10 Best State Parks in Texas for the Perfect Camping Experience

By Arundhati Bhand on Apr 19, 2018
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With a culture that makes its people stand out from a crowd, a topography so sparkling that golden is never enough, and delicious food that will put every foodie into a trance, Texas is like a small, thrilling cultural hub. There are tons of places to visit in the city, but if you are an outdoorsy person, a trip to any one of the state parks of Texas is mandatory. From rock climbing, camping, sand surfing, boating and fishing, and mountain biking, the splendid parks of Texas deserve a weekend of yours at least once! Take a look at the best state parks in Texas and include them in your itinerary. 

1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park 

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Image Source: Flickr.com

Famous for being the second largest canyon in the country, Palo Duro Canyon State Park ranks on top of this list for all the good reasons. Apart from the golden-brown hues that pose perfectly for glamourous clicks, there are a number of activities that this park offers its visitors. Camping is one of the most popular and enjoyable experience here and being one of the top Texas state parks with cabins and campsites, camping here is seamless and fun! Hiking, biking, and horseback riding add to the list. Abundant with flora and fauna, be sure to include this in your Texas Itinerary! 

Nearest city: Canyon, 12.4 miles

Best time to visit: November to April

2. Big Bend Ranch State Park 

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Image Source: Flickr.com

A rugged terrain perfect for the adventure seekers, Big Bend Ranch State Park boasts of steep canyons and mountains that are best enjoyed by mountain bikers and hikers. Find yourself here for a long time? There is a myriad of activities like horseback riding and camping that can be enjoyed at a leisure pace. The park is known for its rustic trails which beckon every nature lover for exploration. Once the sun sets, look up towards the starry night sky to witness the most spectacular view.

Nearest city: Presidio, 34.2 miles

Best time to visit: March to April, late October to November

3. Caprock Canyons State Park 

Caprock Canyons State Park

Image Source: Flickr.com

With Lake Theo adding the perfect hues of blue that this park needed, Caprock Canyons State Park is one of the best places where, along with hiking and camping, you can indulge in water activities too. Fishing, boating and swimming make for great things that you can do in the summers, while camping, hiking, and mountain biking are best enjoyed in the cooler months. Note that this park ranks high on the list of Texas state parks camping sites! Look out for bison and bats, seeing them in their home is a special experience. 

Nearest city: Quitaque, 6.2 miles

Best time to visit: March to November

4. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area 

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Image Source: Flickr.com

Staying true to its name, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is truly enchanting. A little different from the rest of the parks that offer camping and hiking, this park is known for its exciting legends, remarkable rock formations, and the age old pink granite rock. The trails take you through the rocky scenes, and with one better than the other, there is much to admire here. Rock climbing, stargazing, and bird watching are the common activities. 

Nearest city: Fredericksburg, 17.7 miles

Best time to visit: September to May

5. Dinosaur Valley State Park 

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re wondering why the park is named as such, there is no hidden significance here! Famous for being the land that the dinosaurs walked, Dinosaur Valley State Park has exciting trails that show you incredible sites of these giant creatures’ footprints. Finding these footprints is a popular activity that can be enjoyed here. They also have tours, horseback riding, hiking, and camping. You can even enjoy fishing and swimming at the nearby river. 

Nearest city: Glen Rose, 5 miles

Best time to visit: March to November 

6. Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site 

Seminole Canyon State Park

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Every state park in Texas seems to have some speciality. In this case, this particular park is famous for its art! Although not as modern as you may think, ancient rock art and pictographs tell stories from a different time. This makes it rank high on the list of the best state parks in Texas! With more than 45 campsites, Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site is best enjoyed over a long weekend. Hike, bike, camp and learn amidst nature and history here. 

Nearest city: Comstock, 10.7 miles

Best time to visit: March to May

7. Lost Maples State Natural Area 

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Image Source: Flickr.com

The changing shades of Lost Maples State Natural Area are what draw families and nature lovers into its wilderness. Green, olive, red, orange, crimson, yellow...it’s like heaven in a picture! While the colourful leaves are what makes this park special, it is also home to a number of species of birds, and so, birdwatching and photography are amongst the most popular activities. Fishing, camping, and hiking can also be enjoyed. 

Nearest city: Vanderpool, 4.9 miles

Best time to visit: March to May, October to November

8. Colorado Bend State Park 

Colorado Bend State Park

Image Source: Flickr.com

Waterfalls, rivers, caves, and trails, Colorado Bend State Park is the perfect paradise for all those who want to wander away through wilderness. Natural camping with tents, fishing, paddling, and giving in to the music of nature is the perfect way to enjoy this atmosphere. Exhaustive trails encourage you to go beyond your limits of hiking or biking, and after a challenge like that, it is best to wash it down under the cascades of this park. 

Nearest city: Bend, 3.7 miles

Best time to visit: March to October

9. Monahans Sandhills State Park 

Monahans Sandhills State Park

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Following the tradition of this listing, Monahans Sandhills State Park brings another unique aspect of Texas state parks. While camping, stargazing, hiking and many such activities remain common, this park flaunts a huge terrain of heavy sand. The terrain makes the perfect spot for sports like sand surfing, and this is what makes it so special! Keep your eyes open for the animals and birds that frequent this area. 

Nearest city: Monahans, 5.4 miles

Best time to visit: March to August 

10. Caddo Lake State Park 

Caddo Lake State Park

Image Source: Flickr.com 

After a dynamic list that includes dry landscapes, and lush green too, Caddo Lake State Park is the perfect way to end this list. With all that is cool and wet, and blue and green, this park offers paddling through waterways, fishing, and exploring old cabins. The ponds, bayous, and sloughs make the entire park exciting! Beware of alligators though, as you will be venturing out into their homes while here. 

Nearest city: Karnack, 1.1 miles

Best time to visit: March to November 

Here are the top state parks in Texas. Make sure you visit at least one on your trip!

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