Wednesday, December 12, 2018

7 Best Camping Spots In Texas Hill Country

7 best camping spots in Texas Hill Country blog cover image

The Lonestar State of Texas has many diverse areas but nestled in the southwest corner is the rugged terrain of Hill Country. Here, you can camp out under the stars and be at one with nature. To help you plan your next adventure, here are the seven best camping spots in Texas Hill Country.

rolling hills and mountains in the background

Davis Mountains State Park

In one of the more western regions of Texas, you can find Davis Mountains State Park. While it is unusual to find mountains in Texas, it is still a possibility, and this scenic camping area takes great advantage of the natural beauty. There are miles of trails to discover, which you can do so by foot or by horse. Trail lengths vary so whether you want just a pleasant morning stroll or a full day adventure, there is something for everyone.

In addition to the plentiful areas made for tent camping, there is also a historic motel, named Indian Lodge. It includes a restaurant and a swimming pool, so if you have smaller children, or need a break from the elements, you can sleep under a roof but still be in the middle of nature

a calmly flowing river with overhanging tree branches

Guadalupe River State Park

The Guadalupe River winds its way through this namesake park, enriching almost 2000 acres of pristine wilderness. The river is great for fishing and while many areas of water can be a bit tumultuous, there are enough calmer areas for swimming. It is great for canoe trips. On land, there are numerous trails for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. 

As a special treat, many of the campsites have both water and electricity. So if you want to camp, but don’t want to completely rough it, then this is the place for you.

a mountain and its reflection in the still waters of a lake beneath

Garner State Park

At the heart of Garner State Park, you will find the Frio River which is large enough to accommodate swimming, paddle boats, and inner tubes. If you find yourself on dry land, explore the 10 miles of hiking trails that wind their way around the river. For sleeping, there are campsites, screened shelters, and even cabins, so no matter if you want a bit of convenience or simply want to fall asleep counting the stars, there’s an option for you. 

One of the biggest draws of those visiting Garner State Park is the social aspect. Since the 1940s there has been a jukebox dance on summer evenings, a tradition that continues to this day. Be sure to arrive early for the dance as parking for the area is limited

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

If you’ve ever felt that nature is a bit magical, then you’ll want to head to Enchanted Rock, which is just north of Fredericksburg. There is plenty of hiking to be had, along with the popular activity of geocaching. But the main attraction is the giant mound of pink granite that creates a domelike natural structure. The trails wind around this rock but you are also able to rock climb to the top. Be aware that if you plan on rock climbing, you need to check in ahead of time at headquarters. It may not be a large rock, but the surface is fairly smooth, and you will need to have some experience to make it to the top.

rocks and driftwood above the surface of a creek

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Children and adults alike will love the thrill of seeing ancient dinosaur tracks embedded in the rock. Just 90 minutes southwest of Fort Worth, you can easily check out this state park for the day or plan on camping for a few nights. The Paluxy River runs through Dinosaur Valley State Park, and hiking trails meander nearby it. You can set off and explore, but don’t spend too much time gazing at the natural beauty around you. Instead, be sure to pay attention to where you step as millions of years ago, dinosaurs tread the same area. Thankfully, while it can be easy to miss the dinosaur tracks, there is a handy GPS map that you can download straight to your smartphone. With it, you will be sure to find all the amazing prints.

Colorado Bend State Park

For those that want to really escape from it all, then be sure to check out Colorado Bend State Park. It is two hours northwest of Austin and is a marked change from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Instead, you will find the babbling Spicewood Springs and the awe-inspiring Gorman Falls. There are 35 miles of trails to explore, so it is perfect for the true outdoors enthusiast. In addition to all this, there are natural caves that you can enter. Reservations are required, but each tour comes with an experienced guide. 

For those staying a few nights, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can opt for a drive-in site with neighbors relatively close up, or you can go all out and choose a hike-in only site

Krause Springs

Camping and swimming go hand in hand, and this is most evident if you visit Krause Springs. It is less than an hour west of Austin and is truly a place of wonder. The property is privately owned, and the Krause Family has taken great pains to highlight the natural beauty of the area. There are 32 springs on the property, many of which flow together into a man-made pool. They also run into nearby Lake Travis. All of the pools and springs can be swum in. Next to the flowing water, you will find centuries-old trees that are magnificent. There are multiple camping sites for both tents and RVs, so no matter how you plan to camp, there is something here for you.

Texas has nights filled with giant swaths of stars. It has lazy rivers and ancient rock formations. There is no shortage of flora and fauna. Experience a return to nature by camping in Texas Hill Country, a place that will truly inspire you.