlyYes
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestSome of the best fishing in the Dallas area!

5) Lakeland RV Ranch

The Lakeland RV Ranch is a great home base for exploring eastern Dallas and the surrounding area.

©Pierre Rebollar/Shutterstock.com

Near Lake Lavon is a small RV park that is well kept and has friendly staff. The Lakeland RV Ranch is a great home base for exploring eastern Dallas and the surrounding area. The park has a fishing pier and a catch and release fishing pond, but head over to Lake Lavon for the big fish. The biggest fish on record from Lake Lavon is a 106-pound Flathead Catfish caught by Rick Tabor back in the summer of 2004. Now you know the record to beat!

The RV Park has spacious pull-through sites with full hookups and a large community fire pit for gathering with friends and family. There is a dog park on-site so bring your pets. The campground is just a short drive down to Lakeland Park, with a boat ramp to access the recreational lake. Another one of the absolute best places to camp near Dallas!

LocationSE of downtown in Farmersville, TX
Distance from1 hour (40 miles)
RV sitesYes, with full hookups, most are pull-through
Tent sitesNo, not available
Picnic Tables at each siteYes
Fire Pit at each siteYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, laundry, workout area, dog park
Pet FriendlyYes, dog park
ReservationsYes
What makes it one of the bestClose to Lake Lavon!

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © CK Foto/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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Sources
  1. Cedar Hill State Park, Available here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/cedar-hill/fees-facilities/campsites
  2. Lewisville Parks and Recreation, Available here: https://www.playlewisville.com/facilities/rv-campground
  3. Kampgrounds of America, Available here: https://koa.com/campgrounds/dallas-arlington/
  4. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Available here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/ray-roberts-lake
  5. Lakeland RV Ranch, Available here: https://lakelandrvranch.com/