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Nothing thrills the heart of a true explorer like the stunning diversity of outdoor adventure that awaits in the state of Texas! From the beauty of the Gulf Coast to the High Plains, Texas offers terrain that varies between mountains, woodlands, rolling hills, semi-arid plains and high desert. With more than 78 state parks and numerous wildlife areas, historic sites and natural attractions, Texas truly has something for everyone.

Insiders know that camping in Texas is much more than just hanging out around the campfire. In a state that boasts everything is bigger, natural features as well as wildlife areas are vast and rich, begging the weary traveler to indulge in all the sights and experiences this type of diversity provides. The variety of parks, campgrounds and backcountry offers the full range of adventure for those looking to ‘rough it’ all the way to those who choose to enjoy nature with a few more comforts.

South Central Texas is a prime area of the state to explore. Known far and wide as the Hill Country, it is so named for its rolling hills and woodlands. Famous for its excellent wineries, historic small towns and natural beauty, the Hill Country also boasts a unique offering for campers known as Enchanted Rock State Park.

Enchanted Rock is a large pink granite dome that rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain and is the largest granite monadock in the United States. Indians, Spaniards and early settlers all had stories of magical, spiritual or unexplained happenings around the rock which gave the feature its name. These days, one of the most intriguing sights is at night, after a rain. The wet dome seems to glitter in the moonlight and while regarded as a simple play of light on the granite, the effect adds to both the mystery and enchantment of the area.

Another intriguing site in the Hill Country is Jacob’s Well, a short 78 miles southeast from Enchanted Rock State Park. Fed by a natural artesian spring, Jacob’s Well consists of a large pool connected to a vast underground cavern system that sprawls more than 4300 feet. The spring is connected to the Trinity Aquifer and emits thousands of gallons of water each day where visitors can enjoy the cool 68 degree water. Jacob’s Well is a popular and welcome retreat from the famous Texas heat!

Texas is the second largest state and for some, camping in Texas can, and does, turn into a life-long pursuit. With so many hidden gems, and areas to explore, it could take decades to experience it all. The Dyrt has you covered though! For the secret hideaways and must-see adventures in Texas, check back often to see the latest insider tips and places to explore!

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Recent Reviews in Texas
Ranger Review: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium At Eisenhower State Park

As a part of a program I belong to in conjunction with the website The Dyrt, where I serve as a Ranger, sometimes I am sent items to test along my many travels. I recently received an exciting package from Aftershokz to test their Bone Conduction Technology provided in their Trekz Titanium. I was very excited to find a product that answered some of my most pressing questions when camping, hiking, working out and adventuring.

How can I hear what is around me if I have in an earbud?

How can I comfortably listen to music for extended lengths of time?

Can I have something which is reasonably fashionable to listen to my music?

The Backstory:

So why is it so important to have your ears free when you are performing activities outside? Well in my personal experience I have found that awareness of your surroundings can make all the difference.

SCENARIO 1:

When I travel with friends many times we have a speaker we travel with, and while we enjoy it, not everyone around us typically likes the same music we do. This poses a problem.

SCENARIO 2:

When I travel alone, it doesn’t matter if I am hiking or just exploring an area, I always need to know what is going on around me. From hearing the stops on the METRO clearly to hearing the leaves rustling around me to signal a potential animal in the area, there are so many reasons that knowing what is going on around you can come in handy. But from my vantage point hearing traffic and people is the most important because you never know what is going on when you completely block out the world.

I saw a study conducted over 7 years (2004-2011) which stated there were some 116 people who died as a result of wearing earphones of earbuds and not hearing what was going on around them. While 68% of those effected by this were men under the age of 30, I still was really disturbed to see that the number was so high considering it is something we don’t typically consider to be something dangerous. That got me really wondering if I could solve both my scenarios and the potential issues by simply trying a new style of listening device.

Information & Specs:

  • Name: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium
  • Retail Price: $99.95
  • Includes: Carrying Bag & Charger Cord (cube/plug port not included)
  • Color Options: Slate (Grey/Black), Pink, Ocean (Blue/Black), Ivy (Green/Black), Red

Shipping Information:

Shipping on this item was pretty rapid. From the initial order to delivery at the door was only 4 days. The package arrived via USPS and was in great condition. The box itself was well packaged to prevent denting or tearing of packaging. The product was secured well in the container with the remainder of the items which were included packaged behind the item’s plastic packaging.

