As the old saying goes, everything’s bigger in Texas. The beauty of exploring Texas–aside from the 78 state parks, huge number of historic sites, and stunning biodiversity–is that there’s something in the state for everyone. In Texas, even adventure is bigger.
An RV lifestyle brings the freedom of the open road, and nowhere in the lower 48 do you feel that freedom quite like you do in Texas. Full of cultural variety, immense parks, spectacular views, and an expansive variety of ecosystems, you could spend weeks exploring and discovering new hidden gems. Consider this your snowbird’s guide to RV parks in Texas.
What to Know When Camping in Texas
Texas has a lot to offer snowbirds from every walk of life. Whether you want to cruise down national park roads or explore the backcountry from an RV home base, there’s something here for everyone when camping in Texas.
Before you head out on your RV adventure, here are a few things you need to know about RV parks and camping in Texas in the winter months:
- It can still get cold. Depending on the area you’re in, remember that snow or at least ice is still possible, particularly at night. Stock up on de-icer fluid and keep good windshield wipers on your RV.
- Bring layers. If you want to enjoy time around the campfire in the winter months, you’ll need layers. Cold, crisp mornings and warm afternoons are the norm in Texan winters, so bringing base layers, t-shirts, fleeces, hats, and gloves will make hikes, biking trips, and other outdoor adventures far more feasible and enjoyable.
Hand Warmers for the truly cold mornings keep your fingers mobile before the afternoon sun sends temperatures soaring, whether you’re out on a hike or doing some RV maintenance.
Top RV Parks in Texas for Snowbirds
1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
No guide to RV life in Texas would be complete without mentioning Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Not only is the campground one of the best RV parks in Texas, but the canyon itself is the second-largest in the nation–second only to the Grand Canyon. Located in the heart of the Texas panhandle, this canyon boasts rugged beauty and vast, empty expanse.
It also offers explorers of all ages and abilities a chance to partake in the park’s beauty. From challenging hiking trails to scenic car routes, biking trails and geocaching challenges to equestrian paths, Palo Duro Canyon has a lot to offer.
In terms of RV amenities, here’s what you need to know. Both four-legged friends and alcohol are permitted. The campsite is ADA accessible and boasts its own market, showers, toilets, water hookups, electric hookups, sanitary dumping, cell service, firewood for sale, trash service, and drinking water.
Sites are reservable, so you can be sure to snag a spot before this popular location books out. User reviews on The Dyrt website are excellent: Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers both tremendous camping and the views of a lifetime.
2. Chisos Basin at Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park just goes to show that bigger is better in Texas. Nestled high in the Chisos Mountains in the southwest of the state, the Chisos Basin campground is one of the most prized camping locations in Big Bend National Park. Rugged and remote, this lonely mountain range is subsumed by empty desert and just waiting to be explored.
Big Bend National Park offers athletic adventurers and car cruisers alike unique opportunities for outdoor excursions. Paved highways and dirt roads offer all manner of scenic drives. Fossil exhibits offer geological education about the park’s history, and 800,000 acres of backcountry allow equestrian enthusiasts, kayakers, canoeists, rafters, hikers, and cyclists a chance to explore to their heart’s content.
Chisos Basin campground doesn’t skimp on creature comforts, either. It serves as a perfect hub for hikers. Available for reservations year-round, this campground is ADA accessible and features firewood for sale, water hookups, showers, drinking water, a campground market, toilets, sewer hookups, and a sanitary dump. In addition, both booze and pets are permitted.
The campground also boasts trail access to the park’s highest summit, Emory Peak (7,825 feet).
However, it’s important to note that the road to the campground features some hairpin turns that make it impossible for RVs over 24 feet or trailers over 19 feet to access the campground. While there are many individual RV sites, there are no group RV sites, so if you’re traveling with friends you’ll each have to reserve a spot individually.
3. Garner State Park
The Garner State Park campground, at the other end of the spectrum, is far in the south of Texas. It’s one of the most popular state parks in Texas for overnight camping, and it’s easy to see why. Limestone cliffs, crystal-clear streams, high mesas, and deep canyons offer individuals from all walks of life a stunning Texas getaway experience. If you’re looking for RV parks in Texas brimming with things to do–both solitarily and socially–search no further.
Garner State Park is famed for its abundant wildlife–white-tailed deer, Axis deer, squirrels, raccoons, turkeys, vultures, and numerous other species of birds, reptiles, and mammals abound. Nature-watching here is at its finest.
There are hike-in, boat-in, and drive-in spots available at the campground, which speaks to all there is to do in this popular state park. River tubing, canoeing, hiking, equestrian adventures, cycling trails, miniature golf, weekend dances, and geocaching appeal to the young and young-at-heart alike.
The campsite is ADA accessible and features its own market, Wi-Fi, showers, sewer hookups, water hookups, electric hookups, toilets, sanitary dumping, cell service, firewood for sale, trash service, and drinking water. Sites are reservable, so get one of the most coveted sites as early as you can.
4. Pedernales Falls State Park
Located in Blanco County right in the heart of Texas, Pedernales Falls State Park is one of the most-loved RV parks in Texas. Here, the powerful Pedernales River flows over huge slabs of limestone and waterfalls cascade into soothing pools.
It’s a Texan oasis where you can swim, hike, ride horses, geocache, wade in the river, tube down the river, fish, mountain bike, and birdwatch. The bird blind and butterfly garden allows you to appreciate some of Texas’s smaller, gentler creatures.
The campground at the park features walk-in, boat-in, drive-in, and hike-in sites ready to accommodate every type of camper. Alcohol and pets are permitted. With plenty of RV sites, cabins, tent cabins, dispersed camping, and ADA accessibility, it’s a perfect get-together spot for the whole family.
RV snowbirds will be happy to know that this site features Wi-Fi, showers, drinking water, water hookups, electric hookups, sewer hookups, toilets, trash service, sanitary dumping, cell service, its own market, and firewood for sale. Reserve a site ahead of time.
While the river is ordinarily welcoming, bear in mind that flash flooding is possible at Pedernales Falls State Park. If you notice the river rising or growing muddy, get out and get back.
This article about RV parks in Texas was brought to you by GCI Outdoors
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