Camping in Austin

Here is your guide to camping around Austin, from near to far, with the approximate distance away from Austin listed at the beginning of each summary. There are 18 listed here, and if you have one you would like us to add, let us know.

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.”Herodotus, Greek historian

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10 miles away –  McKinney Falls State Park has around 90 campsites available with different options. There are  primitive sites that are $15 a night, sites with water and electric (30 amp) that are $20 a night, and premium sites with water and a 50 amp hookup that are $24 a night; all of which you must add the daily entry fee of $6. But, it’s free for kids 12 and under. They also have screened shelters that sleep up to 8 people on plywood bunks (no mattress), have ceiling fans, picnic tables, an outdoor grill, electric hookup and a hot/cold water sink for $40 a night. There’s hiking, road biking, mountain biking, picnicking, fishing, swimming and wildlife observation. It’s also home to “Old Baldy”, a bald cypress tree that is 103 feet tall and estimated to be over 500 years old. Map it, and map the park.

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28 miles away - Sandy Creek Park is a 25-acre park located on one of the quieter coves of Lake Travis. It’s a great spot for swimming, nature walks, camping and fishing. There is only primitive camping available, though there are restrooms and drinking water. Sites have barbecue grills, picnic tables and ground fires are permitted (as long as there is no burn ban) if you bring your own firewood. This park is ideal for normal lake activities, but it also has a serene, wooded environment away from heavy boat traffic. Camping is $15 per vehicle, day use is $10 per vehicle and campers are asked to arrive by midnight. Map it.

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32 miles away – Cedar Breaks Park has 64 campsites with water, electricity, covered picnic tables, grills and fire pits. This is a great family spot where you can fish, bond with the kids, hike and enjoy a nice view of Lake Georgetown. Campsites are $24 a night and campers must arrive by 10 pm since the park is gated. Map it.

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32 miles away – Lockhart State Park has the only staff-operated golf course in the Texas State Park System,  how’s that for trivia? There are 20 campsites available. Ten have water and electricity for $18 a night and 10 have water, electricity and sewer for $21 a night. This park has educational activities, hiking, camping, swimming, fishing and golf. Map it, and map the park.

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34 miles away – Pace Bend Park is HUGE with several different options available on its 1,368 acres. There are over 400 primitive campsites and 20 improved campsites with water, electrical hook-ups and showers – call 512.854.7275 to make a reservation (not required, but recommended) for these. Many of the campsites have picnic tables, fire rings and barbecue grills. These sites are along the outings of the park and can be reached by car. The interior of the park is managed as a wildlife preserve and can only be reached by foot, bicycle or horseback. There are several trails and they provide some of the best views of Lake Travis. Camping is $15 per vehicle, day use is $10 per vehicle, campers should try and arrive by 10 pm. Map it, and map the park.

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35 miles away – Tejas Camp on Lake Georgetown only offers 12 primitive campsites that are tent only and have a picnic table, a tent pad and a ground fire ring. There is water available at a central location and toilets at the park entrance. Campers must check in for Tejas Camp at Russell Park. These are only $6 a night! It sounds so small and like a really private getaway. Map it.

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35 miles away – Over 96 percent of Bastrop State Park was affected by the wildfires of 2011, but thanks to a lot of hard work, it is almost fully reopened to the public. Campsites are $12, sites with water are $12, sites with water and electricity are $20, as are sites with water, electricity and sewer. A really cool feature are the historic cabins that you can reserve by calling 512.389.8900. Twelve cabins are available ranging from $80 – $200, and can sleep anywhere from 3 – 8 people. Bastrop State Park offers backpacking, camping, picnicking, canoeing (available for rent), swimming (pool), golfing, hiking, biking and more. $4 entry fee, free for 12 and under. Map it, and map the park.

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36 miles away – Jim Hogg Park is another spot on Lake Georgetown with 148 sites available. Each site has a covered table, fire ring and a grill. Gates are open from 8 am – 10 pm so campers must arrive and leave within those hours. A screen shelter with water and 30 amp electricity is $30 per night, and other sites range from $18 – $24. Map it.

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38 miles away – Arkansas Bend State Park is a 323-acre park on the north shore of Lake Travis. This park only offers primitive camping, as there is no water or improved facilities available, however, there are restrooms. The two miles of shoreline are great for hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking and lake access via a boat ramp. There are shaded camping areas along a bluff above the waterfront with picnic tables and grills available. No reservations are required, campers should arrive by midnight. Camping is $15 per night per vehicle, day use is $10 per vehicle. Map it.

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42 miles away – Pedernales Falls State Park has 5,212 acres where you can roam free. It features some great swimming spots and views of the Texas Hill Country. It’s perfect for family hikes and has terrain available for all types of hikers. You can also tube, picnic, wade, mountain bike, fish and more. Primitive sites are $10 a night, and sites with water and a 30 amp hookup are $20, plus the daily entrance fee of $5 for adults, but 12 and under are free. Map it, and map the park.