First Impressions:

Packaging of this item was very well thought and attractive. I was pleased to open the box and discover the item inside. The see through boxing really made for an exciting reveal when I initially opened the packaging. The bold blue color I selected was much brighter than I had even expected and presented a very vibrant look which I really wanted to get right into using.

As I continued unboxing I did find it a bit odd that there was no charger port, only the cord was included. Still, I like most phone users, have more than a couple extras so I didn’t find this to be a deal breaker on my feeling of the product.

Field Testing:

I was ready to get these right out of the box and start using them, I was a bit disappointed that there was no charge to them whatsoever. Usually an item like this at least provides a bit of charge for you to start off using it straight out, however with these I had to wait. And not just a bit, I had to leave them charging for several hours before I could actually begin the process of utilizing them. This was a bit discouraging.

After the Trekz Titanium had fully charged I was able to finally initiate the connection process. As there are no cords on these headphones, they need only a device which can be connected via bluetooth, for me this meant my IPhone. I have connected devices previous, so for me this seemed to be a very simplistic process to set up. Simply holding down the “+” button on the headphones for 5 seconds activates the power. From this point you simply go into your phone settings, turn on Bluetooth and find the discoverable Trekz Titanium option.

Wearing the Trekz Titanium was pretty comfortable. Fitting just over the ear and in front of the drum itself, the phones kept that irritating feeling of pressure from building over time through use. I found the fit to be comfortable, though one size fits all did become a little looser feeling when I was running and bouncing in contrast to walking or hiking at an even pace. The back of the Trekz do not fit flush with my head personally, I do have a smaller head however so this might not be the case for all users.

The technology behind the Trekz Titanium and other Aftershokz products utilizes Bone Conduction Technology. This simply means, they sit on the outer ear to provide sound while also allowing the user to still hear what is going on around them. Unlike earbuds which fit inside the ear and create pain over time or earphones which are bulky these are designed to be streamlined and provide a more comfortable wear.

When I was wearing them I noticed that the sound was a little light in the bass when I turned it on and as I turned up the sound to get more of the bass it lowered the amount of sound from outside I could actually hear. The sound quality was very crisp and did not muddle the sounds of my music. Another negative about turning up the music was that others could then hear what I was listening to if I was standing near them. I don’t know if that is the best experience for others around me when wearing them if I really want to crank up my volume to get a good workout pump if out and about. Certainly it didn’t make me the most considerate person on the hiking trail when I encountered someone else, I felt like I needed to turn down my volume.

PROS:

  • Comfortable on ears
  • Able to hear outdoor sounds when volume is at moderate level
  • Variety in colors and styles
  • Simple Set Up
  • Compatible With Most Devices (I could not however connect to my MacBook)

CONS:

  • Fit a bit large on my head personally, although this did allow for plenty of space for a hat or headband
  • When listening at louder volumes less ability to hear outdoor sounds and also can be heard by those around you
  • Does not come charged

Rating:

Rating this item is a little difficult because the technology behind them is pretty genius and fits all my needs as a person who spends a lot of time in the outdoors. However the few small things which I could see as areas of possible improvement do bring them down a bit.

After really going back and forth on which of these things were really deal breakers and which were just things which obviously come with the territory of Bone Conduction Technology, I settled upon a rating of a 4 of 5.

While I do feel like fit was a factor for me personally, I do not feel it would be to every individual user. The main area which I feel should be improved upon would be the bass sound being more clear at lower levels. I feel like had it have been I would have never had to turn up the volume to cancel the sounds around me, nor would I have been “that hiker” who has their music up loud.

Overall the idea of the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium is something which meets a lot of my needs as a solo hiker and camper. It provides a great service which otherwise I was hesitant to explore due to safety while in remote areas with animals and other warning sounds of which you need to be fully aware.

A long unforgiving slog through mud.

My son and I went in mid-November, so your experience will vary depending on time of year.

The LSHT is the longest hiking trail in the state. It is broken up into sections. We started at Section 1, which is the easternmost portion, hiking east-west. Each section has a trailhead with a parking lot. We hiked all of Section 1 and half of Section 2. Each of the 2 sections was about 8 miles long. The length of the LSHT is about 130 miles.

