The Lone Star State has a lot more biodiversity than people give it credit for. From desert dune biomes to bass-filled lakes, you can have a little bit of everything when camping in Texas.
If you’re interested in fishing, Lake Conroe is less than an hour from Houston and is known for its catfish, either for delicious fish frys over an open fire beside your camp at the end of the day, or just to snag some prize winners as trophies. The 22,000 acre lake is said to be carpeted with catfish, and they taste extra good because the water is so clean. Head to East Texas for Lake Fork where you can get trophy-size largemouth bass. The lake has turned out 65% of the largest 50 bass in the state--it’s just that good for bass fishing. It’s at its peak in spring, fall, and winter. While you’re there you can snag a crappie, white bass, or channel catfish. Along the Colorado River by Lake Buchanan you can get striped bass and white bass: the record for striped bass here is 27.8 pounds.
But maybe you’re not camping in Texas for the fishing. Maybe you’re more of a hiker. Texas has you covered there, too. Palo Duro Canyon is considered the Grand Canyon of Texas, and the hike to Lighthouse (one of the most unique geological wonders in the state) is magnificent. There can be a lot of tourists, so if you want to beat the crowds go early in the morning. (And if you’re going in the summer, pack a lot of water.) And anyone who ever thought of Texas as flat has obviously never encountered camping at Guadalupe Peak, on the New Mexican border. It’s an 8.5 mile hike with an elevation gain of 3000 feet, and is the tallest point in the Lone Star State. You’ll enjoy the sparse but beautiful forest of Pinion Pine, South-Western White Pine, and Douglas Fir. If you really want to get away from it all, hike the sand dunes at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. These gypsum dunes are definitely off the beaten path, but when camping here you can see endless stars at night.
There are truly limitless adventure opportunities when camping in Texas, with different ecosystems and different historic sites and geologic formations. From Boquillas Hot Springs on the Rio Grande, to seeing the gators around Brazos Bend near Houston, to the lush greenery you’ll find when camping by Crockett Gardens and Falls near Georgetown.