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51 miles away – Blanco State Park has a pretty amazing swimming hole, picnicking, hiking, nature studies, boating and fishing. You can also rent tubes, canoes and kayaks to take down the Blanco River from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm and must be returned by 4 pm. What’s great about this park is that it’s a 10-minute walk to historic downtown where you can find restaurants and shopping. Camping is $17 – $23 and all sites include water and electricity. Screen shelters are also available for $25 a night, and can sleep up to 8 people. Entry fee must be paid as well, but it’s only $4 for adults and free for 12 and under. Map it, and map the park.

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 55 miles away – At Palmetto State Park you can camp, picnic, hike, fish, swim, tube and rent pedal boats or canoes to take out on the San Marcos River. Campsites with water are $12, sites with water and electricity are $18 and sites with water, electricity and sewer are $20.  There aren’t very many sites so reservations are recommended. Map it, and map the park.

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67 miles away – Inks Lake State Park is on the very scenic Inks Lake, a lake that is unaffected by droughts and stays at a constant level. Here you can backpack, hike, camp, swim, boat, water ski, fish and scuba dive. The park rents paddle boats, canoes, 1 – 2 person kayaks, life vests and paddles. Entrance fees are $6 with a $5 overnight charge, and 12 and under are free. Backpack primitive campsites are $10, sites with water are $15, sites with water and electricity are $20, sites with water and 50 amp electric hookups are $22 and there are cabins available for $50. Map it, and map the park.

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81 miles away – The Guadalupe River State Park has been one of the most popular sites to tube the river. It has 4 miles of river frontage and is in the middle of a 9-mile stretch of the Guadalupe River. This site offers canoeing, fishing, swimming, tubing, picnicking, hiking and camping. There are around 90 campsites at the park to choose from. Walk-in sites are $14, sites with water are $16 and sites with water and electricity are $20. Entrance to the park must be paid as well, and is $7 for adults, free for 12 and under. Map it, and map the park. If you camp here, be sure to check out the Honey Creek State Natural Area where you can hike a 2-mile tour and take in the beauty of a generally untouched area.

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 86 miles away – Bring your horse to the Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway because there are more than 20 miles of trails just waiting to be walked, ran, biked and ridden. The park is great for picnicking, boating, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, hiking and camping. There are 130 campsites at the park. Primitive sites are $6, walk-in sites are $10, equestrian campsites with water are $10, and sites with electricity and water are $16. Daily entrance fees apply too when camping, but it’s only $4 for adults and 12 and under are free. Map it.

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96 miles away – Enchanted Rock is a favorite among rock climbers but the park is also a beautiful place to camp, picnic and star gaze. Entrance fees are $6 for adults and 12 and under are free. There are 30 primitive backpack campsites for $12 and the 46 walk-in sites are $17. There are geological features and Indian and historical artifacts on the grounds that are protected by law so don’t mess with them! You must bring your own firewood and rock climbers must check in at headquarters. Map it, and map the park.

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 99 miles away – The Government Canyon State Natural Area has started to allow camping this year, within the past couple of months. It is a highly sensitive ecosystem and you must follow the Leave no Trace principles of outdoor ethics to keep these grounds as uninterrupted as possible. Basically, don’t screw this up. The area has more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails that range from remote rugged canyon lands to gently rolling grasslands. Here you can picnic, hike, bike, run trails, geocache AND take part in guided hikes like Haiku Hike, Hike the Canyon, Explore the Canyon and Family Fun. Camping is only allowed on Fridays and Saturdays and reservations are highly recommended. In addition to the $6 per adult entrance fee, tent campsites are $18 a night and group tent sites are $40 a night. Map it, and map the camping area.

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 129 miles away – There are approximately 40 miles of multi-use trails that vary from grassy valleys to steep limestone hills at the Hill Country State Natural Area. There are 3 designated swim areas, limited fishing opportunities and land that is perfect for primitive camping, backpacking, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. A primitive day use facility, Bar O, is mainly set up for horse riding activities, though it is popular with campers too. It has 6 shaded acres, a water trough, a horse wash area, fire rings and a chemical toilet. Fires may be built in fire rings only and dead wood can be collected off the ground, but it is scarce, so rangers recommend you bring your own. This park is primitive camping only so you must bring your own water and anything else you think you may need. Entrance fees are $6 for adults with a $3 addition if you intend to camp in the basic sites. There are several types of sites available ranging from $10 – $15, click here for more info on the sites. Map it, and map the park.

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We are lucky to have such beautiful land all around Texas that is available to us and our families. Be sure you protect it! Don’t trash these special places and Leave NO Trace!

Some useful sites if you are looking to camp in Texas:

There’s only 18 listed here, if you have a favorite, let us know.

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Best Camping Spots around Austin

  1. I would love to camp in or near Austin, Tx. Just trying to talk my husband into it. I want to see the Gone With The Wind exhibit sooooo bad.

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