Zero amenities. No restrooms. No electricity. No cell coverage. Nada. The LSHT is in the Sam Houston National Forest, about an hour north of Houston. So it’s not a "campground," per se, but you can camp anywhere that’s feasible. We just didn’t find very many feasible places to camp. There is a lot of dense undergrowth along the trail portion we hiked. And mud. Lots and lots of mud. It had been raining a lot in the preceding weeks. I’d call the ranger office and ask about trail conditions and what the weather's been like if I were you. I hope you have a good pair of waterproof boots.

We found a decent spot about 4 miles in, set up our hammocks, and had a good night's rest. The first day's hike was great - plenty of sunshine, cool but not cold, few mosquitoes. It got cold within a couple hours after sunset. I’m glad I brought my underquilt, sleeping bag, and blanket. I’m also glad I brought an extra pair of warm socks, flannel pajama bottoms, and a sock cap. My hiking clothes were soaked with sweat, so changing out of them was essential for a good night's sleep. Well, I don’t actually sleep on these trips. I doze off and on. Anyway, there were no big surprises during the night. The sound of insects. Leaves and branches falling. Coyotes howling in the distance. But nothing scary or annoying. It was very pleasant.

The original plan was to hike both sections, so we parked my son's pickup at Trailhead 6 and drove back to Trailhead 1 to park my Jeep and start the hike. The plan was solid as long as we started early in the day and could average 2 miles an hour. But we wound up starting out late in the day and did I mention the mud? There was a lot of mud. And obstacles to cross. And creeks to cross. And mud. And more mud. Lots and lots of mud. So we were only able to do 4 miles before we had to find a place to camp. Otherwise, we'd be hiking in the dark.

So the morning of day 2, we packed our gear and trudged on as quickly as we could. We had about 12 miles to cover. It seemed doable at the time. But the weather changed. It got considerably cooler and overcast and rainy. It wasn’t constant, and it was never a downpour. But it was 50s and damp. Drizzly. We trudged on for about another 8 miles and decided to leave the trail at Trailhead 4 and hit the pavement, for fear that we'd again run out of daylight somewhere between Trailheads 4 and 6.

My advice? Do your homework. Read up in the LSHT. Peruse the website http://lonestartrail.org and buy the book. Prepare for a long slog through mud. I’m glad I took a hammock because there weren’t many places suitable for tent camping. Take plenty of water and a water purifier because there is no potable water available on the sections we hiked. Two people in 2 separate vehicles is a must unless you’re a thru-hiker or just want to hike a bit and hike back to your car. It’s mostly flat with no steep ups and downs, rock climbing, or anything like that. But there were quite a few creek crossings that required going down into a gully and up the other side. I did mention the mud, right?

So so

Nice staff. Small crowded park. Lots of old run down RVs for the cost of 45 a night.

Nice place

Rebuilding everything is like new! Lost over 47 trailers to the 12’ water surge from Harvey. Wonderful owner and staff also the least expensive of all the open campgrounds on Port A. Looks awesome now lots of hard work. Pay these folks a visit!

Sad

Beach camping and the state park is still closed. Unknown when it may reopen. Still lots of devastation from Harvey. Although on the road to recovery.

Convenient to beach and nearby turtle hatchlings.

Toilets & showers on site. No food nearby. Purchase supplies before entering island.

Camping Stubblefield

There are 29 campsites which include a tent pad, picnic table, and a trash pole. Water is available throighout the camp ground. The campground has two public bath houses with hot showers. It is well maintained by volunteer hosts working with the Sam Houston National Forest. The Lone Star Hiking Trail connects at the south side of the park. The east side of the park borders Stubblefield Lake. The adjacent Sam Houston National Foredt offers hunting, Trails for ATV, horse back. and motorcyle use. There no RV hook ups. Spaces will accomodate RV up tp 20 Ft in length, but they must be self contained. No reservations are allowed; first come only.

Simplistic site right on the water

Sea Rim State Park is a strange but nice place. Having to pass by the refinery on the way in to the state park, the campgrounds make up for it by being right along the water with every camping necessity for a night on the beach!

