BEST STATE PARKS IN TEXAS
THE 5 BEST STATE PARKS IN TEXAS For Camping
- 1. Big Bend Ranch State Park
- 2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
- 3. Rock Enchanted Natural Area
- 4. Longhorn Cavern State Park
- 5. Lost Maples State Natural Area
From rolling plains and barren deserts to beaches and swamps, Texas’ geography is vast and diverse. Some of the best places to see this natural beauty are state parks, which help preserve precious outdoor spaces. We’ve got 10 of the best Lone Star State Parks to share with you.
1. Big Bend Ranch State Park
|Big Bend Ranch State Park|
Big Bend Ranch State Parkis an American protected area located in Brewster and Presidio counties, Texas. It is the largest state park in Texas, it was established in 1988.
With over 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares), Big Bend Ranch State Park is the largest state park in Texas. Located in the far west of Texas, along the US-Mexico border, the park is an adventure-seeker’s paradise. And Visitor can hikes, mountains bikes and go horseback riding through the 238 miles (383 km) of multi-use trails. access to the Rio Grande river also means floating, fishing and rafting. Forty-eight species of mammals have been found in the park and over 300 species of birds have also been recorded. Keep an eye out for snakes, bats, mountain lions, mule deer, lizards, lizards, bighorn sheep and more. All camping sites (except backcountry sites) can be reached by vehicle, but be aware that some roads require four-wheel drive or high clearance. A bunkhouse that can accommodate up to 30 people is also available for accommodation.
Mon – Sun:
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
1900 South Saucedo, Presidio, Texas, 79845, United States
2. Palo Duro Canyon State Park
|Palo Duro Canyon State Park|
The Palo Duro Canyon is a system of gorges belonging to the Caprock Escarpment in the Texas Panhandle region, north Texas. Located southeast of the town of Amarillo, the canyon is part of a state park. Its Spanish name means “hardwood”, in reference to the junipers that grow in the region.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site: 1976
Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States, located in the Texas Panhandle. The canyon is approximately 193 km long and 32 km wide and began to form a million years ago. The rock layers you can see as you descend to the ground show that the oldest part of the canyon is around 250 million years old. Visitors can explore on foot, by car, and on ATV, although riders have the most fun with around 1,500 acres (over 30 miles – 48 km) of horse-only trails. There are two other trails available for hikers and mountain bikers. In the summer, an outdoor musical drama about the lives of early settlers takes place at the Pioneer Amphitheater in the park. Campgrounds with water and electricity are available, as well as primitive starter sites and backpacking areas. Seven cabins are also available.
Mon – Sun:
7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
11450 State Highway Park Road 5, Canyon, Texas, 79015, United States
Closed ⋅ Opens 8AM
Telephone: +1 806-488-2227
3. 3. Rock Enchanted Natural Area
|Rock Enchanted Natural Area|
Enchanted Rock is a pink granite mountain located in the Llano Uplift about 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, Texas and 24 miles south of Llano, Texas, United States.
In the Texas Hill Country, about 20 miles north of Fredericksburg, is Enchanted Rock, a monstrous pink granite dome that rises 129.5 meters above the base of the park. The dome was created by a large pool of magma around a billion years ago, which eventually turned to granite as it pushed up to the surface and cooled. Visitors hike here to climb Enchanted Rock, as if climbing the stairs of a 30- or 40-story building. Visitors can also hike nearly 17 km of trails, backpacking, camping, climbing, birding and stargazing (the park is designated an International Dark Sky Park). A word of warning: the park often closes due to capacity, so be sure to plan ahead and check the park’s website for more information.
16710 Ranch Road 965, Fredericksburg, Texas, 78624, United States
Accessibility and public:
Friendly and family
Services & Activities:
Exterior, photo opportunity, scenic
4. Longhorn Cavern State Park
|Longhorn Cavern State Park|
Originally formed underwater, the Longhorn Caves offer cave tours that educate visitors about the region’s rich history and geology. Research shows that the cave has provided shelter since prehistoric times. In the mid-1800s, settlers used the cave to make gunpowder for the Civil War, and by the 1920s the cave was used as a dance hall and speakeasy. Besides the stories, visitors appreciate the magnificent cave formations, sinkholes, rock carvings, and rooms filled with sparkling crystals. Longhorn Caverns State Park is located about an hour and a half northwest of the hustle and bustle of Austin.
Mon – Sun:
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
6211 Park Road 4 S, Burnet, TX 78611, United States
Closed ⋅ Opens 9AM
Telephone : +1 512-715-9000
5. Lost Maples State Natural Area
|Lost Maples State Natural Area|
For those looking for vivid fall foliage in Texas, the Lost Maples State Natural Area is the place to be. The park, located about two hours northwest of San Antonio, protects a secluded and unusual stand of Uvalde Bigtooth maple trees that produces perfect views of fall colors. Foliage always depends on the weather, so check out the park’s fall foliage report. The park also has over 10 miles of trails, including a 670-meter clifftop loop, 30 campsites with water and electricity, and six primitive campsites. Hiking, fishing, geocaching, bird
watching and other activities are also available.
Mon – Sun:
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
37211 FM 187, Vanderpool, Texas, 78885, United States