The Best Tent Camping in Texas

The Best Tent Camping in Texas
Go tent camping and give your wallet and the environment a break. Though the comfort of a camper has its place, camping in a tent is an appropriate way to have an experience that is somewhat closer to nature. Places such as Sam Houston or Davy Crockett national forests offer tenters a chance to experience the natural world on a deeper level than they might otherwise.

Padre Island National Seashore

Camp along the seashore and let the waves chase the stress away. While South Padre Island is synonymous with party goers, the remainder of this 70-mile stretch of barrier island is completely undeveloped. Travelers who need an ocean fix but don't want to spend their dollars on a hotel or resort can opt to camp along the grasslands, sand dunes, gently sloping beaches and warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Though there are five sites to choose from, head to Bird Island Basin. This campsite has in the past been recognized by Windsurfing Magazine as a top windsurfing site. Additionally, swimming, boating and birding are regular pastimes at Padre Island. Sunrise walks along the shore are heartening.

Padre Island National Seashore
Malaquite Visitor Center
P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, Texas 78480
(361) 949-9951


Big Bend National Park

Take your pick of the best campsites in this national park that everyone seems to have forgotten. No joke, this park is often empty. For lovers of the outdoors, the solitude that Big Basin National Park offers is one of its main draws. Big Basin offers mountain, river and desert environments. Odd spadefoot toads, cunning mountain lions, tiny mosquito fish, the Montezuma quail and Mexican long-nosed bats are all homesteaders in Big Basin. The park is also ripe with archaeological sites, including those of the late paleo-Indian, archaic and late prehistorical periods. Many sites have yet to be studied, and petroglyphs are common. When you're not cooling off while floating down the Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park offers campsites and backcountry sites to choose from.

Big Bend National Park
P.O. Box 129
Big Bend National Park, Texas 79834
(432) 477-1175

Sabine National Forest

Escape deep into the pinewood forests of East Texas. Located right along the Texas-Louisiana border, Sabine National Forest campsites were created with the idea that people sometimes need space. Noted as a birding spot, determined campers will spot wood ducks, waterfowl, songbirds, hawks, shorebirds and occasionally the red cockaded woodpecker. Tents should be pitched at the walk-in-only Willow Oak campground, adjacent to Toledo Bend Reservoir. Canoeing is available on the reservoir and nearby Red Hills Lake, and there is a 20-mile hiking trail between Toledo Bend Reservoir and Sam Rayburn Reservoir. In designated areas, bicycles are also an option.

Sabine National Forest
415 S. First St., Suite 110
Lufkin, Texas 75901
(936) 639-8501


Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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Nice easy flat trail that leads to beautiful red rocks.
Stunning hike but extremely steep and tiring! Bring plenty of water.