Ranger Review: RoM Outdoors Backpack at McKinney Falls State Park

Campground Review

This Texas State Park is just a short 15 minute drive from downtown Austin. It is only a 5 minute drive from the Austin airport. The close vicinity to the city does mean that this park has a constant flow of visitors. In the summer it is extremely busy with day visitors, weekend campers and long-term campers. In the winter it is moderately busy. The park has lots of forest trails to hike as well as some interesting rock formations around the creek and water holes. The most noted feature of the park is definitely the Upper and Lower Falls.

This park has a variety of facilities including cabins, RV sites, tent sites and group sites.

There are water, electricity and restrooms with flush toilets and sinks near all the campsites. At the premium campsites there are all of these amenities plus showers. This park is great for swimming, fishing, hiking and bicycling.

You might see deer, raccoons, armadillos and occasionally snakes. All of the wildlife should be left undisturbed. Except for the fish. Fishing is allowed in the park and one will not need a state fishing license when fishing within the park.

This is a very family friendly and well-managed park with the only downside being that the park is often very busy with visitors.

Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - today I am testing the RoM Outdoors Backpack.

The RoM Pack (pronounced "Roam") is a backpack, blanket and poncho all in one piece of gear. It is made of heavy duty 600D fabric which is water-resistant and appears to be very durable. The total volume of the pack is about 3000 cu. in. Their slogan is, "Let Adventure Unfold". The unique feature of this pack is that the backpack unfolds into a blanket. In addition, it can be unfolded into a poncho.

While I tend to use ultralight gear when I'm hiking or backpacking, I found this pack useful for fly fishing. I was able to carry my boots, waders, hammock, rod, reel, net and fishing tackle nicely. Once I reached my destination, I unfolded it to use as blanket. See the demonstration video. While I had good sunny weather, I could foresee using this piece of gear as a poncho if a thunderstorm were to roll in and I wanted to wait out the storm.

The Pros:

Unique multiuse design

Heavy duty water-resistant material

The blanket material is soft

When used as a poncho, it is also insulating.

Multiple pockets (2 removable pockets) with Molly straps

Designed and Made in the USA

The Cons:

Heavy in comparison to other backpacks

Straps and pockets somewhat obstruct use while using it as a poncho

Water bottle pockets could be larger to accommodate various sizes

For more info:

https://romoutdoors.com/product/rom-pack/

Ranger Review: Mountain House Beef Stew At Lake Arrowhead State Park

Campground Review:

To Check Out Lake Arrowhead State Park CLICK HERE

To See My Full VIDEO Review Of Lake Arrowhead State Park CLICK HERE

I have passed by the sign to Lake Arrowhead State Park probably hundreds of times and never stopped in. It was always intriguing, but like most places in your own backyard you tend to neglect sometimes the most obvious places to stop in for some rest and relaxation while trying to run off to the next big adventure up the road. But finally I had enough and just had to make a stop after seeing somethings online which swayed me to take the short exit off Highway 287 in North Texas.

Pulling into the park, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I have heard about this park mostly as a fishing destination, however what really brought me to the park were the Prairie Dogs. Yes, you heard me right… the Prairie Dogs. I am an animal lover, and anytime I get an opportunity to see so many cute free roaming animals, I simply cannot pass

I pulled in mid-day and was greeted by the Park Ranger who extended a map and trail map and gave me a brief understanding of the points of interest. Day use was only $4, something I felt would be totally worth the value for being able to have a day away. I mean, where else can you enjoy an entire day away for under $10?

The roads of the park are paved and wide enough for two lanes of traffic. I could easily see why boaters and RVers alike would enjoy coming out to the property based on how well maintained the roadways were. I first trolled through the campground itself to check out the three different options for camping.

I will say that of the camping options I would by far prefer the improved campsites at this campground. While primitive camping is great and I typically camp without amenities, I found that the primitive camping sites here had much higher grass and no fire rings or items which could be used for such. In this area of North Texas, the high grasses typically attract snakes, rattlesnakes specifically, so I couldn’t see myself trying to call this area home when other areas were just a few dollars more and were not only improved but also maintained at a higher standard. Price points varied from $10 for primitive camping to $22 with full hookups.

As I moved forward toward the lake a bit more the day use area was wide open with great lake views from all angles. The fishing pier and beach were along the same shoreline and because of recent rains the water levels were very high. This brought many of the critters right up to the grass including several breeds of waterfowl. And perhaps it was because of the recent rains, or perhaps it was because of the amount of in and out traffic leaving behind food, but this area was filled with Prairie Dog mounds and some very bold little furry friends.

