Hidden Gem on the Outskirts of Texas

When we camped here (last June) we stayed at Dog Canyon, which is the less visited end of the park. To get to this entrance you actually have to cut into New Mexico and come back into Texas north of the main entrance where the visitor’s center is. The campground is nestled into Dog Canyon with mountains all around you and it was COMPLETELY empty when we arrived. It isn’t a small campground, but it apparently doesn’t get much traffic. There is one small ranger’s station with a few maps and a hummingbird feeder I could’ve watched all day, and usually a ranger who can answer any questions you have regarding the trails or wildlife. From the canyon you can do sections of a 14 mile loop or you can hike all the way back to the main visitor’s center (one way), although that is a bit much for a day. There are several primitive sites along the 14 mile loop as well as a couple of geocaches. I recommend being extremely careful with timing if you do the whole loop, as we got caught in a sudden afternoon storm about 3/4 of the way through. We saw tons of beautiful birds, some Barbary sheep, and lots of mule deer. The loop was a gorgeous hike and the campground overall was simplistic but perfect. There are no showers, only a bathroom and water fountain, and the nearest town is a bit of a drive back out of the mountains. A lot of the roads here flood and/or are rough dirt roads, so be prepared for that and make sure you have the right vehicle and maybe call ahead to see how bad the flooding has been. I highly recommend this park and campground to all adventure lovers!