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5 National Parks in Texas You Have to Visit

If you are itching to get out and explore this fall, Texas, our home state, is an excellent place to start. We can help you choose your RV or motor home, and send you off to one of these top 5 national park destinations for a time of learning, solitude, relaxation, adventure- what ever you are looking for!

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is an 800,000 square foot playground of river, desert, and mountain. These parks protect the largest area of the Chihuahuan desert along the Mexican border, and offer contrast in weather, wildlife, terrain, and activities. Enjoy hiking, trips down the Rio Grande, horseback riding, site-seeing, bird-watching, history lessons, and more. 

There are plenty of options to meet your lodging needs, including campgrounds and accommodations for camping and RVs. The National Park has 3 developed camping areas, one with full hook ups for RV’s, with the option to explore back roads and more primitive sites for those who prefer more solitude. Outside the parks, there are several privately-operated campground and RV spaces. Some offer the bare-minimum one might need, and others offer full hook-ups and even access to swimming pools. You can check out these other camping and RV accommodations on Big Bend’s website.

Hueco Tanks

East of El Paso, Hueco Tanks is a mecca for rock climbers who climb boulders- low challenging routes without ropes or harnesses. Besides climbing, visitors can enjoy bird-watching, hiking, stargazing, or guided tours.  Water catchments have attracted people for millennia, some even leaving pictographs painted on the rocks. Hueco Tanks boasts the largest number of mask paintings in North America, with more than 200 identified throughout the park.

Due to the rock art’s historical value and fragility, access to Hueco Tanks is restricted.  You must make reservations prior to your trip and are only able to access certain areas with a guide. Of course, you can head out in your camper or RV, as there are plenty of options for travelers. Be sure to check out the Hueco Tanks camping and RV info here.

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock is located west of Austin, and boasts a giant 150-meter high pink dome of granite, the second largest in the United States. It is said that this rock has graced this area for billions of years, which makes it some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet. People have come from miles around to climb its summit for over 10,000 years.  This park is excellent for climbers, hikers, and campers, and you can explore it solo or with a guide.

Campsites at Enchanted Rock are primitive or tent camping. RV’s and campers are not allowed, but don’t let this stop you! The next closest town is Fredericksburg, and there are plenty of RV campsites available there.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Along the Sabinal river in south-central Texas is a forest of bigtooth maples, said to be relics from the cool climate from the last Ice Age. This quiet, wooded area offers hiking, bird-watching, and camping. Fall is a prime time to visit as the leaves change colors, and give a rainbow of vibrant colors that we don’t often see in other places in Texas.

People have been drawn to the Sabinal river and the Lost Maples area for thousands of years, as it is famous for preserving an archaeological artifact known as an atlatl, a tool crafted by the Native Americans in south Texas around 6,000 to 8,000 years ago.

Lost Maples offers primitive campsites and campsites with water and electricity. This park does not offer RV camping, but it is such a beautiful place that you just have to stop by if even for a day. If you plan to stay longer, there are nearby lodges and campsites that you can search on the Texas Outside website.

Padre Island National Seashore

So you thought Texas was all flatland? We have so much more! South of Corpus Christi, Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre. This park protects 70 miles of coastline, a safe habitat for the Kemp’s Ridley turtle and a haven for 380 bird species. Visitors may also enjoy boating and fishing, study the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554 ,or take tours to learn more about Texas history.

Though there is public access and the campgrounds are open year-round, there are some restrictions. Check out the Padre Island Campground Info page to learn more before you plan your trip.

Where else have you visited in Texas? We would love to hear about your trip and where you camped out in the comments below.