I spent the better part of an hour grabbing some great photos of the infamous residents, the Black Tailed Prairie Dog, almost within petting distance. They were not fearful at all and instead were very curious and comical.

Leaving this area I moved on to the other side of the day use are which had a large boat ramp with plenty of parking for trailers, a basketball court, playground, picnic shelters and canoe and kayak rentals. This area seemed to be the busiest area in the park with several people out chatting after coming off the lake, some people having a late lunch under the shelters and even a family which looked like they had been swimming.

While this is not the most improved campground and facility I have seen at a Texas park and while I am sure they do have some room to work on modernizing, as a whole I would give the experience here five stars. The staff I encountered while at the park were all very friendly, the access to the lake was plentiful, the programs they offer were many and there were enough campsites to suit the needs of campers even on busy holiday weekends.

TIPS:

  • Check out the Disc Golf course which runs alongside both the Onion Creek Trail and Dragonfly Trails.
  • Get your supplies before you come out to the campground in neighboring communities Wichita Falls, Jolly or Henrietta. Though the entry station sells firewood there are no additional supplies sold on the grounds.
  • Bring your camera and go to the beach! This area is the most populated by the Prairie Dogs and will make for some of the most lasting memories of the park. This area is a MUST SEE!!

Product Review:

To Check Out Mountain House Products CLICK HERE

To See My Full VIDEO Review Of The Product Including A Recipe CLICK HERE

As a part of a program I belong to in conjunction with the website The Dyrt, where I serve as a Ranger, sometimes I am sent items to test along my many travels. I recently received an exciting package from Mountain House, an amazing company which provides food selections for hikers, preppers, travelers and even military usage in simplistic freeze dried form.

Information & Specs:

  • Name: Mountain House Beef Stew
  • Retail Price:
  • Servings: 2.5 Serving Pouch

Shipping Information:

From the time I corresponded with Mountain House and the Dyrt to the day I received the item there was less than a week’s wait. I have previously also received items from Mountain House through other companies which sell and distribute their items, again with little to no delay on receipt.

First Impressions:

The packaging for this product was slightly different than the item I had previously ordered, a Pro-Pack version of Mountain House which is designed and packed for higher altitudes and thus is sealed much more tightly. The directions on the packaging were clear and concise and it seemed as though it would be pretty simplistic to prepare.

Field Testing:

In previous experiences with freeze-dried meals I had been a little less than excited by their flavors, many seemed flat or chalky tasting. Being that I am a texture eater as well I don't like the off putting feel of something being soggy when I eat, so I was very eager to see how Mountain House held up to the challenge, especially when it came to stew, something which typically can go pretty soggy when preparing.

At my location I wanted to test how easy the pouch would be to prepare, how far it would stretch and also how I could potentially easily incorporate it into my camping in a variety of ways. The meal itself was very easy to prepare with very little requirements for doing so. Basically I only needed a small bit of water and something to heat it to make it work, this I found to be key when I do more minimalist camping or backpacking. I prepared the meal in this way first to get an overall feel of the meal and gauge if I would respond well to the taste and texture. It was a success! After a total of less than 20 minutes to fully prepare the meal from start to finish, I was very pleased by the flavors, the perfect texture of the meat and potatoes and how the carrots and peas seemed to just melt in my mouth.

Though I often travel alone, making 2.5 servings more than enough to send me to bed in a food coma for the evening, upon occasion I do have additional people traveling with me. This made me think, what if I needed to stretch this meal a bit further because there were two people starving after a busy day? How would I do that? I put a lot of thought into options and concluded that there would be several ways you could do so.

If continuing to be on a minimalist prep you could simply take tortillas and with the added starch find a way to make the contents stretch. But what about having my full camp set up at my disposal, how then could I stretch my meal to accommodate another person? My conclusion was to prepare a delicious meat pie by adding just two ingredients (puff pastry and mushrooms). With this idea, you could of course add any items you want and make your pies as large or as small as you would like. I would also suggest peppers or onions if you really want to expand the contents without taking away from the flavors. These are all items which compliment the flavors of the pouch well.

I prepared with a single puff pastry 4 small pies and still had enough left over in the pouch that I could have made a solo meal out of that alone. By far Mountain House is one of the most diverse and flavorful providers of freeze-dried meals. No wonder around 70% of all freeze-dried meals sold in the US are Mountain House.

