Top TEN Most Beautiful Texas State Parks

There is a lot to consider for a family when planning for a comping trip. The weather, age of the travels, pets and more. Texas State Parks though, they are jam-packed with activities, hiking trails and beautiful campsites for just about any group. The best part? You can make a reservation online and go anytime of year! Yep, it’s that easy.

So, let’s dive in…

Top Ten Most Beautiful Texas State Parks

1. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

With over 30 miles of Trail you are welcome to explore the Canyon by foot, mountain bike, horse or car:

Things to do:

New to Palo Duro Canyon: Glamping (luxury camping)! Each glamping site is fully furnished with air conditioning, luxury rustic furnishings, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, games, bicycles, gas grills and gas fire pits, covered porches with rockers, porch swings, and much more

Open daily,
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

11450 Park Road 5
Canyon, TX 79015
(806) 488-2227

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult : $8 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

2. Davis Mountain State Park

Photo by: Texas Park & Wildlife

Way out in West Texas you’ll find this treasure of hidden peace and tranquility. Trek or mountain bike the 4.5 mile Skyline trail that travels the mountains ridges and valleys.

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Ride your horse
  • Geocache
  • Stargaze
  • Camp
  • Bird Watch – at the “Best Little Bird Blind in Texas”

Stay at one of their campsites or at Indian Lodge, a historic 39-room motel in the park, which has a restaurant, swimming pool (for Lodge guests only) and meeting rooms. You can also group picnic area.

Open daily

TX-118 N., Park Rd. 3
Fort Davis, TX 79734
(432) 426-3337

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult (Day Use Only): $6 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under : Free
  • School-Sponsored Group: Contact the Park

 

3. Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site

Photo by: RightKindofLost

Along the Rio Grande, near Del Rio you can stop and see the pictographs of early canyon dwellers. The site is stunning and park is marvelous.

Things to do:

Note: You may only hike in the canyon area with a guide, but you can access all other trails on your own.

Open daily (except Christmas and Thanksgiving)

P.O. Box 820
Comstock, TX 78837
(432) 292-4464

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • 13 years and older: $4 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

4. Garner State Park

Photo by: Texas Parks & Wildlife

With nearly 1800 acres of scenic park land this is the perfect weekend getaway.

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Swim
  • Float the Frio River
  • Picnic
  • Canoe
  • Paddleboat
  • Geocache
  • Camp
  • Take a virtual tour with our Interactive Trails Map

Summer Dance:  Since the 1940s, young folks (and the young at heart) have been gathering at the park’s concession building on summer evenings for a jukebox dance. They still do so today. Arrive early, as parking lots get full and gates can close as early as 8:30 p.m

Open Daily
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

234 RR 1050
Concan, TX 78838
(830) 232-6132

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • 13 years and older: $8 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

5. Colorado Bend State Park

Photo by: The Dyrt

Ready to cool off in Gorman Falls and Spicewood Springs? Done!

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Paddle Boat
  • Fish
  • Camp

Wild Cave Tours

Tour caverns with an experienced guide. You will get dirty! Reservations for cave tours  are required.

Gorman Falls Hike

Take a self-guided tour to this 70-foot spring-fed waterfall. Come prepared for a 3-mile round trip hike over rough and rocky terrain.

Open daily,
6 a.m. – 10 p.m.

P. O. Box 118
Bend, TX 76824
(325) 628-3240

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult: $5 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

6. Dinosaur Valley State Park

This place is AMAZING for kids and kids at HEART! 20 miles of trails and Dinosaur tracks… really?

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Ride your Horse
  • Kayak
  • Camp
  • Swim
  • Fish
  • Paddle the River

Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company offers a variety of equestrian services from guided horseback riding to horse drawn wagon rides, and wrangler assisted trail rides for children 3 to 14 years old. To saddle up and enjoy some spectacular views along the park’s scenic trails, contact them at 817/382-9855 or make a reservation

Open Daily
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1629 Park Rd 59
Glen Rose, TX 76043
(254) 897-4588

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult Day Use: $7 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

7. Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples is know for its foliage but it is actually quite beautiful year round. Over 10 miles of  hiking trails that take you along the 2,200 foot cliff you’ll have plenty to explore.

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Camp
  • Geocaches
  • Stargaze
  • Backpack
  • Birdwatch

This area is home to a wide variety of birds, including the en­dan­gered golden-cheeked warbler and the recently de-listed black-capped vireo. Download Birds of Lost Maples State Natural Area: A Field Checklist | PDF to learn more

Open daily
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

37221 F.M. 187
Vanderpool, TX 78885
(830) 966-3413

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult : $6 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

8. Lake Mineral Wells State Park & Trailway

In the heart of cattle country you’ll find this stunning park with some great history and amenities.

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Ride your Horse
  • Swim
  • Geocache
  • Rock climb
  • Camp
  • Fish
  • Boat
  • Use the Interactive Trails Map to take a virtual tour of the Trailway and park trails.

Rock Climbing

Penitentiary Hollow is one of the few natural rock climbing venues in North Texas. Climbers and rappellers must check in at headquarters.

Open daily
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

100 Park Road 71
Mineral Wells, TX 76067
(940) 328-1171

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult: $7 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

9. Guadalupe River State Park

In the heart of Central Texas this park is perfect for an afternoon in the lazy river or for a wonderfully relaxing weekend camping trip.

Things to do:

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Ride your Horse
  • Picnic
  • Geocache
  • Swim
  • Fish
  • Tube
  • Canoe
  • Kayak

For a more primitive experience, our remote Bauer Unit day-use area has hiking and biking trails with ratings from moderate to challenging. Experience native prairie grasses and wildlife in the mixed Hill Country forest, along with varied terrain and spring seeps. River access is a 2- to 3-mile hike downhill (4-6 miles round trip).

The Bauer Unit has no restrooms or potable water and fires are not permitted. Pack out your trash and Leave No Trace.

Open daily
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

3350 Park Road 31
Spring Branch, TX 78070
(830) 438-2656

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult: $7 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

 

10. Mckinney Falls State Park

Photo by: Kate Dunbar, The Campground Gourmet

Just 13 miles from the state capitol this park boasts 3 miles of hike and bike trails and the beautiful sounds of onion creek.

Things to do:

Stay at one of 81 campsites (all with water and electric hookups). Or rent one of our six newly remodeled cabins. They also have a primitive youth camping area, for use by nonprofit sponsored youth groups.

Open daily
8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

5808 McKinney Falls Parkway
Austin, TX 78744
(512) 243-1643

To enter, you must reserve passes online

Entrance Fees

  • Adult: $6 Daily
  • Child 12 Years and Under: Free

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