Many folks come here to swim, but the park is more than a great swimming hole. Beautiful scenery and colorful history await, just a short drive from San Antonio and Austin. Camp at one of 85 water and electric campsites or nine walk-in tent sites.
Will and I wanted to get away after being stuck in the house for months and finally camping opened back up in Texas! We wanted to check out San Antonio as well and this offered both the peace + quiet of a campground plus not being too far from downtown San Antonio. We were lucky enough to get a spot (I’ve heard that this is a difficult place to get a camping spot so book in advance!!). The first day we got to the park and set up camp we were lucky enough to get a spot close to the river. They are doing construction on some of the other sites so space really is limited if you want to camp here. We pitched our tent at a nice shaded spot and made our way to San Antonio. We came back to the campground around 12am and used an entry code to get in as the gate was closed (which is nice if you are looking for a secure spot to camp!) The next day we packed up and headed into the park. We only had a one night stay but it was perfect. You have to be packed up by 12pm but you are allowed to stay in the park until closing at 10pm. We took our raft down to the river and floated for the afternoon. The visitors section of the river was a little crowded. I can’t imagine what this park is like when it is in full swing/not limiting its guests. Other than that it was clean and the campsites were really nice, they had raised gravel patios for tents. The only thing we didn’t really like was that they weren’t drive up sites so we had to hail our gear to the site.
We were super excited to finally get out for the 2020 season and this was the first of a few parks for a two week trip. We stayed in the “primitive” tent campground Wagon Ford” walk in tent area. Our site was about 150 yards from the parking lot and about 300 yards to the flush toilets with sinks and running water. There was potable water at the bathrooms, but none at the campsites. Each site had a nice 16x16 tent pad, fire pit, picnic table and our site had plenty of shade and a trail down to the river. The shower sites at cedar sage campground were awesome, they look new,in fact they are building another shower area near the discovery center (which was still closed). The raccoons are bad, they got the site next to us, and even managed to get inside our big RTIC cooler and stole some of our food 😭. The River is great, but you need to bring your own tubes or floating devices as they don’t rent them. We hiked the Painted Bunting trail, the discovery loop and scenic overlook trails and the bald cypress trail. We saw axis deer and lots of birds. The trails were well maintained and marked.
We went on a nice weekend in early Feb and although it was chilly at night (down to mid-30s), the sun warmed us up during the day. The water was nice and clear blue, my husband enjoyed fly fishing. It was difficult to get a good hike in, I couldn’t figure out how to get to the longer hikes on the north side of the river without leaving the park and driving around. But since we were only there for a quick weekend it was just fine to walk around a bit. We went to the river overlook and that was pretty. Our spot was in the Turkey Sink campground, spot 65. It’s easy to see your neighbor from this spot but the campground was nice and quiet at night/early morning. Friendly staff too, and clean restrooms with showers. Had a great time!
This would be a great park if the river were closer to the campsites!
What a amazing park to relax on the river. River was flowing and very clean. RV site was great and quiet. Plenty of room for the kids to play.
Love this place, and the river. Sometimes it is hard to get a reservation for RV spots.
There is no better late spring to early summer activity than getting good float down one of the rivers of Texas. While there are plenty of put in spots, many do not have access to a campground which offers as many options as the Guadalupe River State Park.
Under the supervision of the Texas State Park system the facilities for both day use and overnight stay are well maintained. Currently undergoing an overhaul which will offer new restrooms in one of the camping loops, they are constantly striving to better accommodate guests and provide a fun and relaxed get away for a day, week or weekend.
Taking a trip through the camping loops I noticed each were well shaded and positioned in a way that the sun could trickle through the leaves to provide warmth on a cool morning but not so much that it would make the sweltering summer days more intense. Large parking spaces could easily accommodate two vehicles at each camp and amenities ranged depending on the location of the site you choose.
In the improved camping loops, sites came standard with electricity and water connections, with posts being positioned at the front of the site. You would need to provide your own hose or cord to source this toward the rear of the site if desired. Camping sites each provide a large picnic table and lantern hook in addition to a tent pad which is constructed and elevated slighting from the ground around.
In addition, to the loop camp sites, there is another section designed for tent campers wanting to walk in. While this area is well maintained, it is subject to closures with rains unlike the other areas. When I visited, the recent downpour had forced closure of all trails and also this campsite as a part of the conservation effort for keeping the natural lands. While I do appreciate this as a person who wants to protect our spaces so we can continue to enjoy them for years to come, I could easily see how it could also disappoint a camper who is having change their location to an improved site.
Throughout the park there are a series of trails for hiking, biking and even horseback riding. A full map is provided at the front gate and can come in handy if you are wanting to find more than just the river trail while at camp. But something also to consider when looking at this map is the trail system located across the road from what most consider to be the park. This section is less populated with hikers and provides some of the most interesting hiking you will find at Guadalupe River State Park.
But let’s get down to what everyone really wants to hear about … THE RIVER!
The river can be a source of a lot of fun and also traffic. Being open for day use as well as for those staying at the park, the area provides a cool retreat to dive into the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. There are picnic tables lining the shoreline, some off the river and in shaded areas while others are in full sun. There is a no alcohol policy which is enforced on busy days, so warning if you are a person looking to float and drink, this might not be the right place to put in.
A trail runs alongside the riverfront providing great views of the river’s path. A nature center and amphitheater are located across the parking lot from the river highlighting educational materials for the entire family but with exhibits geared toward the kiddos. In this area currently there are only port a potty restrooms.
- If you are planning on floating, make sure to read the guidelines by the parking lot. Remember the river is not a loop so where you put in is not where you will end up.
- Book In Advance! This park is very popular and quickly fills up on weekend, if you are planning a trip make sure you book well in advance to ensure you will have a site.
- Check the Weather! The river’s flow is directly effected by the amount of rainfall. If you are planning a trip pull up the weather to make sure it will not make for unsafe conditions.
This park is amazingly quiet and peaceful. Took my son camping here and we had a great time fishing, bird watching and hiking. The staff offered tips on landing trout and my son was able to catch his very first one!
Walk down to the river and float in a toob. It is a wonderful summer adventure. Large sites, friendly people. You will need a WIFI booster if you want to get online. Nice visitors center, nice bathrooms.
We visited on a Thursday to Sunday stay so saw both the weekday and weekend. The park filled up on Friday night with families enjoying the weekend out of San Antonio. Beautiful river views from the hiking trails and the majority of campsites are well shaded.
We got caught in the reservation switch with the State of Texas - however the park staff was super helpful in making sure we got our reservation correct. Restrooms and facilities were well maintained, including the trails which were well marked.
We wanted to do the star party but it was cloudy. It was great to see the number of activities from geocaching to fishing that the staff promoted.
We will be back for a future stay.