Rating:

If I were rating this item I would have no questions in giving it a 5 of 5. I feel like the content of this items package standing alone is enough to speak for itself as the robust flavors bring you that little sense of home while in the wilderness. It is designed for the every day camper to have something which is easy to prepare but has the ability to transform into much more than a pre-packaged meal. This item is perfect well beyond the bounds of camping however, I am most excited about adding this item to my supplies for emergencies as well in case of power outages during cold winter months of bad weather which can often leave me without power living in the country.

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VIVOBarefoot

Philips Visa Pure

Midland USA

Beey friendly park employees

The lake is very calm and perfect for paddling around. The trails are easily marked and different skill levels.

Wonderful spot for Camping and Fishing!

We camped at spot 1, right up from the lake. Very spacious spot to fit three tents. Dog friendly. Very quiet, everyone courteous. Two great fishing spots: down on the lake by the campsite and by the marina (both super close to the campsite).

South Prong #55

Highly recommend Caprock Canyons State Park if you are considering. As soon as we passed through the entrance gate, we were greeted by a small herd of bison. When we checked in, the ranger notified us that the primitive camping we had reserved did not allow ground camp fires, so we switched over to regular camping at South Prong. She was extremely helpful and gave us her personal favorite site #55 due to its privacy.

The site is indeed very private and allows very easy access to the trail system. We did a 7.5 mile loop in the park, and the next day did a simple day trip over to Palo Duro (entrance fee included in overnight Caprock Canyons pass).

Nice little park that has lots to offer.Great sites,great view

Easy in and out sites. Many are pullthru. Full hookups, bath house is great. Wonderful views of North Llano River. Very clean and quiet.

Family Friendly Car Camping

My wife and kids just spent the past 3 days at Inks Lake and really enjoyed our time there. We took our 6 and 4 year old’s hiking on some of the trails they offer, and had a blast. They offered a daypack filled with pencils and sketch pads and activity books for my kids and added another fun thing to do on our hike. The employees at the general store are incredibly nice and happy to help out. We look forward to going back and trying out the more primitive camp sites they offer.

Clean, well kept, friendly staff, close to Austin, trees & wildlife

Located On Onion Creek, 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Park is a 70 year old park that was at one time McKinney Ranch. Two waterfalls , one is the upper Falls and the other lower falls, with trails throughout. The old homestead trail has the original stone ranch house. Numerous rock walls . Fishing , camping, swimming and hiking. There are 86 campsites , 5 cabins, large meeting/dinning hall, and outdoor theater. A variety of wildlife also.

Outstanding

Available to all retired military and active duty…others but not sure who…Beautiful sites……..

Outstanding

Beautiful….very nice dog park…just really nice people and very helpful….

Family Fun!

Lots of activities, good clean sites and golf cart rental!

FUN for Kids of All Ages

Lots of activities to keep the kids entertained! Kids and adults both enjoy candy bar bingo and dancing the night away to tunes by an energetic DJ! We had a blast! Very nice spaces and golf cart rentals!

not too bad

Not too bad all around. My family just stayed here for a night when we we're passing though, but it seemed pretty nice. The sunset on the beach was awesome. We stayed in an RV site, but it seemed like they had some little sites right on the beach to stay in too.

The fishing in this area is great, and the kayaking as well. Seemed like a neat little place.

Fun!

Serene clean place! We stayed few nights and had a blast. It was fun to go together with friends but it wasn’t crowded in summer. Staff were great. Bathroom clean and stocked despite being busy. Fun to check out beach and fly kites as it’s really windy. Make sure to bring sunscreen and hats, plenty of drinks.

Best tubing ever!

Spots are great! Walking for tent camping is close about 50 ft but get here early as it’s very crowded. Lots of people fishing too so be careful of hooks in the water. We did a little hiking but not a ton of that to do here.

Wow!

We we’re traveling and needed a spot near Austin, Texas and love Lake Bastrop. There’s two Campgrounds one South and one North. The right one for us was South since we didn’t want anything too primitive. Thankfully there is plenty of trees for shade. And the view of Lake Bastrop is phenomenal. We did the lakeshore hike which takes a while since it’s 6 miles. W rented a canoe from the office one day and really enjoyed that.

Really enjoyed it!

The views are amazing of the lake. We thought it was clean and well kept and were able to enjoy the spacing and the quiet. The kids enjoyed hikes in area and we even were able to have local family visit us as guests. Definitely will return again.

Can’t go back in summer

We took a four day trip to stay in cabin at this KOA because we love KOAs. The campground is clean and there’s lots to do however I would not return in summer as it was so hot in summer and there was no way to cool off in the cabins. We checked out early because we couldn’t handle it with two small kids.

Hot spot for rock climbing.

We camped here for several days to get some rock climbing in at nearby spots. It was a great open campground for tent camping. It was quiet but slightly dusty. The bathrooms were clean and staff was nice. If you like hiking trails this is good area for it.

Large state park and well maintained

This great park offers ~400 campsites along Lake Joe Pool. Lots of upgrades taking place in the park but worth checking out. Bathroom and shower facilities are available throughout the park. Shopping is within minutes drive from park. This is a favorite park of ours!

A hidden gem

Devils River SNA is one of my most favorite parks in the Texas Parks system. I've been here only twice but both times this park was amazing.

Things you should know before you go:

*Cell service with ATT is non-existent (Not reliable at all. I had one bar along the river in certain areas and the rest of the time no bars)

*All of the campsites are offgrid, no electric, no water, no shade. Just a picnic table. Bring a canopy or umbrella because it can get very hot in the summer. There are no trees near the campsites as this is a borderline desert ecosystem.

*The river is the main attraction. It is pristine, clear, see-through untouched river system. Alligator gar and other fish are visible from the river side. Water can be deep in some areas so swim with caution. The river also flows at elevated speed in some areas so be careful. Generally you are fine swimming in the summer though. The water is cold.

*The river is day-use only. You cant camp alongside it, which sucks but it's meant this way to protect the river. Some people are dumb and litter or pollute.. they ruin it for the rest of us.

*The park is about 1hr off a highway, back on gravel and dirt roads. A 4x4 vehicle is recommended but not necessary. First time I went I had a 2x4 ford explorer and it was fine.. however there are certain mud holes along the way to the park, so be aware of that. The roads to the park are rough, cant drive faster than 20mph, which is why it takes 1hr to get to there.

*Top off your gas tank before you go to the park… there is no gas station within 1.5hrs or so of the park itself. Bring extra gas with you if you can. Again, cell service is almost non-existent around the park area… traffic is light, so you will be in a pickle if you run out of gas.

*There are only a handful of campsites, so reserve ahead.

*There is no vehicle access to the river. You basically drive from the campsite to a parking lot and then hike to the river about 1.5miles up two steep inclines and then down a hill to the river. Carrying a cooler sucked. Along with fishing gear and chairs. We brought a wagon the 2nd time we went.

*There is no ADA access to the river. No vehicle access, period.

*Ground fires not permitted. There is no water.

*There is one set of bathrooms are the park office - they are far from the campsites, so you'll need to drive to it if you need to use it.

*No electricity in the park whatsoever. Bring a battery for your electronics.

*Watch the weather… the river swells when it pours or storms. You dont want to be around it when that happens. The campsites are safe though… there is a creek between the campsites and park exit.. so if it does storm bad, you could be trapped. Defintely monitor weather and leave the park if it gets questionable.

*Again, there is no electricity in the park. It is pitch black when night falls. Have plenty of flashlights, batteries. It is pitch black out there.

*Stargazing is great and worth the drive to the park. Enjoy it.

Overall, this park is awesome. I'm glad it isn't popular. This being said, if you have time, visit this park. You will not regret it. Will add pics later.

Beautiful and spacious

This is a very nice river park that spans a considerable size along the Guadalupe River. Trout fishing is great, swimming is too! We've kayaked this river at least 100times in the last 5 years and each time we had lots of fun. Outside the park boundary, unfortunately, all of the land is privately owned so you cant go out and explore on foot.. but kayaking up and down the river is great! We've also tubed the river which is also fun.

The park offers trails for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use. Also note this park does get very busy in the summer and fills up quick on summer days. Recommend you reserve your campsites ahead of time and get there early in the mornings if you are doing day use.

Great park for making lasting memories. Watch out for the racoons.. we've witnessed them pick up entire unopened bags of Lays chips and run off with them in the middle of the night. They are tactical and fearless.